To apply to participate in the Keiretsu Forum, please review the process and fill out the online application. Keiretsu Forum always recommends that you first apply to a chapter in the Keiretsu Forum region that is closest to you.

After a company has presented to the chapter in its local geography and has received investment interest from members of that chapter, the company then has the unique opportunity to present to other chapters in our global network.

If your company is in the Midwest, we welcome your application here.

Online Application

To apply to present at Keiretsu Forum Midwest, please fill out the online application. Keiretsu Forum does not sign Non-Disclosure Agreements.

Any executive summaries and other supporting documents submitted to Keiretsu Forum for consideration will not be treated as confidential even if marked confidential. Please only include information that you are comfortable sharing under these terms.

Investment Criteria

Keiretsu members understand that searching for funding can be daunting process to even the most experienced entrepreneur. To get a better understanding of the process, we encourage companies interested in presenting to attend a meeting of the Forum in their local area prior to applying.

Companies that apply to Keiretsu Forum are typically in their A or B rounds, usually having already raised $500K to $1.5m from the founders, friends, and family. Most of the applying companies have some revenue, and are seeking $500K to $5m in growth capital.

Keiretsu Forum members invest in high-quality diverse investment opportunities in automation & instrumentation, consumer products, energy, financing, food & beverage, health care/life sciences, internet related, real estate, services, social ventures, software, telecommunications, and any other segment with high growth opportunity.

The criteria listed below are frequently asked questions by the Keiretsu Forum Screening Committee:


Specific experience
Overall experience
Complete team


Level of technology risk
Time to prototypes
Time to first ship

Market opportunity

Market definition
Market size
Market growth rate
Significant competitors
Domestic or international

Capital structure

Amount and type of investment
Has the management invested
Date and price of last round
Are previous investors coming in this round
Loans outstanding

Company strategy

Does the company address a significant problem?

Competitive advantages (price, patent, lead time, skilled team, etc.)


Does the company effectively communicate its message?

Can the company distinguish itself from the competition?

Intellectual property

Number of patents granted
Number of patents applied for
Scope and strength of patents
Licenses owned

Proposed deal

Amount requested
Pre-investment valuation
Post-investment valuation

What the company needs

Resources beyond capital
Introduction to customers
Distribution partners
Key team members
How else can we help you

Company financial status

Current burn rate
How much in the bank
Cash horizon
Quarters to break even

Liquidity event

When and how

Application Process

The process of selecting companies that present to Keiretsu Forum is:

Interested companies complete the online application. Your application will be received by Keiretsu Forum Midwest. Upon review, you will be provided a participation agreement that outlines our process in greater detail, as well as the associated fees related to your participation in this process. Upon receipt of your signed participation agreement, Keiretsu Forum Midwest will contact you for an interview.

Applications are pre-screened by members with relevant industry experience in the start-up’s business area. Based on the recommendations of our prescreening subject matter experts, entrepreneurs will subsequently be invited to present to our monthly deal screening committee meeting.

The presentation is 20-minutes long, using no more than 10 Power Point Slides. Keiretsu Forum recommends a 10-minute core presentation followed by a 10-minute Q&A session. The Deal Screening selection is a very democratic process. After each presentation the committee members in attendance discuss the positive aspects of the presenting company and any concerns, and then vote anonymously based on a scoring mechanism created specifically for Keiretsu Forum Midwest. 4 to 5 companies are invited to present at the Keiretsu Forum monthly meeting. In certain cases, the Screening Committee recommends that a company achieve certain milestones or address certain questions before it may go on to present to the Forum.

The companies that qualify after the monthly Deal Screening will have the opportunity to present in front of the full Forum. The presentations are 20 minutes long. Keiretsu Forum recommends a 10-minute core presentation followed by a 10-minute Q&A session. After each entrepreneur presentation, interested investors identify their willingness to invest, participate in due diligence and provide resource advice using our online deal flow platform.

The Company then enters into a due diligence phase with the Keiretsu Forum members who indicated interest in participating. It is common for one or two members to take the lead in due diligence and negotiations with the company. Keiretsu Forum members collaborate in the due diligence, but make individual investment decisions. Consider reviewing the Keiretsu Forum Due Diligence Handbook, which was prepared by Keiretsu Forum members, in preparation for your due diligence process.

After a company has presented to Keiretsu Forum Midwest, it has the unique opportunity to present to other chapters of its choice, anywhere around the globe; typically on the same due diligence document and terms sheet.

Keiretsu Capital has the investment objective of generating significant capital appreciation primarily through investment in high quality emerging companies that have been funded by the world’s largest angel investor network, Keiretsu Forum, as well as other top tier angel groups. For companies that are applying to Keiretsu Forum, Keiretsu Capital serves as an additional source of capital to the entrepreneur. In order to proceed, companies must have first completed due diligence with Keiretsu Forum and be in the process of closing successful funding from the network (as well as other angel groups).  Once these milestones have been met, companies are welcome to apply to Keiretsu Capital for funding as well as for additional support such as syndication to Keiretsu Capital’s network of funding organizations and investor networks. For additional information about Keiretsu Capital, visit KeiretsuCapital.com.

Due Diligence

Early-stage investing carries a high degree of risk. To help minimize that risk, the Keiretsu Forum members have developed a thorough and comprehensive due diligence process that is applied to all companies prior to member investment. The due diligence process is now available in The Keiretsu Forum Due Diligence Handbook, which represents more than a decade of knowledge and best practices vetted by over a thousand Keiretsu Forum investor members world-wide.

Like all investing, startup investing benefits from a disciplined approach. The Keiretsu Forum Due Diligence Handbook offers investors a framework to use while considering investments. Research clearly shows that investments made
following a thorough due diligence process have significantly better outcomes than those made following less due diligence.

The Keiretsu Forum is pleased to offer our member-designed Due Diligence Handbook free of charge as an iBook to benefit startup investors and entrepreneurs around the world. We hope this resource will serve as a valuable tool in supporting your own due diligence efforts.

Contact Us

phone: (917) 653-9490
email: midwestinfo@keiretsuforum.com

Forum Cities

Minneapolis/St. Paul

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