Monday, October 26, 2009

Kevin Castello of the Baylor Angel Network Talks about Starting an Angel Group

Where are you from originally?

I have lived in Texas most of my life and in the Austin area since 1984.

What university did you go to?

My bachelor’s is from Austin Graduate School of Theology and I complete my MBA at Baylor in December.

What brought you to Austin?

I moved here with my parents in high school.

What is the idea behind your group?

Baylor Angel Network (BAN) is a university sponsored organization that provides the vehicle for Baylor Angels to be exposed to deal flow opportunities. BAN provides a synergistic link between successful alumni and current students who serve as interns. The internship program allows students to see business plans, screening processes, entrepreneurial presentations, due diligence, and fundings. In addition to the education value, each BAN member contributes a portion of their returns to the Hankamer School of Business.

What need does it fulfill?

BAN provides a mentoring relationship for students with successful alumni in the private equity investment arena. It also provides a process vehicle for a number of angels to evaluate projects together and then make individual investing decisions. This aggregation of experience and differing industry expertise allows the angels to better vet each opportunity and evaluate potential risk. BAN also provides a great potential funding source for entrepreneurs in an entrepreneur friendly setting.

What exactly does BAN do?

BAN connects entrepreneurs with angels while mentoring students.

Who is it for?

BAN serves the angels, entrepreneurs, students, and Baylor University Hankamer School of Business.

What was the most challenging aspect of starting up a group?
Understanding the paradox between simple and complex is the greatest challenge. The idea, business plan, and strategy need to be easy to understand while the information necessary to communicate, value, and fund the opportunity can be quite complex.

What is the next step for you and your group?

BAN is currently doing due diligence on two deals for potential funding this fall. We are also beginning the early review stages for deals that will be looked at in the spring of 2010.

What advice do you have for entrepreneurs?

BAN is an entrepreneurial friendly environment in which to get your plan reviewed. If you have a great plan then contact us to start the process.

What Austin-based resource have you found to be the most helpful and why?

We have a great working relationship with the Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN) and are currently working on a syndication deal with them.

Best regards,
Hall T.