BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Friday September 12, 2014 – Entrepreneurs were heartened early in 2014 to learn of the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation’s (BEF) plan to introduce its angel investor network called the Trident Angels. Four (4) fledgling businesses had their first opportunity to pitch their concepts to the Angels recently, in what has been described by BEF officials as a successful first pitch meeting.
The BEF has been working on setting up the angel network because of the need for alternative sources of finance. In Barbados many start-ups have uncertain income streams and are not stable enough to support traditional debt financing and need alternative finance structured through convertible debt and equity. The BEF believes that this funding can be injected by non-traditional investors with an entrepreneurial focus who are commonly known as Angel Investors.
Early in 2014, the BEF engaged a highly qualified consultant to come to Barbados to advise on the mechanics of getting the network up and running. The consultant met with potential Angels and Entrepreneurs and explained to them how a network functions and the benefits and pitfalls of angel investment.
The Trident Angels is now up and running with over twenty Angel Investors who are looking to invest in potential high-growth start-ups which, have demonstrated that a lack of external finance is an obstacle to expanding their business. Through an on-line platform called GUST, projects submitted by Entrepreneurs are viewed by Angels and once there is sufficient interest, the Entrepreneur is invited to pitch his business to the Angels. The network operates within pre-determined guidelines, which protect both parties; however, actual deals are arranged by the Angels and Entrepreneurs on a deal-by-deal basis.
The first pitch event was concluded successfully with four companies presenting their proposals to eleven potential investors and answering questions on the spot. Following the pitch event the next step will be for interested Angels and Entrepreneurs to meet and see if a deal can be made.