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Local investor group has invested $2.4M to help startups

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Since its founding seven years ago by several successful local entrepreneurs, the Lehigh Valley Angel Investors has given $2.4 million to help give promising startups a chance.

The investment group has grown to include 52 members who meet monthly at the TechVentures building at Lehigh University’s Mountaintop campus to hear presentations from applicants seeking funding for their startups.

The Lehigh Valley Angel Investors are an affiliate of the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania, which operates the TechVentures facility and provides space for tech-based companies in early stage development.

Stuart Schooley, president of the Lehigh Valley Angel Investors, said its members share a “pay it forward” philosophy.

“All of us are entrepreneurs and we all built our companies from the ground up,” said Schooley, founder and co-owner of Dutch Springs in Bethlehem Township. “We are always looking for new members. 2017 has been a very rewarding year for attracting new members, and we hope to continue that trend during 2018.”

Members must be accredited investors as defined by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, have at least $1 million in net worth, excluding the value of their homes, or $200,000 in annual earnings for the last two years for an individual and $300,000 for a couple.

The minimum investment on a deal is $5,000 from an individual member, although total investments generally start at $50,000.

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