No one else is doing what the Appalachian Investors Alliance is doing. They have a dedicated staff of professionals that truly understand the unique challenges of access to capital programs in this region. And, they have documented success to prove it.
The AIA network was a key investor in Arkis who supported the company through each stage of growth. The team is very personable and professional, as well as experienced entrepreneurs themselves, who I count as partners.
WVJIT has had the opportunity to work with AIA over the past several years. Their expertise and knowledge of the funding opportunities in the region have been invaluable in growing access to capital to our current and potential portfolio companies. With a similar investment strategy, they are able to work with a best fit solution. Additionally, they offer extensive knowledge and assist WVJIT with due diligence on potential deals. Their insight and professional services give our portfolio the ability to scale and invest in opportunities we previously may have missed in the past.
The diligence performed by the Appalachian Investors Alliance is second to none in this industry. It gives investors comfort their investments are being smartly made and entrepreneurs the confidence that their business is structured properly to succeed. If a business passes muster with the Alliance, it can pass muster anywhere.
AIA worked closely with us to develop and deliver a powerful program aimed at helping West Virginia entrepreneurs and startup companies understand risk capital and angel investors, in particular. Our entrepreneurs and startup companies got an inside look at what angel investors seek in a deal, and it made them more successful at pitching their business ideas. But AIA didn’t stop there. They also connected our startups and entrepreneurs with angel investors throughout the Appalachian region, giving them opportunities to raise capital.
WHO WE ARE
UNLEASHING ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN APPALACHIA
Appalachian Investors Alliance (AIA) is a non-profit educational foundation working to revitalize the region’s economy by facilitating community-based, self-reinforcing economic and workforce development through entrepreneur readiness. The AIA provides technical services to community-minded angel investors and committed entrepreneurs. These services include organizing capital and augmenting accelerator and academic/business school curriculum with practical, “dress rehearsal” entrepreneurial training to compete for precious regional and national venture resources and funding.
The AIA supports investors’ efforts in the region to create access to capital programs for dedicated entrepreneurs. It is supported by the Appalachian Regional Commission’s POWER Grant program. With these grant resources the AIA has demonstrated sustainable economic and workforce development is possible through an Impact Investing model tailored to the unique challenges and opportunities in Appalachia.
Regional affiliated Impact Funds have created a tangible financial impact. To date, 130+ AIA accredited investor members have launched eight (soon to be 11) angel/impact funds in as many Appalachian states which have placed $10 million in direct private investment into 34 entrepreneurial companies. This capital leveraged significant additional investments from outside the region and AIA’s network validating a new regional technology economy.
Hundreds of jobs have been created through this process in three years. The AIA has demonstrated that it can shift resources from Wall Street to “Main Street” by working to create more informed investors and competitive entrepreneurs in the region.