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2016, July 18 - Matalon Implores Start-Ups to Develop Business Plans

(By Tameka Gordon, extracted from the Gleaner – July 17, 2016)

Local companies are still overlooking the value of having a business plan, especially when seeking funding according to co-founder and chairman of First Angels Jamaica, Joseph M, Matalon.

Since June, First Angels has received 211 applications for funding, “but it is notable” that only 75 or 36 per cent, of them were properly completed, with business plans needed. The angel investor network reviews business plans as a part of its assessment of whether a venture will get the chance to pitch the network for funding.

Essentially, almost two-thirds of applicants missed their chance at a hearing and ultimately, to secure financial backing.
“This is some concern to us, and as a community, we supporting our would-be entrepeneurs with the kind of training and hand holding that they need to become investment ready,” said Matalon at a media briefing and workshop hosted by the network under the theme “Connecting the Dots”.

Some 18 candidiates have already pitched to the angel investor netwrok at its bimonthly sessions.

One Wednesday, First Angels formally announced that start-up BookFusion was the latest and forth venture overall to date to gain financial backing from investors in the network. The e-book company was founded by husband and wife team Kellye-Rae and Dwayne Campbell.

Of the slate of completed applications, 32 per cent are still at the idea stage, 48 per cent at the seed stage, and 20 per cent at the consolidation and growth stage, the chairman said.

APPROVED VENTURES

With the investment in BookFusion, First Angels‘ investors have provided, FAJ’s membership include seven associates, namely the Hart, Muirhead, Fatta law firm , which handles the network’s legal transactions; accounting firm KPMG; technology company Spider Cetro Inc; Cable & Wireless; JMMB; NCB Capital Markets; and VM Wealth.
Another two companies will pitch to First Angels this week, Matalon said.

“We don’t have any particular industry preference. We are looking for innovative ideas that can be commercialized and that have global reach ” he said.

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