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Saturday, May 6, 2017

Angel Investors Want Business Pitches

Regional | by Claire McCormack  

Bluewater Angel Investors want to help aspiring entrepreneurs and boost economy.

The Bluewater Angels investor group wants to help grow businesses in Grey Bruce and they've set a deadline for their first intake of applicants.

Aspiring entrepreneurs have until May 31st to send in their business pitch to the newly formed angel group if they want to be considered this June.

Angel Co-Facilitator Stan Didzbalis says they're looking for well thought out business plans, and if an applicant isn't ready for June, there will be other intake sessions, maybe again in the fall.

So far they have gotten about 25 pitches, and they plan to narrow it down to roughly  three businesses to invest in. He says all kinds of businesses have applied from agriculture to technology  

Didzbalis says the Angel Investor network idea has taken off in other regions and the Northern Ontario Angel Investors Group which stretches from Orillia to the northern edges of Ontario, is a role model for his Bluewater group. The Northern Ontario group made 40 investments last year. "That's a huge economic impact to the North," says Didzbalis.

He notes, over five years the northern group has made about 160 investments which have created or retained more than 1500 jobs.

So far there are 18 Bluewater Angel Investors, and Didzbalis says they're looking for more like-minded people, "The common denominator is they want to invest in our local economy, they want to see growth, they want to see good paying jobs, obviously they want to see a return on their investment, but they want to really champion the next generation of entrepreneurs."

There are also non-investing associate members who can lend their expertise to an entrepreneur.

Didzbalis says they need more Angels in Bruce County, particularly on the Peninsula around Saugeen Shores and Southern Bruce County.

Some of the Bluewater Angel Investors include Steve Lowe, who is a retired BDO Partner Consultant. Billie Bridgman is a retired business leader in finance and the arts, Rob Robinson is a partner with The Alliance Lawyers, Alex Hector is a retired BMO executive, and Tim Nicol is the CEO of Nicol Insurance.

Didzbalis says applicants can go to www.bluewaterangels.ca to learn more about how to submit a plan.

The Bluewater Angel Investor Group is a not for profit Ontario corporation, founded in 2017.


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