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New World Angels


Rhys Williams' New World Angels invests in companies with a significant Florida presence. [Photo: Scott Wiseman]

Outspoken and savvy, Rhys Williams leads one of Florida's older angel groups, New World Angels. The group, formed in 2003, has made seven investments and has 40 members in south Florida and 10 in the Tampa area.

Members must commit to making at least three deals a year and put a minimum of $10,000 each into a deal for a total of $30,000 invested annually. Williams says New World Angels tend to make one investment a year in a new company and two investments in existing portfolio companies. "We have tried to co-invest with other angel groups and haven't had success yet, but we've come close," he says.

Williams says New World Angels invests only in companies with a significant Florida presence. "We look at whether customers will buy what the company is selling, whether the entrepreneur is capable of getting it to a successful exit and whether it will need more than one round of financing."

The group screens 20 to 40 potential investments a month and selects two companies to make presentations at its monthly meetings. A 12-person investment committee makes the final decision. Currently, New World Angels' portfolio includes BioHeart, a biotechnology company; Myxer, a mobile entertainment system; and Nueva Cocina, a line of quick prep gourmet Latin cuisine products. Williams says ideally investors are seeking 10 to 30 times their investment over two to seven years.