Grand Rapids, Mich.– Two Michigan angel groups have co-invested in
fixed WiMAX owner/operator AzulStar, which teams with leading companies,
governmental agencies and private investors to offer very-high bandwidth
wireless data, voice and video services. West Michigan angel investing
group Grand Angels and Midland-based Blue Water Angels, along with two
individual investors, provided the funds, which will be used to help the
company expand their high bandwidth wireless broadband services to
Lansing, Kalamazoo, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.
“We’re excited about AzulStar because you ‘invest in the jockey’, and we
really like Tyler (van Houwelingen, CEO of AzulStar),” said Jody
Vanderwel, President of Grand Angels. “His passion, work ethic and
vision are evident, and he knows the broadband space inside and out. And
a few of our members were already investors in AzulStar, so we had the
opportunity to watch the company for quite a while.”
The AzulStar investment marks the nineteenth deal Grand Angels has
completed and its thirteenth active portfolio company. Grand Angels has
invested over $980,000 in growing companies this year alone, with a
total $7.3 million invested since the group’s inception in 2004.
AzulStar leverages a combination of licensed WiMAX and unlicensed Wi-Fi
technologies to deliver very high bandwidth wireless broadband services.
AzulStar’s new licensed spectrum 4G mobile WiMAX (802.16) networks
deliver speeds up to 6Mbps for residential and 100Mbps Symmetric for
business customers, with uptimes over 99.99%.
“Collaborating with the Grand Angels has increased our deal flow and
brought complementary perspectives to our business practices, allowing
us to multiply our resources and advance the company strategy quickly,”
said Joe Asiala, Founding Member of the BlueWater Angels. “Both Grand
Angels and Blue Water Angels are highly respected groups, and the energy
they have created by investing in AzulStar has brought investors off the
sidelines. It’s been a great partnership so far.”
AzulStar Inc., based in Grand Haven, Mich., is a leader in municipal
wireless broadband and intelligent transportation. AzulStar offers
attractively priced, very high bandwidth WiMAX broadband Internet and
voice services to residential, business and governmental customers.
Since its founding in 2008, AzulStar has pioneered the market for
municipal wireless, won awards for its innovation and become a leader in
About Grand Angels
Grand Angels is committed to using its financial, intellectual, and
networking capital to foster the success of emerging companies and to
enhance the economic development of West Michigan. Grand Angels makes
investments that have a positive effect on our region through business
growth, job creation, and the attraction and retention of local talent.
In addition to investing in primarily early stage companies, Grand
Angels continues to be very active in its effort to create a climate for
the success of entrepreneurs in West Michigan. Many of its members have
served on panels, judged pitch competitions, and mentored entrepreneurs
through Momentum, the Hope Entrepreneurship Initiative, and the Grand
Valley State University Seidman College of Business Center for
Entrepreneurship & Innovation. www.grandangels.org
About Blue Water Angels
BlueWater Angels, LLC, is an angel investment group with a significant
amount of capital available to invest in promising companies on an
annual basis. Their governing board and officers include representation
from multiple Michigan counties. Membership is based on application, and
includes a select group of high net worth individuals and organizations
interested in investing capital in promising companies with the
expectation of receiving a substantial return on their investment(s).
New members must be sponsored by an existing BWA member.