Guest Post by Ryan Luce- CoFounder of Corengi www.corengi.com
This past year, my co-founder Jesse Clark and I have pitched Corengi to a number of investor audiences. One of the most rewarding, however, was our participation in the Seattle Angel Conference – where we were selected as one of the six finalists. (It should also be pointed out that SAC made the obviously foolish decision to select Exo Labs – and not Corengi - as the recipient of their $100K investment.)
What we found so rewarding is:
1) First off, there is a large amount of quality interactions with angel investors. After our initial application, we were selected as one of the 21 semi-finalists. During the pitches at this stage, we met and exchanged contact information with about ten of the investors participating. After we were selected as finalists, there was a social event that involved all of the 20+ investors and all the finalist companies. There was a focus on driving meaningful interactions between the startups and the potential investors.
2) Secondly, we learned a tremendous amount during the due diligence. Corengi was paired with Ammen Jordan and Brad Carpenter. These two individuals really challenged our ideas and our business. Over a three-week period, we met with these individuals three different times and had a number of other phone calls and email threads. Blunt feedback let us understand what investors did and did not like about our business. (Thanks Alex!) These made us re-consider working assumptions, improve our story, and be smarter about where we wanted to take our business.
3) Finally, the actual structure of the event was well done. There were 10 minutes for each pitch, followed by a five-minute Q&A led by one of the investors. I left the event completely impressed by the quality and the variety of the other companies presenting.
I think its impressive what John Sechrest, Scott Wigton, and the rest of the folks at SAC have done over the past year.
They’re doing everything they can to drive more angel investment in the area.
If you’re a startup, do yourself a favor and check them out.