September 2013 ALAP Meeting Recap

The ALAP investing crew re-convened after a few summer months off to recharge our batteries.  After some great food and social time, we rolled up our sleeves to discuss how we might approach our third year of connecting local business owners with local investors and educating each other about creative ways to keep more of our investing dollars in the region.  Take-aways from our session include the following:

1)  We agreed that in order to build our attendance and pipeline of businesses with projects to fund, we will need to work more explicitly on club and speaker pipeline development.  Bruce will start some press releases that we can get out to local media including TC Biz News/TC Ticker, radio, etc to get the word out.  We will also revisit the possibility of a FaceBook presence.

2)  We discussed how we might improve the overall level of presentations.  One point of consensus was to re-look at our speaker apps and make sure that we communicate the “essential five” questions that we would like every presenter to address during their time with us.  We also generally agreed that we prefer to reduce/eliminate power-points in order to save set-up/take-down time and improve presentation quality.

3)  We decided on scheduling/format for the months ahead.  We will still meet on the second Thursday each month @ 6pm, but we will aim to be finished by 8pm.  In October, January, March, and May, our meetings will focus on internal club business/development, sharing/open discussion of early-stage entrepreneurial ideas/local investing ideas, and discussion with invited leaders/members of synergistic groups in the area like Bay Bucks, ISLAND, MLUI, Northwest Michigan Council of Governments, Northern Initiatives, Opportunity Resource Fund, etc.  For the November, February, and May meetings we will strive to have at least two local businesses with funding needs make presentations to the group.

4) We also briefly discussed the idea of forming an LLC to make pooled investments, an idea we first looked into last fall.  We decided that those with an interest in pursuing that would likely move forward to develop the structure and terms in the months ahead as a sub-group.

Our next potluck meeting is slated for 6pm, Thursday, October 10.  Our initial items of business include discussion of development updates,  changes to our speaker apps,  and review/selection of November speakers.  We will also aim to have plenty of time for free-form discussion of early-stage business/investing ideas.   We welcome all newcomers and encourage folks with local, sustainable businesses in need of funding to be in touch (