Atlanta will be the next home of the global angel investment network Keiretsu Forum, a community of more than 2,500 members in 52 chapters across 3 continents. Set to kick off August 3, the Atlanta chapter will be the second Keiretsu outpost in the southeast after Miami.
Companies that want to pitch to Keiretsu chapters are vetted extremely carefully, Etra explains.He wants to build a pipeline of companies looking for exposure to the international Keiretsu community. “Their due diligence is second to none. Members are paying for access to these pre-approved companies,” says Etra.
That approval process solves a challenge angel investors operating as stand-alone individuals often face — they just don’t have the time or resources a fund has to devote to due diligence.
Once a company applies, is screened, and accepted to pitch through Keiretsu’s process, they can make their pitch for funding at any chapter in the world. Members collaborate, but make their investment decisions as individuals.
Etra says Keiretsu doesn’t limit itself to any one particular industry when it comes to the companies it looks at — any startup from technology to real estate to consumer goods can apply for consideration. He says last year, a little less than half accepted startups were technology companies, with heavy representation from life sciences, consumer products, and healthcare.
In 2016, members of Keiretsu Forum as a whole backed 168 companies with $71.5 million total.
Etra says the Atlanta chapter will play its part to strengthen the investing and entrepreneurial community in the region.
“As a global hub for business and innovation, Atlanta offers exciting opportunities for investors,” Etra says. “The chapter will benefit the entire region.”
The Atlanta chapter’s sponsors include law firm Morris, Manning & Martin and PR firm Trevelino/Keller. The first meeting will take place at Morris, Manning & Martin on August 3.