SmartInvest selected eight finalists for its Spark 2.0 program
workshop to help Delaware-based entrepreneurs get their businesses and ideas prepped for capital investment by angel investors. In addition to getting their start-ups scrutinized
during intense class-room style sessions by the SmartInvest network of professionals, the eight finalists have a chance at earning on-going mentoring support plus legal and financial council, from SmartInvest based on an evaluation of their company’s global aspirations and growth opportunities at the conclusion of Spark 2.0. The eight finalists will present their pitches to the SmartInvest team at a reception on Wednesday, November 8, 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m. at Theatre N, 1700 N. Orange Street in Delaware.
SmartInvest co-founder Gerry Moan explains that the Spark 2.0 program of classes combine mentoring with financial, marketing and legal professionals in preparation for venture capitalist presentations for the investment phase. A firm believer in coaching entrepreneurs rather than making them compete against one another, Moan seeks to de-bunk the accelerator method.
“There’s no such thing as a winner or loser because every entrepreneur’s idea deserves our attention,” says Moan. “Sparks literally fly when we push and challenge the finalists to question every angle of what they’re doing and what they want to move forward,” continued Moan. “Our company thrives on the ‘camping theme’ in which we learn by doing. Spark 2.0 is our base camp where this year’s eight finalists, and the entrepreneurs we’ve helped establish from last year’s Spark program, learn tips, guidelines and the courage to survive in the investor world.”
Why Delaware and why entrepreneurs? SmartInvest’s long-term goal, using the Spark program as a catalyst, is to stimulate the Delaware economy which has suffered huge set-backs from cutbacks in the pharmaceutical industry. The target for its angel fund target is $2M and the venture capital fund target is $70M. SmartInvest’s Board of Directors includes the former deputy PM of Ireland, John Burton, who was responsible for reviving Ireland’s economy with his Celtic Tiger Recovery program.