Entrepreneurs and angels look to speed date in Ponte Vedra - Jacksonville Business Journal

More than 40 local and regional angel investors are scheduled to attend.

According to Raquel Steffens, vice president of the Jax Community of Entrepreneurs, "Our goal for the Angel Summit was to create a platform where startups in Northeast Florida could connect with the most active and sophisticated angels and angel group leaders in the region. As founders of startups, the members of JaxCoE understand the challenges facing innovators and we want to help bring awareness to their ideas."

The Jax Community of Entrepreneurs, which is sponsoring the event, was created last year as a grassroots group to continue the momentum created by One Spark, Startup Jax and other events and groups in Jacksonville's growing entrepreneurial ecoystem.

"One Spark does a very good job of bringing this community together, but we want to provide kind of a scaffolding — a support and structure — so these companies can continue to flourish in Jacksonville instead of having to look to other cities for funding and other resources," Steffens said. "Orlando, Tampa, Gainesville — all these cities are a lot farther ahead than we are and we want Jacksonville to get to that point."

The lineup for the group's kickoff summit includes a forum for selected creators to pitch directly to an audience of investors, as well as a panel of experts who will speak about angel investing in Florida.

Co-sponsors of the event include the Florida Angel Nexus, Jax Bridges (the entrepreneurial arm of the Jax Chamber of Commerce), Ignite, Red House Advertising and Marketing, Profile Gorilla and Savvy Founder.

With as many as nine of 10 startups not making it past the idea stage, Kate Stewart, president of JaxCoE, said, "The goal of JaxCoE is to strengthen the networks between all elements of the ecosystem to give our local startups the best chance of success."

If the summit goes as well as organizers hope, the group plans to hold more regular events, perhaps twice a year or more.