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  • Crispin Till

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    Call for investors in new venture capital initiative to boost TNQ startups


    An investment angel might be just the thing the next big TNQ entrepreneur or startup innovator is looking for to give their business the wings it needs to get off the ground.

    And on Wednesday night, a group of like-minded business people will attend the launch for venture capital initiative, the FNQ Angels, to help make this idea a reality.

    If successful, TNQ will be home to the first regional Angel group in Australia and one of the launch organisers Shaun Donaldson is looking forward to a great response and even better results into the future.


    “Angel groups aim to provide capital, support and networking to startups and entrepreneurs to help take their ideas to the next level,” he said.

    "We are motivated to get the group up and running, we see lots of great ideas come along and we don't have that formal platform to support people."

    The Angel investing concept started in the USA and has become popular within Silicone Valley where it has been successfully used to develop tech startups.

    SUPPORT KEY TO SUCCESS

    Shaun likened the Angels venture capital idea to the Shark Tank television series where people "pitch" ideas and seek financial backing and support from investors already established in the business world.

    However, he said the Angels take a less “adversarial” approach and up to six investors could get involved to offer capital, support and networking to an entrepreneur or startup business to help get their product or service out into the market place.

    “If there are more people involved, then the investment required from each is lower and each business is able to provide more people for support and mentoring,” he said.

    LAYING THE GROUNDWORK FOR LAUNCH

    While Australia has lagged behind on the Angels concept, Shaun said the venture capital movement was gaining momentum and a number of informal events had been held in TNQ in the past few years to prepare for the FNQ Angels launch.

    He said Halpin Partners and MacDonnells Law had worked in partnership, with support from the Queensland Entrepreneurs office in Brisbane, to establish the TNQ Angels concept.

    "There have been a number of events to talk about Angel investing and to lay the groundwork by telling people what we are doing," he said.

    "We have invited about 80 people to the launch and would look at getting about 20 to 30 members initially and trying to build to 50 members in 12 months."

    Shaun said business incubator groups such as The Space Cairns had been doing good work helping build new businesses and the TNQ Angels would work "as a second step" as businesses looked to get a foothold for their developed and marketable products.

    "Once there is a product or service that is ready and that people want, Angels come in to provide the support and to help turbo-charge growth," he said.

    SPECIAL EVENT TO START

    The TNQ Angels launch will be held at Halpin Partners on 30 August 2017 from 5.15pm, with Queensland Treasurer and Member for Mulgrave, Curtis Pitt, to officially open the event.

    Attendees will also hear from Portagrid, a North Queensland-based business in the energy sector seeking growth capital.