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Springfield may be on its way to creating more jobs by helping new businesses. KSMU's Benjamin Fry was at this morning's Chamber of Commerce meeting and files this report.
The launch of the Springfield Angel Network means different things for different people.
For investors it means an opportunity to play a big part in a company's future.
For others it may mean more job opportunities.
In creating the Angel Network, the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce hopes to match up prominent investors with companies that are getting their start in the area.
The network has been in development for about a year and is partnered with Drury University and the Jordan Valley Innovation Center at Missouri State University.
Chamber of Commerce President Jim Anderson says this program is the right step toward boosting the economy.
"I do think when we look back in a few years, we'll see this as a major, incremental improvement and enhancement in job creation in our community," Anderson said.
In the network, Angels are individuals with a net worth of at least $1 million or an annual income of $200,000.
They would be expected to invest about $25,000 a year in providing equity to companies in the seed or early stages.
A company is in the seed stage if it has a product under development but isn't fully operational.
At the early stage, it has products currently being tested and may be generating revenue.
Greg Williams is the Senior Vice President of Economic Development at the Chamber of Commerce.
He says companies like these need a formalized source of equity so they aren't tempted to move elsewhere.
"So we're birthing companies in incubators, but we've got to have that next stage of equity capitol available, or we will be waving goodbye and saying thank you for performing your RND in Springfield Missouri," Williams said.
The Chamber of Commerce hopes to model the Springfield Angel Network after the Centennial Fund in Columbia, Missouri, which currently has more than 30 investors.
In 2005, there were nearly a quarter million active Angel investors nationally contributing $22 billion.
I'm Benjamin Fry for KSMU news.