Thursday, March 14, 2013

MIT Forum Meet the Angels meeting has great event

Last week, the MIT Forum held the "Meet the Angels" event.  The event had representatives from all 9 of the Angel Groups that operate publicly in the Seattle Area.  It was a great sold out event, where there was a good overview of the different groups, and a lively dialog about the ins and outs of Angel Investing in the area. Rebecca Lovell did a fabulous job moderating the panel and highlighting some of the key issues about Angel Investing. 

From a show of hands in the audience more than 3/4 of the room were entrepreneurs who were seeking funding.  There were many questions about the issues that Angels look for in a company and how to deal with different scenarios.

Gary Ritner from the Pudget Sound Venture Club gave the sage advice to avoid taking Angel Funding if you can build a business without it. It is troublesome, especially when you don't need it

Dan Rosen from the Alliance of Angels suggested that it was important for the entrepreneurs to notice that almost all of the angel groups would prefer a priced round instead of taking a convertible note. 

Cathi Hatch from Zino Society noted that the Zino Society program and the Seattle Angel Conference were the only two that had a process that put cash awards up front. All of the other Angel Groups are "Angel Networks" which provide opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors to meet each other and to see if they are able to generate enough interest to form a due diligence team. 

Byron McCann from the Northwest Energy Angels noted that Wings and NWEA are the two groups which are sector specific, with the NWEA focused on CleanTech and Wings focused on Medical Technology. He suggested that it was important for entrepreneurs to apply to Angel Groups that were aligned with the goals of the company. 

When the topic of investing in Sustainable / Social Impact companies, Dan Rosen said that a good business is worth investing in, if it also has an important impact, all the better. 

There was a lively discussion around the need for a good team before approaching Angel Investing. There are many different ways that were suggested that could demonstrate that a team was able to execute and deliver on a project. 

It is great to have opportunities like this for entrepreneurs and investors to have discussions. This kind of conversation is exactly what we hope to encourage with the Seattle Angel Conference. 

One of the great results of the event was the matrix of data about Northwest Angel Groups put together by Rebecca Lovell.  It helps to show the focus and diversity of the Angel Groups in the Seattle Area.
You can find the Angel Group matrix on Funding Quest at

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