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Rob Brown doesn't have a rich uncle. So when the 41-year-old co-founder, president and CEO of Healionics Corp. in Redmond, Washington, needed to raise money, he started networking to find wealthy individuals who might invest in his biomaterials company.
An entrepreneur in one of his MBA courses at the University of Washington, Seattle suggested he try pitching local angel groups. So Brown presented at a meeting for Seattle's Alliance of Angels, an angel group focused on early stage companies in the Pacific Northwest. A member of the group who is the former CEO of a local biomaterials firm invested in Healionics' initial $200,000 funding round. Later, when Healionics held an invitation-only investor soiree, it attracted another major investor. Healionics was founded last year and already projects 2008 sales of more than $500,000.