The Creative Coast Alliance and Ariel Savannah Angel Partners announce FastPITCH Entrepreneurship Competition

Savannag mentoring competition preps entrepreneurs for obtaining start-up funding

(Savannah, GA – August 07, 2008) – A search is underway in Savannah’s Creative Coast. A search for something Savannah has plenty of: Entrepreneurs. In fact, according to research by Dr. Ervin Williams at Savannah State University, the startup rate of new businesses in the city of Savannah for last two years is the second highest rate in the surrounding 7 coastal cities.

Today The Creative Coast Alliance (TCCa) and local angel network Ariel Savannah Angel Partners LLC (ASAP) unleash their newest program for encouraging local higher-wage, knowledge-based entrepreneurial activity: The dual-sponsorship of FastPITCH, a collaborative with local colleges, universities and area organizations that aims to better prepare Savannah entrepreneurs and idea-holders for the possibility of “making the Fast Pitch.”

An “angel network” is a group of affluent individuals who pool their resources to provide investment capital for business start-ups, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity. Angel capital fills the gap in start-up financing between “friends and family” and venture capital, typically funding deals between $100,000 and $2 million. The newest incarnation of this concept in Savannah is the relatively young, but already accomplished Ariel Savannah Angel Partners (ASAP).

While the FastPITCH program is not about obtaining capital directly, it is about exposure, uncovering ideas, and providing mentoring that will hopefully enable these ideas to turn into fundable businesses down the road.

The inspiration for the TCCa/ASAP collaboration comes from the largest organized angel group in the U.S. – the left coast’s Tech Coast Angels. With 4 networks and 300 members, the Tech Coast Angels have sponsored their “Quick Pitch” program for eight years, creating a “must attend” matchmaking event for entrepreneurs and investors that represent the latest innovations in the state of California.

Spearheading a local version of the concept, TCCa and ASAP are seeking three categories of entrepreneurs: student entrepreneurs, faculty entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs outside of academia. Participants in each category will be ranked in two ways: the best entrepreneurial presentation and the idea having the greatest investor appeal.

The top 12 entries will be given the chance to present to a broad, exclusive group of investors – the entire southeast angel network meeting in Savannah on October 10 – gaining invaluable coaching, expert advice and seasoned guidance on how to best obtain financing for their business, develop their venture, and introduce their product into the marketplace.

To learn more and submit and application for the FastPITCH Program, go to:

http://www.thecreativecoast.org/our-programs/3-entrepreneurial-efforts/2...

The last day for registering a business venture for the FastPitch Program is September 4.

The Creative Coast Alliance (TCCa) is a 501© 6 organization dedicated to helping create, grow and attract higher-wage, knowledge-based businesses in the Savannah region. TCCa is currently funded by contributions from the Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA), the City of Savannah, Chatham County, event sponsors and patrons. For more information, visit www.thecreativecoast.org.

Ariel Savannah Angel Partners (ASAP) is a member-driven organization composed of experienced business, medical, legal and educational professionals from a wide range of industries working together to review, analyze, and invest in early-stage high-growth potential companies. ASAP aims to improve member investment portfolios and financial returns, promote regional economic development in Georgia, South Carolina and the Southeast region, and provide a satisfying professional, personal, and social experience.

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