Jerry Creighton, Sr.
NJIT Highlanders Angel Network
Enterprise Development Center
NJ Tech Weekly did a nice summary of Jerry's Angel activities with the Highlanders:
Jerry Creighton Sr., whom many entrepreneurs know as the executive director of the NJIT Enterprise Development Center, represented the NJIT Highlanders Angel Network (Newark). The Highlanders were established as a way to extend the entrepreneurial nature of the university, he said. At the NJIT-EDC, “we learned that a lot of companies need help at all different stages, so we help them come through to the process of commercialization.” But after that, they needed funding, and “so we started the angel network.”
Highlanders syndicates with other angel groups. “The last deal we closed, we closed with three other angel networks that are in this room today,” said Creighton. Highlanders invests in companies that have IT and software, and “we are doing some life science investing,” he said. “What we do uniquely with life science is, if we see a company that isn’t quite ready for funding yet, but they have applied, we will bring in resources. ... So, for example, if you are a life science company and you need someone to help you with your product development, proof of clinic [trial] process, we will bring in people to help you along. We don’t just desert somebody because they are not quite ready yet.”
The angel network also matches the companies they support with talent such as coaches or CTOs. Creighton said that the Highlanders Angel Network doesn’t restrict itself to NJIT-EDC companies. “They can be from all over,” he told the group.
Advice: The most important thing when seeking funding from angel networks is to get ready, and actually be ready. Get the business model correct. The business model is the key, and the business model drives the business plan. “We teach coaching of the Business Model Canvas,” Creighton said. “The other thing I want to see is that the financial plan syncs with the business plan. So many times it doesn’t, and you don’t have enough money in the business plan to pay us if, in fact, we were to exit.” Creighton added that “when you go in to see an investor, have a term sheet ready. Know what you are looking for.” He also said that investors should have their due diligence books ready.
Source: NJ Tech Weekly