Angels lend help to business ideas

Riverbend Angels formed last year by local entrepreneurs

Davenport, Iowa - Local entrepreneurs are using their experiences with starting small businesses to help other new companies get off the ground.

Riverbend Angels formed last year as a way to provide capital for startups developing roots in the Quad Cities. 

Its managers say they're filling a gap for self-funded businesses before they can get a bank loan or investors. 

While the concept might sound familiar, the Riverbend Angels say they're no Shark Tank reality show.

The Angels say their goal is to meet a need and keep smart minds and new businesses thriving, and it all begins with hearing the pitch of an idea.

Terva founder Steven Brockshus said, "It's a really difficult and daunting task to be able to start this, and you don't know what you don't know."

Becoming an entrepreneur is a dream for many, and it's a dream Steven Brockshus is living.

 Brockshus said, "Terva is a technology company, and we're building an online marketplace for farmland."

This Ames, Iowa based startup is Brockshus's first, and to get it off the ground, he got help from some angel investors. 

Riverbend Angel Aaron Tennant said, "Angel investing is a little different because we're investing in someone and something and it's not monetized yet."

Local entrepreneurs Monte Bottens, Tom Trone and Aaron Tennant founded Riverbend Angels to bring angel power to the Quad Cities. 

Riverbend Angel Tom Trone said, "Each of the principles of Riverbend Angels have started, operated and owned companies over a period of years. We've learned what to do, what not to do."

They say in addition to providing the money to help turn an idea into running a business, the more important element they invest is their expertise and time. 

Riverbend Angel Monte Bottens said, "Connecting them with people we know in our industry and also coaching them through everyday negotiations and ideas and helping them get to market faster."

They say even though angel investors have been in the Quad Cities past, they wanted to start their own angel group with the goal of keeping young talent from leaving the area. 

Trone said, "We see this as a new element in our community. To help identify, see and grow small companies. To help build employment and the local economy."

Hoping to see successes like Brockshus's experiences repeated here in the Quad Cities.

Brackshus said, "Tapping into angel investors in the local community and in Iowa is just great."

The angels say they make each of their investments individually, based on their expertise.

In addition to expanding their investment portfolio, they want to increase the number of angels and recently added a fourth to their group.

Contact information for Riverbend Angels can be found at https://www.riverbendangels.com/


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