Florida’s angel funding environment received a boost earlier this week, when on Nov. 3 FAN Investors I GP, LLC (FAN) announced the initial closing of FAN Investors Fund I, LP — with capital in excess of $5 million.
The FAN Fund was established to invest professionally managed angel capital in growth-oriented companies in the technology and life science sectors in Florida. With the announcement, those plans move closer to fruition.
FAN believes Florida is an emerging market with excellent fundamentals, particularly in many key technology and life science sectors, and with a growing infrastructure to support entrepreneurial efforts. For example, Florida’s numerous colleges and universities graduate thousands of STEM program students every year, providing a massive resource of specialization to growing companies. Nationwide, Florida’s tech industry ranks No. 1 overall in computer training employment, accounting for 1,700 jobs, according to published reports.
The Fund seeks to target and invest in companies that the Fund’s Investment Committee believes will provide favorable returns and that will benefit from a blend of in-state financing and management guidance. FAN intends to continue working closely with organizations such as Florida Angel Nexus (NEXUS), a not-for-profit entity where the concept of a professionally managed and committed fund originated and whose purpose is to coordinate, educate and grow the community of angel investors and to promote the entrepreneurial environment in Florida.
“We differentiate ourselves by pairing angel capital and active participation by our principals, advisors and selected subject matter experts with an objective of seeking capital appreciation for our portfolio companies,” says Mitchel Laskey, FAN’s managing director. “Our interests include assisting entrepreneurs in building technology and life science companies here in Florida, economic development by creating jobs, and building a place for our children and grandchildren to stay and take leadership roles.”
The Fund will commence operations and investment activities immediately, but will continue to accept investor subscriptions over the next several months and plans to have additional closings.