Kyle Peterson at the Second Pitch fall 2020

Angel Network Makes $800,000 Investment

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by Tessa Landrum, Student Public Relations Writer

Neal GuptaThe capital component of Cedarville University’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, the Beyond Angel Network, recently made a capital investment of over $800,000 in exchange for an equity interest in two high-growth startups, KiwiTech and Soteria Battery Innovation Group.

KiwiTech is an IT services and investment company that develops software for startups in exchange for a combination of cash and equity. They help early and growth-stage startups build viable products, drive traction, raise capital and scale their businesses. They’re currently home to more than 250 portfolio companies across more than 15 industries undergoing disruption. KiwiTech recently completed an acquisition of Graphite Financial, a finance and accounting firm based in New York City, which specializes in working with venture capital-backed tech startups.

Rakesh GuptaSoteria enables portable electric power without the risk of fires through material architecture that redefines the standard for safe lithium-ion batteries. The company is dedicated to enabling safe lithium-ion batteries through patented technologies and an open innovation platform.

The 30 members of the Beyond Angel Network, which is designed to invest in early-stage faith-based companies, meet quarterly to hear pitches from entrepreneurs and invest in their businesses. Entrepreneurs interested in pitching to the network and fund investors can apply online. Investors looking for new ways to engage with entrepreneurs can join the Angel Network as an angel member.

“Our accredited network invests specifically in Christian entrepreneurs who are seeking to grow their businesses and live out their faith in the marketplace,” said Sarah Jennings, assistant director of the Beyond Angel Network.

Brian MorinFor the Network’s October investor pitch meeting, 20 companies were screened and the Angel Network selected two that pitched their company virtually to investors.

“After the entrepreneur's pitch, we ask questions and investors fill out soft interest forms that explore how much they’d be willing to invest,” said Jennings. Once investors receive the information needed to make a decision, the investments are closed.

The Beyond Angel Network and its capital investment fund is part of a global ecosystem of capital investment and deal-flow. This ecosystem was the source for the two participating entrepreneurs at this fall’s pitch meeting. In addition to contributing to the capital side of this ecosystem, the Beyond program will contribute deal-flow to the ecosystem with the launch of their upcoming Beyond Business Accelerator program powered by Ocean.

The Beyond Business Accelerator powered by Ocean will launch in April 2021. The selected accelerator applicants will receive scholarships to attend the 15-week virtual and onsite business accelerator. Upon successfully completing the program, each business accelerator participant will receive a $50,000 investment. Entrepreneurs interested in being a part of the Beyond Business Accelerator Program can apply online here.

Cedarville’s entrepreneurial ecosystem consists of the student business accelerator; the business accelerator powered by Ocean, a Christian accelerator based in Cincinnati, Ohio; and the angel network. From the early stages of formulating ideas to the latter process of raising funds for business operations, Cedarville is committed to growing and investing in the next generation of entrepreneurs.

“We’re helping entrepreneurs launch their businesses and then we’re coming up a little bit later and helping them to fund their businesses and continue to grow,” said Jennings. “We’re doing both sides of the coin.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,550 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including the Master of Business Administration in Innovation and Entrepreneurship program, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.