The Billiken Angels Network, part of Saint Louis University’s John Cook School of Business, announced this week that it is dropping the requirement that all investments must have founders with ties to the university as students, former students, faculty, or staff. Now, the network will be investing in any high-growth startup in the St. Louis region.
The news makes the Billiken Angels Network the only St. Louis-based angel network that considers businesses in any industry and at any stage in the firm’s lifecycle. According to the network’s press release, “this means that for the first time in more than a decade, industries such as consumer products, business services and manufacturing can access local angel funding for launch or growth.”
The change came according to BAN Director Jerome Katz, Ph.D, because the network ”wants to be able to invest in the broadest range of businesses in the St. Louis over and above investing in businesses started by people with SLU DNA. We are tremendously excited by the growth of entrepreneurship here in the region and want to do what we can to help move it along even faster.”
The network consists of 30 angels and 25 volunteers called BAN Fellows who help with screening and due diligence. The Fellows include PhDs, MDs, lawyers, and people with degrees in engineering and business. The network’s typical investment is $200,000 per company with a limit of $500,000 per round. The network has made investments in companies like Affinity Wind and Kypha.
According to the network’s press release, “because of the BAN’s special relationship with Saint Louis University, it will continue to provide expedited consideration of opportunities from SLU alumni around the world.”