Angel Investors Best Practices Workshop Held

The Garrett Regional Angel Investor Best Practices Forum was held last week at Will O’ the Wisp at Deep Creek Lake coordinated through the Garrett Information Enterprise Center (GIEC) and the Garrett Center for Entrepreneurship at Garrett College.

This educational event, co-sponsored by Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), First United Bank, Garrett College (GC), Garrett Center for Entrepreneurship (GCE), Loon Creek Capital, Mountain Maryland Angel Investors (MMAIG), RAIN Source Capital, and Tri-County Council, drew participants from throughout the region who represented businesses, state and local offices of economic development, legislators, plus potential investors and funders of economic growth.

The session was presented as part of the effort by MMAIG, Garrett College, GIEC, and GCE to drive small business formation, funding, and success in Garrett County and around the region, according to Mike Tumbarello, coordinator of GIEC and GCE, and Manager of MMAIG Deal Flow.

Among the goals for the event, as outlined by Tumbarello, were to enhance the performance of MMAG by providing tools and methods that benefit the members of the group; to improve return on investment; and to recruit other angel investors for the region thereby increasing deal flow and investment opportunities.

Introduced by Tumbarello, GC President Dr. Richard MacLennan opened the agenda by welcoming the attendees to the seminar. Following his words of greeting, Earl Gohl, Federal Co-Chair of the ARC, explained the ARC capital access program and strategy, pointing out how angel capital fits into the overall ARC plan along with case studies.

Moderator for the forum was Steven Mercil, founder and CEO of RAIN Source Capital, LLC, which is based in Minneapolis, MN. Under Mercil’s leadership the company has established a nationally recognized history of organizing investors and capital to support small businesses and communities.

Mercil moderated three panel discussions, the first of which included Kevin Learned of Loon Creek Capital in Boise, Idaho, and Tumbarello, who addressed the processes involved in generating quality deal flow. They described some of their barriers to quality deal flow and methods to overcome such barriers.

The second discussion, which included Learned and Andrew Sherman, MMAIG Founder and Partner at Jones-Day, focused the conversation on best practices for processing deal flow through investment decision. Sherman and Learned identified some potential processing glitches and outlined best practices for professional and disciplined processing.

For the third panel discussion Tumbarello joined Sherman and Learned to examine the topic of member recruitment and engagement and discussed several models currently in use along with their strengths, weaknesses, and best practices.

Question and answered periods, facilitate by Mercil, followed each of these three sessions.

“We were very fortunate to have Steve Mercil with us as moderator. He has extensive knowledge and experience with Angel funds including design, organization, fundraising, process management, and more,” Tumbarello said.

The group gathered for this educational forum represented a cross-section of the community and small business support ecosystem, Tumbarello noted, as well as a strong showing of MMAIG members. “We had about 60 members of the community and funding value-chain at the forum, which further demonstrated the role of financing in enabling business success. I am thrilled at the attendance and the forum in general and especially relative to the College’s continued support of small business success in the community,” he said.

More information on opportunities and educational programs for entrepreneurs and investors is available by contacting Mike Tumbarello at 301-387-3167 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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