Workshop targets accessing angel funding for Black Entrepreneurs

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The Chicago Urban League is hosting the Angel Investing Overview (AIO), an Angel Resource Institute (ARI) education program on angel investing, at the law offices of Taft Stettinius & Hollister, 111 E. Upper Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 from 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

AIO is the leading seminar for educating angel investors, entrepreneurs, and startup support professionals about how to execute the angel investment process. During a full-day session, the AIO teaches best practices of angel investing in an interactive format that includes presentations, distinguished panel discussions and case studies.

Less than 1% of venture capital and angel funding in the U.S. goes to companies run by Black founders. Studies show that investors of color are more likely to invest in entrepreneurs of color than are their White, male counterparts; however, only 4.5% of angel investors and fewer than 4% of venture capitalists are Black or Latino. (Forbes).

With the staggering underrepresentation of African Americans in the startup investment community, Chicago Urban League President and CEO Shari Runner views the Angel Investment Program as a critical component to building wealth in the Black community.

“At every turn, African Americans are confronted by sobering statistics that underscore the systemic barriers too often preventing us from unlocking opportunities,” said Runner. “This collaboration with ARI helps entrepreneurs navigate what can often be a challenging startup journey. The goal is that the information sharing among angel investors and entrepreneurs during this seminar will result in a network of knowledge and resources that can be invested in Chicago’s underserved communities.”

The seminar is taught by ARI’s renowned faculty of certified lead instructors, who each have at least 10 years of experience in angel investing, leading early-stage companies, and managing angel investment groups. Attendees will receive an overview of due diligence, portfolio strategy, valuation methods, post-investment relationships, as well as how to best structure deals.

“We at the Angel Resource Institute are excited to have the opportunity to work with the Chicago Urban League,” said AIO Executive Director Wade Brooks. “We strongly believe in the mission of the Chicago Urban League and that our collaboration on the Angel Investing Overview workshop is aligned with the goals of both of our organizations.”

The Angel Investment Overview will be presented by instructor Bob Okabe, who has been actively involved with early stage enterprises on multiple levels. As an angel investor, he co-founded the Prairie Angels and has made eleven investments with three positive returns of capital. Okabe is also a principal of RPX Group LLC (www.rpxgroup.com), a consultancy focused on assisting universities, research institutions, and corporations with spinning out some of their innovative technologies as startup companies.

“In just one day, Angel Investing Overview provides insights into best practices untrained investors typically learn by losing thousands of dollars on poorly structured deals,” said Okabe. “The mix of panels and presentations provides a balance of well-researched teaching and practical experience that no other program can provide.”

For more information about the Angel Investment seminar, contact Cate Costa, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at the Chicago Urban League at ccosta@thechicagourbanleague.org or 773-624- 8807.

About ARI

The Angel Resource Institute, founded in 2006, is an innovative nonprofit that focuses on delivering top-notch education on proven best practices in angel investing to both entrepreneurs and investor, as well as delivering the most robust data trends in angel investing. ARI’s commitment to producing premier education and research is rooted in its relationship with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which originally developed ARI. Just as the business industry evolves, so does ARI. It is currently expanding its education and research initiatives around the globe, including countries such as India, Canada, Australia, Scotland, Brazil, Israel, England, and elsewhere. For more on ARI’s education programs, contact Jessi Freitag at jessi@angelresource.org.

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