CRAN Issues RFP For Management Support


Background Info & Project Description

Country Roads Angel Network (CRAN) is approaching the end of its original 3-year strategic plan. To begin charting a course for the next several years, the board and its committees have discussed where the organization is today and the evolving scope and operations of the organization. This RFP reflects their collective thinking about the ideal support that will position CRAN for success in the coming years.

To develop this document, the original scope of support from the May 2020 project narrative was revisited and then cross-walked with input from CRAN stakeholders on what they thought is needed going forward. The outcome is a high-level overview of operational support needs addressing scope, roles and responsibilities and other specifics for interested parties to respond. It is important to note that this RFP contemplates direct lines of communication and reporting to the board (or its designee) on matters regarding operational support, scope, roles and responsibilities. Specific growth goals, metrics, and activities will be addressed in an organizational strategic plan developed after the operational support award.

Country Roads Angel Network (CRAN) needs a person, a service provider, or a supporting entity to lead and direct CRAN’s efforts to be the “go to” resource for early stage investing in businesses with West Virginia connections. Some of the functions will require a dedicated person, while others may not.

Period of Performance: Two years, anticipated to be November 1, 2023 – October 31, 2025, but TBD during award negotiations.


CRAN’s Board believes that the following are the key drivers for success:

  • Establish relationships with organizations supporting entrepreneurial ecosystem in West Virginia for purposes of garnering robust pipeline of investment opportunities, collaborating with CRAN and CRAN targets, and influencing entrepreneurial support throughout the state.
  • Engaged, diverse, nationwide network of members, actively investing in CRAN targets.

Requirements & Scope of Operational Support Activities

The types of work needing to be done are outlined below. To aid in how this might be done, CRAN’s Board thinks about this as two types of jobs, one an Executive Director and the other an Administrator. The more responsible position would work directly with the members of the Board and the Executive Board Chair.

The duties, responsibilities and goals are:

Executive Director: Part-time is what CRAN anticipates. Bidder to specify in Approach portion of response.

1. Develop at least 5 partnership programs and strategically work with West Virginia higher education institutions, EDAs, WVJIT and similar angel/venture capital organizations, business incubators, and other entities in the entrepreneurial ecosystem to: (a) increase the number of, and enhance the quality of, pitches presented to CRAN membership; and (b) develop pathways for collaboration among the organizations, the students/entrepreneurs that they serve, and CRAN.

2. Assess and produce a working report regarding the West Virginia entrepreneurial ecosystem, including business needs and common challenges; work with government authorities, educational institutions and others to address needs/challenges; strategically and creatively assess how CRAN investments, expertise and influence can leverage these opportunities. Reporting on these items and progress toward solving challenges will be on-going.

3. Provide professional advice and assistance to entrepreneurs presenting pitches to ensure high quality presentations and targeted investment opportunities.

4. Coordinate regular meetings of the board of directors, at least quarterly.

5. Plan, coordinate and facilitate quarterly member meetings, both virtual and in-person gatherings, with additional meetings as necessary.

6. Assist Board in building and maintaining CRAN membership; meet with potential new members as necessary; facilitate necessary paperwork and dues payments from existing and new CRAN members. With entrepreneurs and CRAN Board and membership, facilitate communication and updates/reporting regarding CRAN investments.

7. Increase the amount of investments made to another $1.5+ million funding available to West Virginia entrepreneurs by: (a) Doubling the number of CRAN’s investor-members to 60 or more; (b) Developing a process for other investment groups similar to WVJIT or other angel investment groups to pool our resources; (c) Developing a network of corporate sponsors who share our vision of making West Virginia a desirable location for entrepreneurs; and, (e) Supporting economic development groups around the state with their entrepreneurship programs.

8. Seek opportunities for grant funding, complete grant applications, and prepare necessary reporting to grantors.
Oversee the development and implementation of CRAN’s marketing and communications programs to build CRAN’s brand; serve as CRAN’s spokesperson for media and other calls.

Part-time is what CRAN anticipates. Bidder to specify in Approach portion of response.

1. Implement marketing plans

a. Attend entrepreneurship conferences and other events throughout the State.
b. Create and attend to social media posts.

2. Solicit and collect dues, investments, and other contributions.

a. Investment activities

i. Form a single purpose entity (with CRAN Legal Counsel)
ii. Obtain signed operating agreement (with CRAN Legal Counsel)
iii. Open and fund bank account
iv. Annual reports (with CRAN Legal Counsel)
v. Annual tax filings (with CRAN CPA)

3. Prepare all bills for payment.
4. Work with accountants on preparation of financial and tax reports.

a. Report on income from dues, donations, grants, and events
b. Report on expenses
c. Entity level tax reporting – submit financials to accountant and file 990

5. Plan and make all arrangements for member and board meetings, whether in person or
6. Oversee the maintenance of CRAN website.
7. Maintain bank accounts for CRAN and investment vehicles.
8. Assist with membership recruiting tasks as needed.

The above scope, reporting relationship and assigned duties will be further developed and finalized once the RFP is awarded.

Guidelines for Responding to this RFP

Responses to this RFP are due by 5:00 p.m., EDT on October 19 and should be submitted electronically to Taylor Simmons. Any questions about this RFP should also be directed. His email is [email protected].

CRAN, at its sole and absolute discretion, with or without cause, and without liability of any kind to any applicant, reserves the right to accept or reject any and/or all proposals either in whole or in part, waive any informalities or irregularities of any proposals, cancel this RFP at any time and/or take any action in the best interest of CRAN. CRAN’s decision on matters shall be final. CRAN reserves the right to contact an applicant if additional information is required. Once the expiration date has passed, no proposal may be amended, unless amendment has been requested by CRAN.

The following information must be included in the proposal to be considered:

Bidder Experience: The offeror must submit an outline of its experience and work history in these services in the past three-five years. (Competency)

Bidder References: The offeror shall have documented proven successful contract(s) from customer(s) that the offeror supports that are similar in scope, complexity, and cost to the requirements of this specification. (Past Performance)

Bidder Approach, Process, Timeline and Project Team: The offeror must include a description of their approach, process and timeline to this engagement as well as the names and relevant biographies of key team members. (Approach)

Cost, Pricing and Structure: The bidder must clearly define the unit costs associated with each service requirement to include any travel costs. (Pricing)