Early-stage investment organization North Texas Angel Network (NTAN) announced Aaron Gathmann as its executive director. Gathmann is an existing member of the ten-year-old nonprofit, member-led organization and is a seasoned angel investor.
As executive director, he plans to lead NTAN’s mission of presenting quality early-stage investment opportunities to its members as well as nurture angel investing across North Texas. For both angel investors and entrepreneurs, that means Gathmann is tasked with enhancing the deal flow experience with technological efficiency, communication, and process improvements.
NTAN founder and former executive director Chuck McCoy will stay on with the group as a board member.
Gathmann told Dallas Innovates his team wants the organization to be viewed as a “worthwhile stop in the fundraising process where there’s truly a high degree of interest in your deal if invited to present.”
“It also always helps to have other investors already on-board,” he says. “Early stage fundraising usually takes a lot of checks from a lot of people, it’s hard work.”
Gathmann’s background includes serving as co-founder or advisor for startups including Tri Global Energy, Neighborfund, Skyven Technologies, RedWorks Construction Technologies; creating an angel investment portfolio of more than 20 startups; and serving in dozens of consulting roles. He has also worked as a commercial banker and underwriter with BBVA Compass, an analyst with Bear Stearns, and an auditor for PricewaterhouseCoopers.
“I’m honored to take the helm and lead NTAN into its next chapter and decade,” said Gathmann in a statement. “My goal is to increase the engagement of accredited investors and entrepreneurs and to grow the NTAN organization. While I’ve joined with a strategic plan and areas to improve such as more focused meetings and deeper deal analysis, my first step is to listen to our members and entrepreneurs, past and present, and ensure we meet their needs.”
Gathmann understands both investors and entrepreneurs, making him the “perfect person” to serve as NTAN’s executive director said Chris Wilkes, NTAN Board Chair, in a statement adding, “He comes to the role armed with ideas to enhance the experience, streamline processes and improve the communication for members, entrepreneurs and sponsors.”
NTAN connects early-stage companies with angel investors to help private investors make private deals with private companies, according to a statement.
“Deals at this stage are inherently more risky as the business is oftentimes prior to or in the early stages of commercialization and there are still many factors to be tested and figured out,” Gathmann says. “Having a network of investors that can share experiences and knowledge ideally helps individual investors make more informed decisions.”
Over its ten years, NTAN’s members have invested more than $10 million in startup companies with notable investments including Haxiot, Ikonopedia, Stocked Robotics, Tella Firma, TeVido, and Vital Arts & Science. Gathmann told us NTAN is “industry agnostic,” as every investor is entitled to their own deal preferences.
“Early stage investing has a high bar because there is a reasonable expectation of adequate returns of many multiples of the investment because of the high degree of risk with it, so it needs to be a type of business that can make a reasonable case to deliver those types of returns,” he says. “It’s the startups’ job to show a well thought-out execution plan that is forecast to deliver ‘X’ value at a given time and then convince investors why they should believe in them to be able to make that happen. A track record of successful execution is attractive; a growing base of happy customers is attractive.”
NTAN is also a member of the Angel Capital Association and the Alliance of Texas Angel Networks. Plans for the organization include invite-only, in-person presentations for members from select companies every other month, video conference meetings, and more.
“Later this year we’ll be looking at potential opportunities for strategic partnerships with corporate innovation groups where we can help serve as a resource for particular areas of interest in emerging technologies that companies may have because of the wide range of early-stage deal flow that we see,” Gathmann says.
Quincy Preston and Alex Edwards contributed this report.
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