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SEED SPOT wins $300k EDA Grant in Partnership with Canyon Angels

The partnership will grow Arizona’s local investment ecosystem through training 180 new angel investors to deploy $4m in investment capital over the next 3 years.

Phoenix, AZ: SEED SPOT and Canyon Angels will train 180 angels to grow the robust investing community in Arizona and create more access to early-stage funding for entrepreneurs with a focus on EdTech, MedTech, and CleanTech.

According to a Startup Genome report published in 2018, Phoenix’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is experiencing an early-stage funding gap of $49M annually. SEED SPOT, an Arizona-founded and globally-ranked social impact incubator, is partnering with Grand Canyon University’s Canyon Angels to accelerate the growth of the angel investing ecosystem in Arizona to minimize this gap and assist in the commercialization of EdTech, MedTech, and CleanTech technologies. By recruiting and training new angel investors from the pool of thousands of eligible accredited investors existing in Arizona, the project will expand capital deployment in Arizona to ensure that innovative startups with potential for growth and job creation can access the funding they need to scale.

“Accessing capital is consistently cited as one of the biggest barriers to starting a business for founders around the nation,” said Duane Rollins, SEED SPOT’s VP of Impact and Research. “By cultivating the investor ecosystem in Arizona to be more inclusive and focused on early-stage ventures, will help get more capital into the hands of founders who are creating foundational change through their innovations.”

“Canyon Angels is dedicated to building the entrepreneurial spirit across the Southwest and specifically the underserved westside of Phoenix. Investing in startups is the most exciting asset class because it embraces the endless creativity of humanity to serve one another,” said Tim Kelley, Canyon Angels Chair. “There is infinite opportunity and the technology at our fingertips is growing exponentially. We work side by side with brilliant GCU college students to solve the greatest challenges of our time.”

Along with 52 organizations from 35 states nationwide — SEED SPOT and Canyon Angels will receive a portion of the $35 million deployed to support entrepreneurship, acceleration of company growth, and increased access to risk capital across regional economies from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). In three years, the project expects to train 180 new angels, deploy $4 million of capital, and invest in 18 new companies. The goal of the partnership is to expedite the growth of Arizona’s local investment ecosystem, increasing Arizona’s share of the venture capital marketplace and positioning Phoenix as a premier innovation hub. SEED SPOT and Canyon Angels will recruit and train new angels, support an increased deployment of capital through diligence practice and pitch events, and simplify the process of connecting high-potential entrepreneurs with accredited investors.

Since its founding in 2012, SEED SPOT has supported over 1,800 entrepreneurs who have raised $79.2 million in capital, have generated $161.8 million in revenue, and have created 3,217 jobs. Founded in 2015, Canyon Angels has funded approximately 30 ventures totaling over $3 million in investments.

Interested in attending an angel training? Check out the program here.

Lauren McDanell

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