How to Get Investors for Your Startup
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

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Tim Reese, founder of the National Minority Angel Network, wants to educate both entrepreneurs and new investors. (Image: Reese)

When it comes to raising capital there is now, like never before, a heightened sense of urgency in underserved communities. This is where the mission of The National Minority Angel Network fits in. Based in New York City, the organization focuses on two primary goals: investing in high-growth, minority-led start-ups and building a national network of high net worth angel investors who share a passion and desire to broaden their aspects for wealth creation by investing in minority companies.

NMAN facilitates investments, creates educational programs and events for entrepreneurs and investors, solicits deal flow through proprietary channels and networks, and provides mentorship and services that facilitate investments. The group is also working closely with The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation US Program to educate its members about how to attract early stage investment opportunities in the rapidly changing public education market.

As the founder of NMAN, Timothy Reese is dedicated to building a funding model that will help minority entrepreneurs understand what is required of them before they seek financial resources from angel and venture capital investors; thereby increasing the likelihood that they will receive funding.

“NMAN looks inward to find the best and brightest entrepreneurs in America who haven’t the economic means to become the next great company,” says Reese, who started the company with help from the Minority Business Development Agency and the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, in May 2012.

Already the organization is making great strides. Initially, Reese only expected to average seven members in 2012 and anticipated that it would take 18 months before they invested in their first company. But since its inception, NMAN has recruited 40 members who have invested $500,000 for a seed round in Bownce, LLC, a social media platform that addresses the compliance and recruiting issues associated with NCAA college coaches and high school athletes.

The Entrepreneurial Growth and Wealth Creation Symposium, which will be held Thursday, December 13, is the organization’s first public endeavor to educate entrepreneurs about what they will need to make their companies more fundable. The Symposium will have three primary tracks including sessions on finance, legal, and market opportunities. caught up with Reese ahead of the symposium to learn inspiration for starting the organization, what NMAN hopes to accomplish with this first event, and what plans they have for the future.

What inspired you to start NMAN?

The inspiration of staring NMAN came from my traveling with the White House as part of an economic summit in the summer of 2011. The administration officials saw the response I received to my discussion of the Minority Angel Investor Network (MAIN- another organization I founded, which is supported by the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of South Eastern Pennsylvania) and my personal journey as a first time minority entrepreneur and investor. This turned in to a multi-city tour as a national panelist. When done, I decided to focus on a national minority funding model drawn from my own personal experiences. NMAN is supported by multiple streams of income from individual investors and has a greater emphasis on education than MAIN.

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.