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Cowboy Technology Angels Seek Investors for Oklahoma State Technologies

04/06/2012 — Steven Wood, Cowboy Technology Angels

Cowboy Technology Angels, a member-led investment fund, is looking for Oklahoma State University enthusiasts and friends to invest in the technologies developed at OSU. CTA is an independent fund separate from OSU, its Alumni Association, Foundation and Cowboy Technologies LLC. CTA allows its member investors to have the first look at technologies developed at OSU and to invest in those technologies to help them reach the commercialization phase. Investors self-determine levels of investment and specific investment decisions.

Cowboy Technologies, LLC CEO Steven Wood said the Cowboy angels fund was developed as a result of several inquiries from interested alums and supporters wanting to invest in research developed at the university.

“We recognized from our OSU technology commercialization efforts that OSU-centric investors, especially alums, wanted and needed a vehicle to participate in their alma mater’s efforts,” Wood said. “A unique leading edge model was developed whereby Cowboy Technology, serving as an embryonic first investor in OSU tech, could have a sister fund that could benefit from participation and engage the wider OSU family.”

From this concept, Cowboy Technology Angels was formed. CTA will be comprised of OSU alumni and supporters who pool their funds together to create a single fund. This single fund will be made available to provide equity capital to new businesses that emerge from the research done at the university. The fund will enable the technologies to receive early stage capital alongside other early seed stage investors. The objective is to provide critical early stage capital, while seeking return on investment to CTA’s angel group.

These accredited investors are broken up into two categories. Investor can be in the orange investor group or the power investor group. An “Orange” member is a member who contributes at least $100,000 to the fund, and “Power” member is one who contributes at least $10,000 to the fund. The members of CTA are managed by its members, and the members elect their own officers. The initial goal for the CTA fund is between $3 million and $5 million.

Jim Troxel, an OSU alumni member and team leader at Development Capital Networks, said CTA is a way for OSU alumni and supporters to give back to the university and invest in its future using a unique and new angel investment model.

“If we are successful, the CTA fund will put OSU on the map across the country for developing an innovative way to provide investment and financial support to the university,” Troxel said. “Cowboy Technology Angels is not replacing donations from alumni to the university, but it offers another way to give back that might give a return on their own investment to themselves as well.”

Troxel’s company, DCN, and Cowboy Technologies, LLC are merely playing the role of facilitator in the process until CTA is fully established and funding is met. DCN will provide connections to technology and capital. They also will tend to CTA administrative procedures.

“We will help them get it launched,” Troxel said. “Then we will be facilitators in the member investment practice. We will provide orientation and training into the various disciplines of business investing. We will guide the investors in the investment process, but we will not tell them where to invest. We are not investment advisers. We will just show them how to make the decisions where to invest and enable them to do so.”

For more information about Cowboy Technology Angels and how to become an accredited investor visit www.cowboytechnologyangels.com.