History 3

Exceed Network, formerly The Angel Fund, has a successful history of advising businesses and evolving to stay current with the changing times.


FOUNDING

A Need Arises

The Angel Fund was formed to fill a gap in the Sephardic Jewish Community in the Flatbush area of Brooklyn, NY. In 2002, organizations existed to meet people’s social service needs, but none existed to support the businesses of this entrepreneurial community. At the time, the option for a struggling businessman would be to approach immediate and extended family members for financial support. However, they often felt that they were “throwing good money after bad”. Finally, ten people gathered around a kitchen table and decided that there could be a better way.

Guiding Principles

The Angel Fund was formed as a means of providing businesses with the advice they needed to succeed, guided by the principle of “teaching a man to fish,” rather then handing him a “fish”. Angel Fund provided loans to help both new and floundering businesses to flourish, but more importantly, Angel Fund ensured that those funds were accompanied by solid guidance.

A Team of Support Approach

From the start, every client was paired with a guidance team, referred to as “Angels” which included an industry expert as well as a general businessman. These volunteers give their time and energy willingly, often to those in very similar businesses as their way of giving back. As the organization grew, so did the pool of volunteers willing to share their expertise.


GROWTH

As the community’s needs grew, Angel Fund responded with new services and initiatives.

SBA Micro-Lender

As part of Angel Fund’s expansion, the organization became certified as a Small Business Administration micro-lender, offering loans of up to $50,000 to qualified businesses.

Angel News

The organization launched The Angel News a print magazine full of useful articles with advice, current trends, profiles of successful businesses, and relevant information to inspire people to enhance their businesses. The quality of the newspaper’s content made it one of the most anticipated community magazines.

Community Partnerships

To meet the needs of the growing businesses, Angel Fund started producing events and programs and partnering with other organizations. The Kingsborough Community College Kitchen Incubator program provided a community kitchen that helped culinary entrepreneurs. This program highlighted the growing need of the community’s female entrepreneurs, and was the impetus for the launch of Ladies Angel Network, geared with specific approaches for young women juggling family and business. Today the network reaches women throughout the tri-state area and is tremendously popular.

Seminars

Seminars and large scale meetings provide new formats for interaction and exchange of business ideas. In Think Tanks participants are individually paired with volunteers from a spectrum of different industries and encouraged to discuss new ideas.Top speakers such as Steve Roth from Vornado Realty, Rick Darling, president of LF USA, and Neil Cole, CEO and president of Iconix Brand Group were huge hits, drawing hundreds of participants.

Empowering Young Entrepreneurs

To encourage the young men and women with new and fresh ideas, Angel Fund created the Ultimate Entrepreneur Program and Young Professional Network. These business-coaching programs attracted a select group of highly motivated, hard-working, young entrepreneurs.

Technology Programs

Another Angel Fund program, Tech Stars Live, showcased the professional development of five up-and-coming entrepreneurs in the technology industry.

Small Businesses

Business Track: Steps to Success was another fabulous program offered in 2012. In a series of workshops, small business owners learned about increasing sales, understanding markets, negotiating, finance, and marketing.


TODAY

As the community’s needs change and businesses flourish in technology, e-commerce, and other sectors, our services continue to evolve to meet these needs. As of 2013, we are Exceed Network and this name change brings a renewed commitment to helping a new generation of business owners to succeed as they pioneer new models of business.