McGuire Entrepreneurship Team Redesigns Desert Angel’s Website
The McGuire Entrepreneurship Center team TruckItNow.com over the last 9 months has worked with one of the nation’s leading investment groups. Under the direction of McGuire Professor and Desert Angel Director Bob Morrison and his leadership team at the Desert Angels, the McGuire team has redesigned the legendary investment group’s website and helped them deploy the investment management system AngelSoft.
The Desert Angels is a non-profit organization of accredited investors who seek opportunities to invest in southwest regional startup or early stage companies. The organization serves as a forum for its over 70 members, who invest individually from their personal funds. Since 2000, Desert Angel members have invested over $5 million in more than 30 presenting companies.
TruckItNow.com is the venture concept created by Eller MBA’s Micky Thompson, Jarret Hamstreet and Colin Wilkinson along with The University of Arizona PhD candidate Cody Nichols as part of their participation in the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program. TruckItNow.com is an online auction website where shippers post available loads for free and truckers compete for those loads.
TruckItNow.com had the right team dynamics to take on such an important project. Micky Thompson, the team’s Chief Executive Officer had the technical experience and access to website designers and developers through his company Think Outsource. Jarret Hamstreet, the team’s Chief Financial Officer, worked for the Desert Angels as an intern since the summer performing the group’s investment due diligence. Colin Wilkinson, the team’s Chief Marketing Officer, is a top designer and director for The University of Arizona internal graphic design firm Studio A. Cody Nichols, the team’s Chief Operating Officer, has experience managing large projects through his military experience and PhD work in education.
The team’s first deliverable was the redesign of the Desert Angels’ official logo (see new logo below). The investment group desired to give their signature saguaro cactus a new look since the original design had been used since the organization’s inception in 2000. Colin began with over eight new logo concepts and a Desert Angel committee agreed to the final logo design early last fall.
While Colin was busy designing the logo, Jarret and Micky worked to better understand AngelSoft, the web-based investment management system they had selected to provide the group deal-flow and portfolio management for their early-stage investments. Late last year, the team along with Bob Morrison was guests of the Arizona Technology Investors Forum, an angel investment group located in Phoenix, Arizona. ATIF demoed for them how their group utilized AngelSoft and integrated the system into their website.
Jarret Hamstreet said in looking back on the project, “Bob Morrison and Base Horner were instrumental in helping us understand how the organization screens entrepreneur applications. This allowed us to deploy AngelSoft and build the new website allowing them to automate this process. Our goal was to make deal flow and investment qualification easier and with their help we were able to accomplish that goal.”
Micky shared in looking back “we as McGuire students and budding entrepreneurs gained first-hand experience in understanding how the Desert Angels and other angel groups make investments. We had a front row seat into their processes and gained as much from them as they did from us. We were excited to give back to an organization that promotes entrepreneurship and is a vital part of the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program.”
On Thursday, February 25th at the group’s monthly dinner meeting, TruckItNow.com unveiled the Desert Angels’ new website (see new design below). The release was planned for the first official meeting under the Desert Angels new chairperson’s direction, Curtis Gunn. Curtis was immediately able to utilize the newly minted events and news pages on the website to communicate more effectively with the group’s members. Next month, the McGuire team will lead a training session for members on their new AngelSoft investment management platform now integrated into their new website.
Jarret closed by saying “it doesn’t hurt to be the team who designed the Desert Angels’ website. When we present to them later as entrepreneurs seeking an investment, we will be more than happy to provide them the opportunity to return the favor!”
Check out the Desert Angels’ new website online at www.desertangels.org.
To learn more about the author of this post, Micky Thompson, please visit https://www.mickythompson.com.