dan glunt milt douglass
PHOTOS COURTESY ROBBIE HARPER HATTER ANGELS NETWORK CO-FOUNDERS — Milt Douglass, left, and Dan Glunt co-founded the group of angel investors made up of Stetson University alumni. Douglass earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stetson in 1982 and 1983, respectively. He’s now a Stetson adjunct professor. Glunt graduated from Stetson in 1993.

In April, several teams of Stetson University entrepreneur students pitched investment opportunities in startup companies they had vetted to a group of angel investors made up of Stetson alumni. As a result, the Hatter Angels Network invested in two Florida companies: VerdeGo Aero in Daytona Beach (for $265,000) and Xendoo in Fort Lauderdale (for $135,000).

Formal check presentations were made June 17 in both cities.

The entrepreneur students are part of a class that was established during Stetson’s spring 2021 semester and is taught by Lou Paris, assistant professor of practice and management and assistant director of Stetson’s Joseph C. Prince Entrepreneurship Program. In the class, the students research actual companies to present to the Hatter Angels Network, which is composed of Stetson alumni who are accredited investors.

The network was co-founded by alumni/angel investors Dan Glunt and Milt Douglass. Douglass earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stetson in 1982 and 1983, respectively. He’s now a Stetson adjunct professor. Glunt graduated from Stetson in 1993.

TEACHING HOW TO INVEST IN PRIVATE COMPANIES — Lou Paris is assistant professor of practice and management and assistant director of Stetson University’s Joseph C. Prince Entrepreneurship Program. He teaches entrepreneur students how to research startup companies and pitch investment opportunities based on their research.

While the student-run initiative is still in its infancy, the class is quickly becoming one of the most popular taught at Stetson. The spring 2022 class consisted of 15 students, who reviewed 30 companies and made five investment recommendations under the supervision of Paris, Douglass and Glunt.

In 2019, Douglass and Glunt first explored the idea of a new signature program focused on investing in private companies. They stumbled on a 2007 white paper written by Stetson associate professors William Andrews and John Tichenor. The idea was analogous to Stetson’s acclaimed Roland George Investments Program, which focuses solely on public companies.

“Dan and I spent a couple of years on the School of Business Administration Advisory Board,” explained Douglass. “The school was searching for new signature programs to draw students, such as Roland George and the Centurion Sales Program. Since Dan and I are active investors, we thought, ‘Hey, why not teach the students how to conduct due diligence for us, expose them to startups, and give them an experiential learning opportunity by meeting with the CEOs and possibly board seats.’ After a few conference calls to broach the idea with the School of Business Administration, Professor Paris ran with it. This program is shaping into the vision Dan and I originally had back in 2019.”

“Working with the students and watching their development is the most rewarding part,” commented Glunt. “We completed our third semester and have had three students take the class a second time. We even have one taking it again this fall. I don’t think that has ever happened in Stetson’s history. It is a testament to the level of student engagement — they are excited to learn!”

VerdeGo Aero is a leader in hybrid-electric propulsion technologies for the next generation of aircraft. Founded in 2017, the company enables its customers to develop electric aircraft that meet demanding mission requirements while also complying with high regulatory and safety standards required for commercial or military flight operations.

Xendoo, a cloud-based fintech company, provides small-to-medium-sized business owners with a wide variety of accounting tools and resources delivery via proprietary technology and speedy service — all with the goal of delivering real-time data and speedy financial transparency to business owners.

Founded in 1883, Stetson University is the oldest private university in Central Florida. Stetson ranks in the top five on U.S. News & World Report’s list of Best Regional Universities (South) and is consistently recognized as one of The Princeton Review’s Best Colleges.

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