The Appalachian Investors Alliance (AIA) supports economic development and access-to-capital programs in Appalachia. The organization helps entrepreneurs understand how to structure, execute, and present their ventures to investors. And, it helps investors better understand how to smartly deploy private resources to create the maximum impact in their communities.
A group of visionary leaders from Ashland, Kentucky decided they needed to create a local pool of capital to support entrepreneurship, investment in startup companies and regional economic development. In 2015, they engaged the AIA to create the Tri-State Angel Investor Group (TSAIG) Fund I, a micro-venture fund.
The first fund invested in nine companies, about 50% local, between 2015 and 2017. Again with the help of AIA and with the newly established support from the Appalachian Regional Commission through the POWER grant program, the Tri-State Angel Investment Fund Group Fund II formed in 2017. Fund II is more focused on investment in local companies and has to date invested nearly 2/3rds of the fund in 6 companies, 5 of which are local.
The members of TSAIG are now contemplating Fund III and another ARC POWER grant to help support its ongoing efforts in acting as a catalyst in the Tri State Region’s economic development. This is an example of how great vision and great service can come together to create a self-sustaining model of economic development in the Appalachian region.
Don Perry, the Chairman of TSAIG Fund I and Fund II said, “The Tri-State Angel Investor Group has invested in over a dozen companies in the Tri-State and Appalachian regions. I have enjoyed the experience immensely and look forward to continuing to making a difference. The TSAIG investors have made a point of investing in hyper-local deal flow. These are jobs created in local companies that have a direct impact on our community. Over the two funds, TSAIG investors are responsible for creating over two hundred jobs locally and across the region. It is a great feeling to support the economic leaders of tomorrow and to give back to our community.”