Who is AIN?

Why is AIN the best place for Entrepreneurs and Investors alike? Because simply put, AIN has the history and experience to achieve your goals. Angel Investors Network, formed in 1997, was the first online community of angel investors, helping thousands of investors and entrepreneurs succeed and create wealth through the power of angel investing. It made a name for itself providing investors with the quality deal flow with maximum returns on their investment while helping businesses gain access to training, resources, and tools to create winning opportunities. Since that time, AIN has helped more than 10,000 businesses, facilitated businesses in our network raise more than $380MM dollars, and taken more than 100 businesses public. In early 2020 two powerhouses — Phoenix Business Cycle and Angel Investors Network — merged into one goliath firm offering advanced angel investing and business-building services. The merged company operates under the Angel Investors Network brand and has 3 locations in the US and 4 abroad. Angel Investors Network is co-led by CEO’s Jeff Barnes and Audra Hajj. The merger has enabled the firm to modernize a 70-year old system and bring better investment and business solutions to a wider client base of investors and entrepreneurs. Phoenix Business Cycle, a business building and reconstruction company formed in 2006, based in Utah with four international offices, specializes in helping entrepreneurs build their business upon a solid foundation with proven business building methodologies. Nearly two decades of business-building experience enabled Phoenix Business Cycle to develop a revolutionary due diligence system based on blockchain technology that addresses the key investor concerns while training entrepreneurs. During the short time since the merger, AIN has launched 3 major initiatives and programs. All of the initiatives, programs, and services interconnect with each other to create the most comprehensive business building and investment ecosystem ever seen.

Who is AIN?

Jeff Barnes, CEO

As a nuclear trained mechanic and scuba diver on a US Navy Submarine, Jeff Barnes traveled the world underwater at extreme depths, running a nuclear power plant and sleeping with torpedoes while learning invaluable skills. His innate leadership ability and understanding of complex systems allowed him to run the largest division on his submarine and take charge of the ship’s quality control program.

After an honorable discharge from the Navy, Jeff took his expertise and experience to Corporate America, helping clients grow their businesses as a risk management consultant and helping entrepreneurs develop strategic partnerships with Fortune 500 companies. Jeff spearheaded international projects as an Innovation and technology director bringing new technology and ideas to the global marketplace.

In 2018 Jeff took over the CEO role at Angel Investors Network to help more entrepreneurs bring their products, services, and technology to the market as an advisor, mentor, coach, and venture fund manager. As an entrepreneur, two-time best-selling author, and CEO, Jeff enjoys helping business owners’ structure, systemize, and optimize their operations allowing them to scale quickly. As the manager of the Angels & Heroes Venture Growth Fund, he finds opportunities for his investors to make great returns by investing in the next generation of private companies.

Jeff earned his Leadership MBA in 2011 from the University of Washington and now mentors young professionals and entrepreneurs alike. During his free time, he sits on the board of Lifeschool, a nonprofit helping kids gain life-skills they don’t learn in school, as well as a great deal of time coaching his two boys’ sports teams, enjoying the outdoors and traveling.

Here’s a Brief History of What We’ve Done Since 1997:

    • 1997 – Founded by Greg Writer as the first online angel investor community
    • 2015 – Partnered with Original Shark, Kevin Harrington to help entrepreneurs succeed in raising capital and scaling their business
    • 2016 – Started Pitch Tank to help more entrepreneurs find the capital they need to scale businesses
    • 2017 – Starts the Mastermind Investment Council to help more investors succeed in angel investing
    • 2018 – Jeff Barnes takes over as CEO
    • 2019 – Partners with C-Suite Network to build largest investment mastermind in the country
    • 2019 – CEO Jeff Barnes kicks off the Angels & Heroes Venture Growth Fund to make it easy for investors to generate returns as Angels
    • 2020 – AIN launches its Mind, Body, & Business Mastermind retreats to help founders and CEOs scale to 8 & 9-figure businesses and achieve profitable exits
    • 2020 – AIN Merges with Phoenix Business Cycle, a 14 year old company that has helped over 3100 businesses, and names Audra Hajj as co-CEO

 

Audra M. Hajj-Bunten, CEO

Audra M. Hajj is a unique speaker, author, and business owner that has a well-earned reputation for her innovative concepts and savvy business approach. Her childhood experience of being in 32 foster homes by the time she was 10, gave her a gift that could not be taught in school or from any one family; to embrace and master change. Over more than a decade Audra has created a proven formula for change within her company. To date she has helped over 3,100 business launch from concept or restructure, systematize, and relaunch in six countries. Based on that experience the company created an online course called the Business Builder Program, designed to take a new concept from Idea to Exit, or reconstruct an existing business. Both come out of the program streamlined, automated in the most efficient areas, and built on a solid foundation for exponential growth. While this program covers the fundamentals and deliverables for all businesses, it can be expanded and tailored for a specific vertical to provide the most comprehensive business launch program in existence.

Accomplishments

Over the last decade, Audra has built a highly reputable reconstruction agency that has over 320 employees, in six different cities in three countries. Through technology and systems, she is able to effectively manage and guide the executive team and various specialty teams to service numerous clients, and routinely exceed their expectations. Her methodology and leadership skills are the key to her success. In 2014 she was nominated for the prestigious Top Woman in Business Award given by the Orange County Business Journal. Why is this unique? It is unique because she worked diligently to make a solid career out of being the tough guy. Yet every one of her employees will tell you that she looks for every opportunity to mentor them, at all levels in the company.

People who meet Audra instantly feel her passion, energy, and that she is genuinely vested in their growth and success. It is evident that she truly wants to help business owners succeed, both established business and startups. Audra is currently the CEO of Phoenix Business Cycle, a speaker and author. Her first book is The Internet Ignition, a book about how to build a profitable online engine. Her next book is titled: The CEO Hostage.

Daryl Price, COO

With over a decade of consulting small businesses, Daryl has helped many entrepreneurs bring their dream to life. Daryl is an inspirational leader who believes in the limitless power of being truly authentic. He reminds his clients that, “There is nothing greater than the power of you, and when you are in tune with and true to your highest self, you will naturally create your happiest life.” He has a knack for helping others see the next step that will lead them towards their goal, and simplifying otherwise complex ideas. Daryl lives by the motto of authenticity expressed with gratitude and it shines through in all he does.

Jamie Bunten, Ops Chief (The Hammer) B.S. Criminal Justice, B.S. Paralegal

Jamie has been a business owner and trainer for more than two decades. During that time, he also served in various mission-critical roles within the US Army Special Forces. In both capacities, he has trained thousands of individuals around the world, and briefed high ranking military and government officials from numerous countries. He was a keynote speaker for the National Guard Bureau for their re-integration program for returning soldiers.

After Jamie completed his dual degrees, he continued to work in the law on a part time basis, focusing on civil rights and Constitutional law issues, specifically involving DOJ regulations regarding the National Firearms Act. The NFA is an extremely convoluted and dangerous area, but he is known for his experience and ability to decipher and translate this area of the law. On all of the cases he worked un with the firm, they prevailed 8 for 8. Jamie also spent several years at Netflix overseeing teams in Customer Service at the Salt Lake call center. During that time, he created and launched the centralized support plan for the Netflix call centers and PBO’s, standardizing the way customer and technical support was conducted. Luckily, Audra recognized that his talents were being underutilized at Netflix and recruited him to join PBC where he has been until this merger between the two companies.

Jamie handles all backend operational responsibilities for AIN. From HR oversight to Company SOP’s and policy implementation, to contracting and accounting oversight Jamie “Hammers” out solutions and issues for the company to ensure that the round pegs are in the round holes and everything is running smoothly for the company and the clients.

Brandon Bishop, CTO

Brandon has been curious & involved with computers before the internet. He learned early on that he could make them ‘talk’ and that he was really good at it. That curiosity and schooling has helped him gain the knowledge and experience he needed to begin developing blockchain technologies. He attended MIT, Oxford, Princeton & many other online Master’s courses in blockchain engineering and development. He has now applied that schooling to the Hyperledger Fabric and building utility blockchains. Brandon enjoys gardening, reading, photography & his 18-month-old son Briggs.

Nancy Mayer, CIO (MBA, PMP, CSM, PSM)

Nancy Mayer is a profit strategist and business builder who has built several businesses and has helped many of others to become a “Top 500 fastest growing company”. One of the greatest skills she brings to AIN is the ability to build high-performing teams and Advisory Boards. Most of all Nancy offers our clients “Unconventional Experiences” which creates more innovation, collaboration, and profits.

She has developed thought leadership around 3 key factors for tripling revenues and doubling productivity; Think Differently, Plan Strategically and Do It Faster.

She is a recognized international speaker, author of The Advisory Board Playbook and is known for 3 cutting-edge foundations; Visual Thinking (canvases, mapping,..), Design Thinking (Prototyping and validating business ideas), and Gamification (using game design and thinking to make work engaging and fun).

Unconventional Experience; From managing rock stars and earning Gold and Platinum records sales, to re-branding and building one of the largest music conferences in the world, from helping the longest running motorcycle charity to double their donations to designing and marketing award-winning sports and motorsports accessories, from coaching software development teams for Canada’s largest financial media company to lead strategy consultant for Canada’s investment bank (BDC) and coach for leading Social entrepreneurs. She has also taught Entrepreneurship at top Canadian business schools and Advanced Motorcycle training to the US Marines.

Nancy is passionate about making the workplace more fun and bringing out the best in people. Happy, engaged people are more productive.

She is as active in her personal life as her business life and loves adventure and “calculated risks” like extreme skiing, motorcycles. She recently moved to the Salt Lake City area from Toronto and married her high school ski buddy.