(Ames, IA) Rural stakeholders interested in learning about Iowa’s emerging rural investor networks for agricultural technology startups and strategic rural ventures are invited to view a new website and video series titled, “Strategies for Rural Angel Investing.” The website and video series is being launched as an Iowa State University Extension and Outreach initiative and is part of a grant sponsored project called the Iowa Rural Equity Project (IREP).
Dr. Mark Edelman, ISU Extension and Outreach Ag Economist is coordinating the project and conducted interviews with managers from a dozen Iowa based venture capital funds and angel investor networks interested in rural projects. The videos give insight into legal requirements, due diligence, types of investments and deal flow.
“Over the past five years, the Community Vitality Center at ISU has organized forums with entrepreneurial rural ventures searching for equity capital and equity capital networks looking for good deal prospects,” Edelman said. “It did not take long to learn that gaps exist in rural equity capital and most equity capital networks are very specialized. Each equity source is often looking for something different.”
“It made sense to conduct interviews with the different types of equity networks in Iowa that are interested in agricultural technology and rural innovation. As a result, rural investors and entrepreneurs might become more aware of Iowa’s emerging rural venture ecosystem and equity capital networks and become better able to more effective in connecting with the emerging networks,” Edelman said.
The "Strategies for Rural Angel Investing” video series and more information about the IREP program can be found by visiting www.extension.iastate.edu/irep.
The “Strategies for Angel Investing” video series is co-sponsored by the Iowa Rural Equity Project (IREP) which is supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration, Iowa State University, Ag Ventures Alliance, Iowa Microloan foundation, Bill Menner Group, and a statewide Steering Committee of 16 rural leaders and stakeholders.
“With the uncertainty in agricultural trade, farm policy, and the rural economy; some rural stakeholders have been showing interest in examining alternative investment opportunities that can lead to personal income growth, as well as adding value to agriculture and community economic vitality in rural regions,” said Edelman.
Since 2002, Edelman has served as Director of the Community Vitality Center at Iowa State University, which supports entrepreneurship, philanthropy, rural dialogue and demonstration projects. Since joining ISU in 1986, Edelman has also advised several rural business ventures, including rural housing, ethanol, and angel investor networks. He previously served on boards of Land O’Lakes, and Amaizing Energy, and is currently on the Ag Ventures Alliance Board, a business development cooperative based in Mason City. He has co-authored columns for Extension, Farm Journal, Successful Farming, and Agri-Pulse Communications.
CONTACT: Mark Edelman, Ph.D.
Iowa State University