Posted by Kara Kennedy on 2014-04-14

Samford University’s Brock School of Business recently joined the Central Alabama Angel Network (CAAN), a Birmingham-based investor network that invests in early- stage companies.
Angel investors are wealthy individuals and institutions, who provide money to new companies, usually in exchange for company stock. According to the University of New Hampshire’s Center for Venture Research, angel investors in the United States provided $9.7 billion in funding to more than 28,000 startups during the first half of 2013. These investments have helped create 111,500 jobs.
“This membership will provide our students with opportunities to witness first-hand how entrepreneurs raise equity financing soon after starting their new companies,” said Rusty Yerkes, assistant professor of finance at the Brock School of Business. “Angels must be ‘accredited investors,’ with $1 million net worth or annual household incomes above $300,000, and because of our CAAN membership, our students now have access to see how this important funding source works.”
With the Brock School’s membership, students will be able to attend CAAN’s monthly meetings to see how entrepreneurs pitch their businesses to investors and how CAAN reviews its current investments. According to its website, CAAN’s average investment ranges from $250,000 to $2 million per company.
"We are excited about Samford’s Brock School of Business joining CAAN, “ said Jennifer Skjellum, executive director of CAAN. “ Getting students involved and educated about the capital raising process early on will make them better prepared when they start their own businesses."
“Joining CAAN provides our students another great way to be involved in Birmingham’s entrepreneurship ecosystem,” said Franz Lohrke, Brock Family Chair of Entrepreneurship at the Brock School. “Our long term goal is to put together a fund that will allow our entrepreneurship and finance students to make investments in these new companies. We have had tremendous success with our student ‘Bulldog Fund,’ which invests in public companies, and we hope we can replicate this success soon with a ‘Brock School Angel Fund.’