• General
  • What is the BEF?

    The Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation (BEF) is a non-profit entity incorporated in Barbados and conceived by its founders in 2009 as a dynamic private sector-led catalyst for the transformation of Barbados into a global hub for entrepreneurship by 2020, in the strong belief that this will create enormous opportunity, a stable economy and a better life for all Barbadians. For more information, visit www.barbadosentrepreneurshipfoundation.org

  • Why did the BEF get involved in setting up an Angel Investor Network?

    The BEF’s goals align with those of the Government of Barbados, which has set ambitious goals for business creation for the next decade. The Government’s target is that by the year 2016, 20% of the working population are to be entrepreneurs involved in innovative micro and small businesses. In Barbados, entrepreneurs are hindered by inadequate access to finance and limited reach of business development services.  In order to assist in unlocking the Island’s entrepreneurial talent, the BEF identified the start-up of an Angel Investor Network as an immediate priority. While banks are willing to finance ventures where entrepreneurs can demonstrate that they have assets which can be used to secure funding, significant barriers still exist for start-up ventures which do not have security acceptable to the traditional banking sector.

  • What is an Angel Investor Network?

    Typically an angel investor network consists of successful entrepreneurs and high net-worth individuals who are interested in investing in startup / early stage ventures which have the potential to create value.  An angel network, in addition to money, provides constant access to high quality mentoring, networks and inputs on strategy as well as execution. The network members, because of their background are better able to assess the potential and risks at the early stage and can pick and choose which ventures will benefit most from their capital and advice. Angel investors are different from venture capitalists (VCs) in that VCs invest other people’s money.

  • How will the Trident Angels operate?

    The BEF angel investor network – Trident Angels consists of twenty plus Angel Investors who are looking to invest in potential high-growth start-ups which have demonstrated that a lack of external finance is an obstacle to expanding their business. Through an on-line platform called GUST, projects submitted by Entrepreneurs will be viewed by Angels and deals can be made where both parties agree to work together.  The network will operate within pre-determined guidelines which protect both parties; however any actual deal will be arranged by the Angels and Entrepreneurs on a deal-by-deal basis. The objective of the establishment of the Trident Angels investor network is to have a steady pipeline of viable projects and an engaged, growing and active pool of investors.  Ultimately the success of the network will be determined by the number of actual partnerships that arise out of the network and the level of investment made to entrepreneurs. For more information about the Trident Angels, contact facilitator@automotiveart.com.

  • How do I know my business is right for an angel group investment?

    Angel investment is the right source of funding for only a small proportion of entrepreneurial businesses. When considering yourself for investment by an individual angel or angel group, ask yourself these key questions:

    1. Am I willing to give up some amount of ownership and control of my company?
    2. Can I demonstrate that my company is likely to realize significant revenues and earnings in the next 5-7 years?
    3. Can I demonstrate that my company will produce a significant return for investors?
    4. Am I willing take the advice from investors and accept board of director decisions I may not always agree with?
    5. Do I have an exit plan for the company that may mean I'm not involved in 5-7 years?
  • When and how should I approach an angel group?

    In general, the best time to seek angel funding is when:

    1. Your product is developed or near completion.
    2. You have existing customers or potential customers who will confirm they will buy from you.
    3. You've invested your own dollars and exhausted other alternatives, including friends and family.
    4. You can demonstrate that the business is likely to grow rapidly
    5. Your business plan is in top shape.

    If your business plan is ready, visit www.gust.com. In the location box, type in “Bridgetown, Barbados” to connect with the Trident Angels platform. Complete the template, upload any documents/videos and click publish, which will grant access to the Trident Angels Administrators only. If your project meets the criteria, you will be contacted.

  • What criteria do angel groups use to select entrepreneurs?

    No two groups are exactly alike, but generally groups expect to at least see the following:

    1. A strong management team with experience and proven skills.
    2. Unique product or service distinguished by an identified competitive advantage and large market
    3. Your personal financial investment in the company and investments from your friends and/or family
    4. A clear picture of the market for your product or service and realistic plan for market penetration
    5. An exit strategy for the investor that is reachable within 5 to 7 years
    6. The potential for a strong return on investment
  • What process can I expect if I apply to an angel group for funding?

    Angel groups follow several stages of review in order to make funding decisions. Below is a listing of these steps. It is important to recognize that groups may conduct these steps in a different order than is presented here.

    1. Application Check with the angel groups Web site to determine what documents are required initially. Many groups want the executive summary of your business plan, while others have an application form.
    2. Pre-Screening When the angel group receives a completed application, staff or a committee of members reviews it quickly to determine if it meets the groups general requirements. The pre-screening will eliminate applications that are incomplete, don't meet the organization's minimum requirements, or does not comply with the investing preferences of the organization. Expect one or two weeks for the pre-screening process.
    3. Screening Once an application has been accepted for review, a group of staff and angels review and further define the opportunity. If the entrepreneur passes muster at this stage, the organization may select a "champion" for the opportunity and create a due diligence committee. The angel group may ask for your full business plan in this stage and some groups hold meetings with the entrepreneur during this stage. In general, about 10 to 25 percent of all entrepreneurs who apply reach this stage. Screening is usually completed within another one to three weeks.
    4. Investment Meeting The entrepreneur is invited to make his or her pitch at a meeting of all members of the angel organization. A question-and-answer session follows the founder's presentation. Members discuss key issues about the company and determine initial interest in making individual or group investments after the entrepreneur leaves the meeting. Such investment meetings are usually held every month or two.
    5. Due Diligence A team of members interested in investing and specialists with knowledge of the industry under consideration conduct a thorough check on you and your business. The objective is to validate the business plan, including the management team, market opportunity and amount of funding required, and to negotiate a term sheet, thus placing a value on the investment. A further cut is made: 25 to 50 percent of the companies that reach this stage are actually funded, and the process can continue for two weeks to several months.
    6. Term Sheet If the group chooses to invest in your company, they will negotiate with you a term sheet, a document that guides lawyers in preparing investment agreements and which determines the relationship between the company and investors. Sometimes angel groups will begin term sheet negotiation during Due Diligence. For more information on standard term sheets, other investment documents, and issues to consider, click here or visit the Books page on this website.
  • Will angel groups sign non-disclosure agreements? If they don't, how do entrepreneurs protect confidentiality?

    During the initial portions of the evaluation process, the vast majority of angel organizations will not sign non-disclosure agreements. Angel groups just see too many deals, often in a similar space. When submitting executive summaries and even business plans, the entrepreneur needs to explain the business so that the potential investors can understand the company's opportunity for success, but don't learn about any confidential issues. If you have intellectual property that has not been patented, it is best not to disclose it to the angel group when you are first submitting your company for investment. Remember that angel groups are most interested in the business behind the technology or idea they don't invest in the inventions but in the business models and management teams that will grow the companies. If your company makes it through to final due diligence, the angel group may need to research intellectual property issues and then would sign non-disclosure agreements at that time.