With CRAN, entrepreneurs have access to supportive investors they can look to for guidance. CRAN’s investor-members donate significant time to mentoring, both before and after a venture is ready for funding. Mentoring activities include fine tuning their business model; advising on capital stacking and ideal capital structure; assisting with marketing strategies; and performing business plan reviews. In some instances, CRAN members become advisors to the companies so they receive continued guidance. Finally, CRAN members frequently leverage their own networks to provide the entrepreneurs with key introductions to potential customers, vendors, and other strategic partners.
CRAN’s efforts have resulted in direct investments totaling $1,089,250 in five different Mountain State companies: Iconic Air (an aggregator of environmental data); Parthian Battery Solutions LLC (battery storage for home solar power); Endolumik, Inc. (developed first approved medical device under the FDA’s STEP (Safer) program); Cox Telecom (builder of cell towers); and Mountain Steer Meat Company (markets local beef to premium markets).
This $1+ million seed money was ultimately leveraged by the companies into another nearly $8 million in additional capital. The businesses are performing well and bringing real benefits to West Virginia. Some have extraordinary potential!
CRAN’s pipeline of new businesses continues with pending ventures that are expected to close in the next few months involving monitoring of laboratory animals, an app to improve the quality of medical care and a documentary film about modern-day West Virginia pioneers. The creativity, drive and work quality of all of these entrepreneurs inspires those of us and CRAN every day and what they are doing should serve as a source of pride for the whole state.