Friday, March 9, 2012

New Angel Fund Under Development

I am delighted to report that a new angel fund, to be known as the Treasure Valley Angel Fund is in formation and seeking investors.  The purpose of the Fund is to support economic development efforts by providing capital and advice to local entrepreneurs while providing an opportunity for the investors to make a return on their investment.

The CORE, an economic development group based in Meridian and focused on creating a CORE competency in the state in Health and Research sponsored the initiation of the fund. Leadership of the Core worked extensively with the Department of Finance to develop offering parameters that ensure that sales of interests in the Fund are properly qualified under the Idaho Uniform Securities Act.

Over the past few years both the Boise Angel Fund and Highway 12 have been potential sources of early stage capital for local entrepreneurs.   However, Highway 12 is no longer accepting applications for new investments and the Boise Angel Fund is nearly out of capital.  So a new source of capital interested in supporting valley entrepreneurs will be a welcome addition to the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The Fund will be a “member-managed” LLC.  That means the investors (called “members”) in the fund will make the investment decisions. Once capitalized, the Fund members will appoint a screening committee to consider initial applications from entrepreneurs.  When the screening committee recommends an investment, a due diligence committee will be formed to thoroughly investigate the entrepreneur and his or her business plan, and if warranted, to negotiate the terms of a possible investment.  The recommended investment will then be brought to all the members for a vote.

Whether or not the Fund members agree to make an investment, members will be encouraged to help the entrepreneur by providing advice, access to their contacts, and such other assistance as may be appropriate.  Individual Fund members will be  free to make an investment in the company whether or not the Fund members decide to make an investment of Fund capital.

Before the Fund can make any investments, it must first raise capital to invest.  The Treasure Valley Fund is raising between $750,000 and $2 million.  Units of $50,000 each are being offered to qualified Idaho residents.

The offering to form the new fund is subject to a number of restrictions, the most important of which are:

1.  Only accredited investors (who generally must have a net worth greater than $1 million, excluding the equity in the investor’s primary resident or income greater than $200,000 per year) can participate in the Fund.
2.  Investors must be residents of the State of Idaho
3.  Any investment must not exceed 10% of the net worth of the investor excluding the value of the equity in the investor’s principle residence, furnishings and automobiles. 

Of course, such an investment is very risky and no one should invest in the Fund unless they can afford to lose their entire investment.

If you meet the above criteria and would like to know more, additional information and a copy of the Fund’s Confidential Placement Memorandum can be requested through the Fund’s web site at

I hope to chronicle the formation of the Treasure Valley Angel Fund over the coming months so that others interested in forming such capital pools might learn from the experience of the Fund.

Dr. Kevin Learned is a counselor at the Idaho Small Business Development Center ( at Boise State University where he specializes in counseling with entrepreneurs seeking equity capital. He is a member of the Boise Angel Fund, and is a principal in Loon Creek Capital (, which assists angels in forming angel funds. Loon Creek Capital provides consulting services to the Treasure Valley Angel Fund. He can be reached by email to or by phone at 208-426-3875. 


  1. That's great news! I'm happy to hear about the new fund. It's exciting to see Boise developing a more robust entrepreneurial community. I'm sure the fund will have great positive effects on Boise's economy.

    In your recent post, you discussed the necessity of improving educational outcomes in Idaho to meet new companies' demand for skilled, educated workers. I agree. It seems to me that initiatives like this (the creation of angel funds spurring entrepreneurial activity) are some of the most effective ways to eventually improve educational outcomes of a community in a sustainable, substantive way. The new companies will likely entice educated workers into the state. The children of those educated workers will likely be (or become) well educated themselves because of their parents' legacy of valuing education. Also, the companies themselves will be increasing the state's revenues through the taxes they pay. The new capital the companies create through innovation will be flowing into the Idaho market, and universities and schools alike would likely benefit from the increased flow of capital throughout Idaho. And it's not uncommon for the entrepreneurs and executives to become adjunct or full time professors, or mentors to others. I wouldn't presume to know the answer, but I wonder if we eventually get more educational bang for our buck by diverting capital to startups instead of increasing taxes through school levies? Maybe the answer is we need both? Either way, exciting news about the new fund!

  2. Jared, a very belated thank you for your post. Kevin