IMAF Sandhills is a member-owned and member-managed limited liability company, organized to provide members an opportunity for active involvement in a diversified capital investment process.

The Fund seeks to involve a base of successful accredited investors from a variety of fields throughout the Sandhills Region of North Carolina in a committed seed fund. The fund will seek to enhance the wealth creation of its members by investing dollars as well as time and relationships in early stage, high quality, and high growth companies primarily in the greater Wilmington, NC area and southeastern region of North Carolina.


IMAF Sandhills, LLC is a member-owned and member-managed limited liability company, organized to provide members an opportunity for active involvement in a diversified capital investment process.




The Fund seeks to involve primarily a base of successful investors from a wide variety of fields throughout the Sandhills Region in a seed fund. The fund will seek to enhance the wealth creation of its members by investing dollars as well as time and relationships in early stage, high quality, and high growth biotechnology, medical device and life science companies in the Sandhills Region and other geographic areas if appropriate in order that those companies achieve success.


IMAF-Sandhills, LLC’s strength lies in its members—a group of highly successful men and women, from a variety of disciplines within the Sandhills Region of North Carolina. Members should have some experience in selecting investments and/or in being able to assist in the growth of IMAF-Sandhills, LLC’s portfolio companies.

All members must be “accredited investors,” as defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Fund administrator

Steve Phelan (


All members are encouraged to actively participate in the investment process, attending screening and monthly member presentations, making personal add-on investments as individually desired, and responding to Fund Executive requests for special expertise or input as he and members conduct due diligence on prospects and assist IMAF-Sandhills, LLC’s portfolio companies. It is understood that availability to participate may vary by member over the life of the fund and that some members will be more active than others.


It is anticipated that “advisors” with venture capital experience will be selected to assist with information regarding trends and opportunities in their industry. This knowledge is valuable since venture funds are candidates to provide follow-on capital in the investment continuum.


IMAF-Sandhills, LLC invests in emerging, high growth companies with highly scalable business models primarily but not exclusively in the life science, bioscience, medical device, diagnostics, therapeutics and technology areas, preferably (but not exclusively) located in, or near, the Sandhills region of North Carolina. These companies generally are seeking their earliest round of financing. They will typically be at the start-up stage or one step beyond start-up, will be in the process of selecting a management team, and will already have founder and/or “friends and family” money invested in the company.

Typical investments are between $50,000 and $100,000 per company with a company board seat, or observer rights, being allocated to IMAF-Sandhills, LLC. (Investments exceeding $100K are syndicated with the IMAF Family of Funds).

IMAF Sandhills typically initiates and then co-invests with other venture capital funds, angel groups, or Super Angels (high net worth individuals who contribute large amounts to a company).

It is anticipated that the fund will invest in up to 12 portfolio companies, depending upon the total amount of capital committed. And that no more than 10% of the fund size will be invested in any one company.

Companies that receive investments from IMAF-Sandhills, LLC possess an experienced, dedicated & motivated management & advisory team, with a sound business concept coupled with leading edge technology or a unique product design, and the opportunity to become a market leader.


The basic process for determining which companies IMAF-Sandhills, LLC should invest in is flexible. With input from similar funds, IMAF-Sandhills, LLC members will periodically review this process. In general, the process includes the receipt, logging, and screening of business plans with company presentations to the Administration Committee. The Administration Committee will evaluate the company through the due diligence process and make a recommendation to the membership at a General Member meeting. The general membership will vote as to whether or not to accept the Administration Committee recommendation regarding investment in a presenting company. A more detailed description of the evolving investment decision process is available.


The IMAF-Sandhills LLC Administrative Committee will have 4-6 members, elected to rotating terms by the members. It will provide the overall direction and administration of the Fund. Screening meetings will be open to all members and their active participation is encouraged. Administration Committee responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Networking to find new opportunities,
  • Defining and managing the process of identifying new opportunities and conducting Due Diligence,
  • Networking with other angel funds and venture funds to develop deals together and to obtain follow-on funding for IMAF-Sandhills, LLC companies,
  • Meeting as required to screen new companies, analyze the results of due diligence, guide investment decisions options for members, and help formulate term sheets for those investments.
  • Attending and presenting at monthly meetings to
    • Present companies so that the entire membership can make decisions regarding fund investments and determine individual add-on investments opportunities,
    • and update membership on general portfolio issues.
  • Monitoring and managing the Due Diligence processes.


Cornerstone Advisory Partners, Inc., is the fund administrator for IMAF-Sandhills, LLC.  Administrator fees, based on committed funds and add-on investments, contracted annually, go towards the above administrative infrastructure/fund executive services.  Carried interests on excess distributions from fund and add-on investments are provided for the above referenced administrative infrastructure/fund executive services


Add-on investments are opportunities for members to individually invest an additional amount of their own money alongside the Fund in portfolio companies that are of particular interest to individual members. For example, Company X may indicate that it is interested in a total investment from IMAF-Sandhills, LLC of $500,000. The Fund may decide to invest $250,000 in the current round in Company X. That would leave an investment of up to $250,000 that could be available for members to invest in the current round on a pro rata basis of units held. In the event that certain members do not elect to take their pro rata portion of available add-ons, other members would have the opportunity to take more than their pro rata portion.


If a member works with a portfolio company as a board member or in any major role, it will be up to the portfolio company and the member to negotiate an appropriate compensation plan.


The Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC) and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center (NCBC) will play a significant role in assisting IMAF-Sandhills, LLC.