LAFAYETTE, La. — You’ve got a company. You’ve got customers. But you need some financial capital to take things to the next level. Well, I’d like to offer the suggestion that—with apologies to the Christmas move It’s A Wonderful Life--- every time a bell rings, you might just find some angelic local investors.
“Acadiana Angels,” begins Skip Boudreaux, “is a group of local investors who meet monthly and invest in start-ups and entrepreneurs to try to get them…wings.”
People with ideas talking to a group of folks with money. You’re thinking, ‘I’ve seen this before’. Well, in many ways, when you think of Acadiana Angels, the popular ABC Network Show “Shark Tank” comes to mind, and you wouldn’t be that far off. “So, we’re like Shark Tank in the sense that we meet, we have companies come pitch us, and we invest in the companies,” agrees Boudreaux, although he offers these differences at about the same time. “We’re different in the sense that we’re not made for TV, we don’t want you to cry. And it’s local, real investors behind those checks.”
In just over 5 years, The Acadiana Angels have helped 15 local entrepreneurs with investments of just over two-point-five million dollars. Those include businesses like Something Borrowed Blooms, located right here in Lafayette. CEO Lauren Bercier recalls when she made her pitch to the Angels.
“So our pitch was really thought out,” remembers Bercier. “We made sure that we created a really slick presentation to visually explain not only the concept of our business, but also our path to success. We wanted our investors to feel really good that their dollars would be well-spent and would ultimately improve the outcome of our business.” How does it work? How does a Something Borrowed or another company make its respective pitches to our Angelic investors? Boudreaux has the answer. “If he has an idea, I recommend he go to the Opportunity Machine, which is very good at helping start-ups get their ideas. But once you have that product-market fit, you have customers who are willing to buy what you want to sell, then you come to us.”
And then there’s the question: What is it that Acadiana Angels are looking for in an invest-ee?
“My advice would be to, of course, be prepared, do your research,” suggests Bercier. “Make sure you can clearly explain to investors your concepts, and how you’re going to use their investments to succeed in the future. And, you know, just be confident.”
Never ones to be resting on their laurels, the Angels are always open to new ideas. So, in the early stages of 2021, the team is looking to add new accredited investors---- females, minorities. Diversity, says Skip Boudreaux, can’t help but make the Angels an even stronger agent for Acadiana’s growth.
"Whenever you look at the diversity of women and minorities, that just expands it even more. Because then you start investing in women and minority founders, who--they've done studies--- have better ROIs (return on investments) than your average male founders.” There’s a pause, and then comes the music to an investor’s ears. “You make more money having diverse membership!”
To learn more about Acadiana Angels, visit
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