Stetson investment group takes high-tech plunge

VerdeGo Aero, a Daytona Beach-based aerospace technology leader in hybrid-electric propulsion technologies, recently completed its Series A investment funding round. Among several investors was the Hatter Angel Network (HAN), an alumni-based investment group affiliated with Stetson University, according to a university media release.

“VerdeGo Aero is excited about the broad strategic and financial support this Series A round creates for accelerating commercialization of our hybrid-electric technologies. We look forward to expanding our world-class Daytona Beach, Florida-based team of aerospace technology and business leaders,” said Eric Bartsch, CEO of VerdeGo Aero, in the release.

In April, several teams of Stetson University entrepreneur students — part of a class that was established during Stetson’s Spring 2021 semester– pitched investment opportunities in startup companies they had vetted. In the class, the students research actual companies to present to the Hatter Angels Network, which is comprised of Stetson alumni who are accredited investors. Stetson entrepreneur students connected with VerdeGo through their participation in the Florida Venture Forum in February.

“The most important part of growing a new company is hiring top talent,” Bartsch said. “Since Central Florida is rich in top-tier universities, naturally, we look to these schools to bolster our staff through internships and, in some cases, new hires. As a Florida-based company, we’re motivated to seek local students to fill both intern and full-time positions in engineering, finance and marketing at VerdeGo. Stetson’s proximity to VerdeGo, coupled with their outstanding business school, provides us with a pool of candidates for future roles.”

The Hatter Angel Network was conceived in 2019 and now boasts more than 15 members, all Stetson alumni who are accredited investors. The group serves as a financial backing to leverage the recommendations of the Stetson entrepreneurial students and provide real-world experience with actual investments in emerging companies.

“The Hatter Angel Network offers one more opportunity to Stetson students to go beyond studying a discipline to practicing it,” said Yiorgos Bakamitsos, interim dean of Stetson’s School of Business Administration, in the release. “The ability to apply the skills they learn in the classroom while solving real business problems and making impactful decisions augments their training and prepares them for successful careers upon graduation.”