The Central Arkansas Angel Network (CAAN) has named a new executive director as the organization forms a partnership with a local entrepreneurial support organization.
CAAN is partnering with Conway-based Conductor, and Conductor’s director of operations, Grace Rains, has been named the executive director for CAAN. In her new role, Rains will oversee new member recruitment, deal vetting and due diligence for projects.
“The CAAN is mission critical to our organization as not only a source of capital for growing Arkansas companies, but also as an initiative to encourage and develop investment in Arkansas,” Rains said in a statement. “I look forward to collaborating with the CAAN board, current investors & entrepreneurs, as well as new angel investors as we grow the network”.
Rains is set to continue her role as Conductor’s director of operations. She is succeeding Jeff Stinson, who will remain a member of the network, as CAAN’s director.
CAAN officially launched in January 2020 and is aimed at educating individuals in investment decisions and increasing economic development in the state by through investor aggregation. A board, composed of Jeff Amerine, Dr. James Hendren, Bryan Hosto, Alese Stroud and Gary Jones, leads the network.
In the immediate future, the network will be working to increase its numbers and its investment opportunities. Rains told Arkansas Money & Politics that she will be working to “nurture this new partnership” while growing the investor base and managing multiple deals that are in the works.
“We’ll be working to nurture this new partnership, as well as grow the network and develop relationships and partnership across the state. Of course, we also want to ensure a proper deal flow for the network, while also growing the number of interested and engaged angel investors to increase the capital investment in the state,” she said. “I believe there is a great potential for us to continue to grow the network. We have a great group of investors currently as well as some high potential deals in the pipeline, so promoting those two aspects of the network will be central to our growth.
We know that there are four pillars to building entrepreneurial ecosystems – talent, capital, community, and culture. Ensuring there is adequate capital investment opportunity in the state is pivotal to creating a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, but also pivotal in the economic growth and development of our state by providing investment opportunities and retaining growing companies and their returns.”