Innovate North State launched the (530) Angels Network in March 2013 as an important implementation measure in direct response to a key finding from the Innovation Scorecard project, which concluded that a lack of organized seed- and early-stage capital is serving as an impediment to fostering the start-up and growth of innovative companies in the region. The region served by the (530) Angel Network consists of five geographic focal points, all located within the (530) area code: Chico, Grass Valley/Nevada City, Davis, Redding and the West Side. The (530) Angel Network leverages the unique intellectual attributes of CSU, Chico and UC Davis and its their alumni, providing it with a comparable advantage for stimulating an innovation economy versus most similarly-sized communities and regions across the U.S.
The goals of the (530) Angel Network are:
· foster an entrepreneurial and investing culture in the region;
· find and fund quality start-up companies, and help them grow; and,
· generate a positive investment return for the network’s investors via liquidity events of portfolio companies, most likely through mergers and acquisitions.
As one local angel investor recently said, “the ‘(530)’ has lots of smart people who still have that good old American work ethic and are starting innovative entrepreneurial ventures. They love where they live and there is a whole new crop of them coming out of the universities every year. All they need is encouragement, seed capital and seasoned guidance to avoid being undercapitalized, over regulated and poorly managed. The North State has its share of notable successes (Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Bi-Tech, Grass Valley Group, Telestream, Build.com, Auctiva, and others). Wouldn’t you have enjoyed being part of them when they began in their garage?”