Trident Angels

Project Champion

Under BEF Pillar 'Access to Finance'

Trident Angels Video Presentation

David Simpson

Trident Angels Investor Network

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis using the following annual submission deadlines: March 31, July 31, and November 30th

Applications should be submitted to:

Sign up to receive updates from the Trident Angels here: Updates

Trident Angels Application

Background of the Trident Angels

The Trident Angels is a network of successful business leaders interested in investing their money and experience into ventures that have the potential to grow and create value. The members meet quarterly following several stages of review in order to make their investment decisions. The Angels operate within predetermined guidelines and code of ethics; however deals are negotiated independently by the investors and entrepreneurs on a deal-by-deal basis.

In Barbados, entrepreneurs are hindered by inadequate access to finance and limited business development services. In order to assist in unlocking the island’s entrepreneurial talent, the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation (BEF) identified the establishment of an angel investor network as an immediate priority. While banks are willing to finance ventures where entrepreneurs can demonstrate that they have assets as collateral, significant barriers still exist for new ventures which do not have security acceptable to the traditional banking sector.

In 2014, the BEF engaged a highly qualified consultant to advise on the mechanics of getting the angel network up and running.  The consultant met with potential angels and entrepreneurs to explain how a network functions and the benefits and pitfalls of angel investment. From that event, the Trident Angels Network was formed and is now up and running with over thirty angel investors who are looking to invest in potential high-growth start-ups.Additionally, a Harvard report[1] provides evidence that angel-funded startups have historically been less likely to fail than companies that rely on other forms of initial financing. This is particularly due to the involvement of the investors’ time, experience and networks into the venture. The Automotive Art entrepreneurship competitions over the past two years also revealed that Barbadian entrepreneurs would benefit greatly from the guidance of successful business leaders in order to transform their idea and passion into thriving enterprises, thereby creating employments in the local economy.

What is an Angel Investor Network?

Typically an angel investor network consists of successful entrepreneurs and high net-worth individuals who are interested in investing in startup / early stage ventures which have the potential to create value.  An angel network, in addition to money, provides constant access to high quality mentoring, networks and inputs on strategy as well as execution. The network members, because of their background are able to assess the potential and risks at the early stage and can pick and choose which ventures will benefit most from their capital and advice. Angel investors are different from venture capitalists (VCs) in that VCs invest other people’s money.

Trident Angels Network - Investment Process and Timelines 

The Trident Angels meet quarterly following several stages of review in order to make their funding decisions. The amount of money invested can vary from $10,000 to two million depending on the number of investors interested and the type of business. Some angel investors will invest cash into the business through different rounds of founding pertaining that the company meets certain milestones. The network members are successful business leaders across industries. They operate within predetermined guidelines and ethics but actual deals are negotiated independently by the investors and entrepreneurs on a deal-by-deal basis.

1. Application: Download the templates for the executive summary and pitch deck on the BEF website (see below) and submit your application Materials beyond the limit will not be reviewed or considered.

2. Pre-Screening: The pre-screening eliminates applications that are incomplete, do not meet the minimum requirements, or do not comply with the investment criteria.

3. Screening: Once an application has been accepted for review, the entrepreneur is required to complete two steps: (1) Post his/her information on the investment platform called GUST, which is published privately to all investors in the Trident Angels network. (2) Pitch the business live before the screening committee and investors interested: Ten minutes for the presentation and ten minutes for Q&A. In general, about 10 to 30 percent of all entrepreneurs who apply reach this stage. Those who present will receive constructive feedback on the spot to improve their chances of success.

4. Investment Review Meeting: The entrepreneurs who inspired trust and maintained interests at this point are invited for a one-hour discussion about the investment opportunity. A detailed Q&A session follows the 15-min presentation from the founder. The investors will discuss key issues about the company and clarify the parameters in the term sheet: How much money do you need from investors in exchange of what % of the company equity? What return will you provide to investors to compensate the risks they are taking by putting their money into your hands, and for the support they will give you going forward? Such investment meetings must clarify expectations on both sides before the due diligence process begins. Although the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation may provide some resources to educate parties about the elements in a standard term sheet, it will not provide any advice. The negotiation is strictly between entrepreneurs and investors.
Due Diligence: Those investors interested in taking the proposal forward at this point will conduct a thorough check on you and your business. The objective is to validate the business plan, including the management team, market opportunity and amount of funding required, and to review the term sheet as necessary.

5. Investment agreement: If one or more investors choose to invest in your company, they will prepare the legal document detailing the investment parameters and the relationship between the company and investors. The agreement includes a definition section to ensure that parties fully understand the terms in the agreement. Negotiations will continue until both sides are content to begin a successful partnership that will drive some results in the long term.

6. Post-investment monitoring and support: The investors will have agreed on a reporting template, timeline, board participation and availability of other resources the entrepreneur can use such as networks, expertise, etc. Most successful entrepreneurs who began their journey with angel investors recognize the support obtained from these experienced business leaders is just as valuable as the cash investment.
Exit: This is the moment when investors get their money back which can take 5 to 10 years. The most common exit is by way of a “trade sale”, the sale of the company to another, larger company. A very small percentage of angel investments reach their exit through IPOs (Initial Public Offering on the stock market). In small market economies where typical exits are more challenging, innovative instruments are increasingly used to provide adequate returns to investors.

7. Exit: This is the moment when investors get their money back which can take 5 to 10 years. The most common exit is by way of a “trade sale”, the sale of the company to another, larger company. A very small percentage of angel investments reach their exit through IPOs (Initial Public Offering on the stock market). In small market economies where typical exits are more challenging, innovative instruments are increasingly used to provide adequate returns to investors.

Investment Criteria for the Trident Angels: Looking for the right entrepreneurial profile

The most promising entrepreneurs have the passion and commitment necessary to succeed. These characteristics are essential but insufficient. Entrepreneurs must also develop the managerial rigor required to plan, implement and monitor their strategy and operations effectively. To help them learn by doing without failing, angel investors will share their experience and networks, but will require their approval for the use of funds (and subsequent rounds of funding). Such requirements will be described in the Term Sheet and Investment Agreement through equity ownership, convertible debts, warrants, appointment of a director to the company board, etc. To be considered, entrepreneurs must recognize angel investors as business partners rather than as creditors, and meet the following criteria:

1. The entrepreneur demonstrates strong integrity and a clear desire to learn which translates into a willingness to give up some amount of ownership and control of the company.

2. The product/service is developed or near completion.

3. There are existing customers or potential customers who can confirm they will buy from you.

4. The entrepreneur has “skin in the game” – s/he invested their own dollars and exhausted other alternatives, including friends and family.

5. The company is likely to realize significant revenues and earnings in the next 5-7 years, and produce a return for investors.

6. The business is likely to grow rapidly and create employment – as opposed to self-employment.

7. The business is registered in the Caribbean, preferably in Barbados.

Confidentiality: Will angels sign non-disclosure agreements?

Most if not all angel organizations do not sign non-disclosure agreements. Angel groups see too many deals, often in a similar space. When submitting executive summaries or business plans, the entrepreneur must explain the business opportunity without disclosing any confidential issues. It is the entrepreneur’s responsibility to get his/her intellectual property patented where appropriate. However, the Trident Angels subscribe to a code of conduct which refrain them from taking improper advantage of their position as an actual or prospective investor. Remember that angel investors are most interested in the business behind the technology or idea you bring forward – they don’t invest in inventions, products or services but rather in the business model and management team that will execute relentlessly to grow the company. If your company makes it through to final due diligence, the angels may sign non-disclosure agreements at that time if necessary.

Information Sources

The Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation and many of its partners provide information on their website to educate entrepreneurs. Some provide training and opportunities to develop your network so visit this site often to take advantage of the resources available. You can also find other information about angel investing by visiting global websites such as the ones below:

Angel Capital Association – ACA is the professional alliance of angel groups in North America and has 12,000 accredited angel investors as members.
Angel Resource Institute – ACA’s sister organization has helpful information about angel investing for entrepreneurs.
Kauffman Foundation – This site includes valuable information for entrepreneurs interested in growth, including a collection of articles, tools, and templates on pitching angels. The site includes a special section on valuation of pre-revenue companies. – Articles about all stages of the business.
Angel Investor News – This site includes background on angel investing and has an entire section on preparing business plans and presentations.
Inc. Magazine – Contains articles and practical advice for entrepreneurs interested in obtaining angel funding.
National Association of Investment Companies – This association of venture capital firms that invest in minority owned firms offers special insights.
Red Herring Weekly magazine dedicated to the business of funding, building, and taking new technologies to market.
Small Business Administration – A good introduction to starting a business and writing your business plan.
Technology Review – Bimonthly magazine owned by MIT and focused on new technology and how it gets commercialized.

For more information please see:

For a Trident Angels Application click here

Prospective investors interested in joining the network can contact to learn about the requirements for membership.

Good luck and we look forward to seeing your projects!