The term “angel investor” originated with backers of theatrical shows: In exchange for their investment in a new production, angels received a share of box office revenue. At the start of the last century, certain wealthy individuals recognized an opportunity to make outsized returns by investing in the entertainment industry, which quickly was becoming standardized—more efficient and profit-oriented. Broadway needed early theatre angels to help their business grow.

Question: Nowadays, who needs angel investors?
Answer: A specific type of small business, known as a growth company.

growth company is one that can generate positive cash flow at an exponentially increasing rate. Growth companies have the potential to deliver a profit back their investors in a relatively short time—notionally, four to eight years after investment. And behind most true growth companies, you’re likely to find a group of determined investors that were willing to make a high-risk, early-stage investment—investors that help fund innovation and economic sustainability.

Here in Appalachia, we’re working to create a new economy. There’s plenty of need for capital, but it’s important that angel investments are made in the right growth companies that can “give back” in terms of creating high-value jobs and regional transformation; only, selecting the right early-stage companies can be hard work.


“In a network like the Appalachian Angel Investor Alliance, there are dozens and dozens of proven, locally-based members who will share subject expertise and look forward to playing a role as a business mentor, either from a sense of social responsibility or for the enjoyment of being involved with innovation and technology.”

– Dr. Eric W. Barton
President & CEO, Vanquish Worldwide
Maryville, TN



Investors that go it alone or make deals without having access to shared due diligence give up potential checks and balances as they’re making important investment decisions. The Appalachian Angel Investor Alliance and its more than 200 accredited investors work together in selecting the right companies to receive early-stage funding. For the accredited investors who are ready to be part of a member-managed fund, we’re happy to provide more information on how to succeed in an AAIA angel investing group.



The AIA is already making a big impact.


The Appalachian Investors Alliance brings together individual and institutional accredited investors that are committed to helping new and small businesses succeed. If your net worth exceeds $1,000,000; if your single or joint annual incomes exceeds $200,000 or $300,000 (respectively); or if you are an entity defined under US law as being an “accredited investor,” we invite you to download our free angel investing e-book by clicking on the “Should I become an Angel?” button below.