Crowd funding could be new avenue for angel investing

By Rhonda J. Miller
PBN Staff Writer

Startups are a spark on Rhode Island’s business landscape, and angel capital is critical in getting these often innovative ventures launched. More

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Crowd funding could be new avenue for angel investing

COURTESY CHERRYSTONE
ACROSS THE SPECTRUM: Jennifer Schwall, executive director of Cherrystone Angel Group, said that the group’s “members have as diverse a background as you could think.”

By Rhonda J. Miller
PBN Staff Writer

Posted 4/14/14

Startups are a spark on Rhode Island’s business landscape, and angel capital is critical in getting these often innovative ventures launched.

Jennifer Schwall is in the thick of the startup ecosystem in the Ocean State, as well as the broader New England region.

As the new executive director of Cherrystone Angel Group, she succeeds Peter Dorsey, who co-founded the group in 2004 and said he will now focus more time on his role as president of the Business Development Company of Rhode Island. Dorsey said Schwall “is well-suited to perpetuate Cherrystone’s positive momentum in the angel-investing markets.”

Schwall manages operations for the angel group, working on screening deals, determining valuation models and conducting market research.

She serves as a representative of Cherrystone in Rhode Island, as well as in the Boston and New York markets.

PBN: What is the most critical issue facing the angel-investment segment now?

SCHWALL: I think the most critical issue is the emergence of the crowd funding platforms and the new regulations associated with those changes in the marketplace. I’m excited about the new opportunities that crowd funding will bring to the larger private-investment industry. We’re watching it very closely to see how, as a Rhode Island angel group, we can leverage those trends for our group. We’re evaluating crowd funding platforms right now as way to possibly collaborate, syndicate and access deal flow. The SEC closed the comment period and they’re evaluating how they’re going to regulate the crowd funding investment model. We’re not sure how we’re going to be leveraging those trends until we know what the SEC regulations are.

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