Passing the torch

Tony Shipley had experienced a distinguished career, and in 2000, he sold
the software company he started nearly two decades earlier. He was now
faced with the question, “What now?”

In the summer of that year, he discovered that Cincinnati and the surrounding
region had a funding gap in the local
equity capital market. The area certainly
had its share of traditional capital
sources like banks and single investors,
but venture capital companies had been
successful and raised their minimum
investment in any given company to $2
million or more. The companies that
needed more than a few hundred thousand dollars but
less than a couple
of million faced
funding challenges.

To address this
problem, Shipley
worked with a few
other investors to
create an angel fund
to address these in-between groups. Over
the next few months, the group added
more members and created more structure, and in early 2001, the group adopted
the name Queen City Angels. Within the
first year, the group had grown to three
times its original size and had pledges to
invest several million dollars in early-stage

In 2003, Shipley also worked to create
a special fund to make small investments in young technology companies
that are too early in the process to
attract most investors.

Since its inception, Queen City Angels
has invested in more than 22 companies,
and now Cincinnati has a full spectrum
of funding sources for companies.

HOW TO REACH: Queen City Angels, (513) 936-9004 or