More than 200 accredited angel investors registered for this first-of-its-kind hybrid Investor Capital Expo co-hosted by Keiretsu Forum South-East and Mercer University. This multi-session showcase gave an in-person and virtual stage to 12 US-based growth stage companies seeking funding (see list below). In addition to presenting companies, Pat Gouhin, Executive Director of the Angel Capital Association, presented the event’s Keynote on the state of Angel Investing in 2022. The Expo concluded with an entrepreneurial workshop curated for students, faculty, and investors on the art and science of securing funding through angel investors.
Conversation during the keynote and subject matter expert panels touched on deal activity falling below the historic heights of 2021 and early 2022, when in fact, early-stage investors knew the exponential growth rate was not sustainable. Deal counts* in Q3 2022 remain well above Q3 2018 and Q3 2019. Investors report that they continue to invest actively.
Of note, first-time financing has slowed across some regions and sectors. “Finding new relationships in a challenging fundraising market is difficult,” says Howard Lubert, Area President of Keiretsu Forum. “We are seeing a fair share of investors participate in follow-on rounds to support portfolio companies; however, one of the advantages Keiretsu Forum brings to new deals is the high value placed on our due diligence process and deal syndication that accelerates connections and relationships.” In fact, the 2022 Expo generated more than 800 investor inquiries for the participating companies.
A centerpiece of the Investor Capital Expo is the Most Valued Company award. Honored companies are selected by the investors through voting. The following companies were distinguished:
Most Valued Company
EarthGrid has invented plasma tunnel boring robots that are solar-powered, use no water, have zero emissions and can bore tunnels 100x faster at 1/10th the cost of conventional techniques. They are building a network of large, underground utility tunnels that improve infrastructure and rapidly accelerate the transition to 100% clean energy by enabling underground clean energy power lines, high-speed data, water, and wastewater.
Orion Biotechnology is a clinical stage company that is unlocking the therapeutic and market potential of a very large group of drug targets – called G Protein Cell Receptors (GPCRs) - with a new class of drugs enabled by the company’s proprietary discovery platform. (See introduction video)
Maxwell Biosciences is a platform drug discovery company with first-in-class ‘one drug for many bugs’ synthetic compounds that address humanity’s most serious, unmet infectious disease threats. With 250 peer-review studies, Maxwell’s novel CLAROMER™ compounds have been shown to safely and rapidly inactivate a broad-spectrum of infectious pathogens. (See introduction video)
“The Investor Capital Expo brings together the absolute cream of the crop, growth-stage companies in a grand showcase for the angel investment community each year. The enhanced hybrid program creates an integrated experience for in-person attendees and a seamless opportunity for those who want to participate remotely,” said Randy Williams, founder and CEO, Keiretsu Forum. “In both cases, the investor really gets to know these companies on a more intimate level.”
Additional Presenting companies (in alphabetical order)
CamDo combines construction and physical time-lapse camera systems with advanced cloud architecture to capture and track important milestones and monitor overall project progress remotely.
CorIT Medical LLC is a revenue-ready commercial medical device company with a specific focus on a single-use surgical device for the reduction of inferior turbinates in patients with obstructed breathing. (See introduction video)
Hotel Communication Network has built on years of research and development to provide an innovative, high-value guest amenity that keeps each guest connected to their hotel, city, and each other. (See introduction video)
Humanetics is engaged in developing and commercializing products to enhance human health and well-being with a primary focus on improving the treatment outcomes for patients receiving radiation treatment of solid tumors. Humanetics has three open INDs focused on medical countermeasures, solid tumor radiotherapy, and in COVID-19. (See introduction video)
Inmedix specializes in understanding how stress impacts disease. Their current project is to bring cloud-based heart rate variability (HRV) from professional sports through appropriate, regulated pathways (FDA), for validated applications to improve healthcare. (See introduction video)
iQure a US-based, global biotech company created by entrepreneurs and former Pharma managers focused on the development of new therapeutics for neuropathic pain, an indication with a high unmet medical need. (See introduction video)
MetasTx LLC is creating novel drugs that treat and prevent cancer metastases based on breakthrough work on nanoparticle liposomal encapsulation of a small molecule that inhibits p21-activated kinases (PAK1), known to be pivotal in cancer formation and metastasis. (See introduction video)
Soteria Battery Innovation Group is dedicated to solutions for the root cause of battery safety events. As a consortium for the battery industry, their technology and global network of experts enable all products to be powered by inherently safe cells. (See introduction video)
Televero Health offers turnkey behavioral health and addiction care services for adult, adolescent and pediatric populations at remote urban, rural, and community-based clinics via telemedicine. (See introduction video)
*Pitchbook Venture Monitor Q32022