After a five-minute pitch early last month by an Acton startup executive hoping to raise money to commercialize a novel osteoarthritis treatment, a boardroom of Worcester-area investors fired off a series of probing questions: Who's the competition? What's the company's exit strategy? Does it have patents, and are they defensible?
The executive responded to the questions, packed up his laptop, and left the room.
In the few minutes before the next company's pitch, the group of investors, called Boynton Angels, briefly discussed the merits of his business strategy.
But the business talk quickly turned into banter that inspired one investor — a seasoned executive and Harvard University graduate — to cluck like a chicken.
The clucking came in response to his colleague, who said he was drawn to the proposed treatment because it beat the one he had received — hyaluronic acid (made from chicken combs) injected into his knee.
The room filled with laughter.
There was none of the drama of "Shark Tank," ABC-TV's reality series that features groveling entrepreneurs trying to win over merciless investors.
But investors with Westboro-based Boynton Angels are just as eager to find and help finance the next big thing, in fields ranging from medical devices to artisanal spirits.
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