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New fund created to aid region startup companies

A new fund has been created to help startup companies in the region.

More than 20 accredited-investor members from the business community have joined together to pool capital resources and business connections under the umbrella of the Alleghenies Angel Fund LLC, a new Pennsylvania limited liability company formed to invest in entrepreneurs in Pennsylvania.

Alleghenies Angel Fund will focus on seed- to mid-stage investments in companies and entrepreneurs that demonstrate the potential for scalable and profitable operations.

Angel Fund members believe that by providing equity or equity-like capital to startups, those ventures will create jobs and promote economic growth in the region while providing members with an attractive financial return. The fund intends to develop a diversified portfolio of high growth companies, many of which will be located in the Alleghenies.

“Historically, there has been a lack of capital and mentorship available to entrepreneurs in this part of Pennsylvania. We formed the Alleghenies Angel Fund to assist those entrepreneurs who have a connection to our area and the industries that operate here,” Alleghenies Angel Fund chairman Justin Mandel said in a statement. “Everywhere in Penn­sylvania we see entrepreneurs emerging who are working to grow the next generation of innovative companies — not just startup businesses but ongoing businesses that can grow. The region needs a point of focus to assist these emerging entrepreneurs with mentor talent and growth capital.”

Angel funds usually invest in seed, startup and early-stage businesses, while venture capitalists invest in later-stage businesses. Angels make much smaller investments — $5,000 to $200,000 per round instead of $2 million and up for venture capitalists.

“We are very excited that the Alleghenies Angel Fund will become another resource for entrepreneurs in the region. We consider the Angel Fund to add great value to the Startup Alleghenies mission to bring greater economic vitality, talent and jobs to the Alleghenies region by creating a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem. We could not be happier to be partnering with the newly formed Alleghenies Angel Fund,” said Steve Howsare, executive director of the Southern Alleghenies Planning & Development Commission, in a statement. “We are grateful that the Appalachian Regional Commission provided us with resources to help us establish this fund, and for all of the support that they have provided for the Startup Alleghenies movement.”

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