Grand Rapids-based angel investor group Grand Angels is launching Woodward Angels, Detroit's first angel investor group, to identify and deploy early-stage capital to tech and digitally scaling businesses in the region. Among the founding members is Quicken Loans Chairman Dan Gilbert.
Membership in Woodward Angels, an affiliate of Grand Angels Holding Company LLC and the Michigan Capital Network, requires each individual to invest a minimum of $25,000 per calendar year in Detroit-area startups. In return, investors will have direct access to vetted deal flow of companies seeking capital, investment support, and personalized reporting on their portfolios.
"As Detroit continues to evolve into a leading technology hub, it is important that the local startup ecosystem has all of the elements necessary to remain competitive and increase the likelihood of success for entrepreneurs who locate to the city," Gilbert said in a statement.
The Woodward Angels management team will lead investor relations, portfolio reporting, deal sourcing and manage due diligence on all potential startups. It will deploy 100 percent of investment capital directly to startups, with operating expenses covered by annual membership fees and sponsorships.
"We realized that early stage investment was one of the largest obstacles facing companies looking to scale and succeed in Detroit," Woodward Angels Director Lauren Hoffman said in a statement. "This group serves to fill in that gap by connecting startups with local capital, and at the same time helping them access mentorship, expertise, and key relationships that come with a strong network of early local investors, many of whom are successful operators of growing businesses themselves."
Grand Angels was founded in 2004. In addition to angel investments, Grand Angels' has raised three committed capital fun, with Grand Angels Venture Fund III launching last year. It launched the Michigan Capital Network in August 2017.