Thursday, December 4, 2014

Seattle Angel Launches Seattle Angel Fund

Seattle Angel Team, Group operating Seattle Angel Conference, Launches Seattle Angel Fund.

New investment fund to help drive economic growth across sectors in Washington State.

Driving Economic Growth

Seattle Angel, the group operating the Seattle Angel Conference, announces the launch of a new angel fund focused on investments in Pacific Northwest start-up companies, beginning in January 2015. The Seattle Angel Fund aims to drive economic growth and prosperity in Seattle and throughout the Pacific Northwest by creating growth opportunities for investors and businesses.

 What is next for Angel Investors

 The Seattle Angel Fund is a follow-on to the three year old, highly successful Seattle Angel Conference, begun in 2012, to train new angel investors and bring more funding into the Pacific Northwest start-up ecosystem. The organizers at Seattle Angel estimate there are more than 60,000 people qualified to angel invest in the Seattle area alone, yet fewer than 500 are actually investing in local start-ups.
Susan Preston, General Partner for the CalCEF Clean Energy Angel Fund, the Buerk Endowed Fellow for Entrepreneurship at the University of Washington, and a Trustee for the Angel Resource Institute, will be the Seattle Angel Fund’s professional manager, bringing a wealth of early stage investment experience.

Committed to the Pacific Northwest

Based in Seattle, the Seattle Angel Fund is committed to the Pacific Northwest’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The Fund is an annual fund, and will typically invest in five to seven launch stage companies per year across all industry sectors. Investment decisions will be based upon due diligence and selection of portfolio companies by the investors themselves, rather than by the fund manager. More at

Friday, November 21, 2014

Benefits of Losing Seattle Angel Conference

I’m Dallas Jasper, CEO of Connect2Classes.  
"The whole process is a learning experience; it is well organized and attended by people truly interested in supporting start-ups."
We participated in SAC VI which ended on November 12 and I highly recommend other entrepreneurs to consider applying.

How SAC works

First of all, if you don’t know the process here it is:
·       40+ companies apply
·       An initial review is made and (approx) 25 companies are asked to do a 3 minute presentation
·       The investors meet and invite 12 companies to do a 10 minute presentation
·       Again the investors meet and 6 companies are assigned a Deal Lead and invited to enter Due Diligence, and then to present at the final conference.

How to Prep: 3min vs 10min

We did not win, but we did make it to the final 6.  Here are some of my thoughts:

Clearly being asked to do a 3 minute presentation is tough – how can you properly represent your company in 3 minutes?  You have to think of this stage as exactly what it is – a gate to the next stage.  Your goal is to get through the gate and move on.  The best way to do that is to be yourself and show the best of what you do, what you plan to do, how your company will succeed and investors benefit.  Three minutes goes really fast – make sure your most important points are first – if you run out of time you will be asked to stop.  Don’t try to memorize something, it will come off as stiff and unnatural and the first real hurdle is for the judges to trust you!
In contrast, when you are prepping for the 10 minute presentation, you may feel that you have the luxury to be more wordy; be careful that 10 minutes still goes very fast!  At this point you will be expected to tell a story that starts with a large problem and ends with a large number of people paying you to solve that problem.  You will need to be very clear on the numbers: how big is the market, how much will people pay you to solve their problem, what will it cost you to reach these customers, and how do those numbers grow over time?

Q&A Session More Important than You Think

The Q&A portion of the ten minute presentation is very important.  You need to be able to answer the questions quickly and succinctly.  Some of the questions can be tough as the audience is knowledgeable in many markets.

Major Benefit of Just Going Through Due Diligence-  

If you are fortunate to get to the final six, you will be assigned a due diligence team and a Deal Lead.   For us, this is the point at which we started to really benefit from the process.   I can’t say enough good things about our deal team.  We met with them in person twice and spoke and emailed constantly for 3 weeks. They dug into every area of our business and encouraged us to move forward on things we had been thinking about.  

Driven to Traction and Revenue in 3 Weeks! 

If you have done any investigation into SAC, you will know that traction is very important.  We went into the first presentation without paying customers, just free trials.  During the due diligence, the team encouraged us to convert our free trials into paying customers, and by the end of the 3 weeks we had converted about one third of them.  We discovered that our free trials were getting a lot of value from our site.  By the final presentation we were able to show that we had paying customers and that those customers represented sales that proved out our business model.

Engaging Other Investors

The Final Presentation is open to the public and offers lots of opportunity to engage with other companies, investors and people who are interested in what you are doing.  It was great to hear quick updates from the previous SAC winners and to see how far they had come since their investment.  If you get to this point remember, that your presentation needs to show the SAC Investors what you have done since your last presentation, but also tell the whole story to other potential investors in the room.  You never know who might be interested.

Totally Worth It! 

While we did not win, we did benefit from the experience, met some great people and moved our product forward.   We truly appreciated the time and effort of the SAC team, as well as our due diligence team. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Portland startup takes prize at Seattle Angel Conference

Portland startup takes prize at Seattle Angel Conference


_Portland Business Journal

Nov 14, 2014, 7:23am PST Updated: Nov 14, 2014, 7:39am PST
Portland startup Energy Storage Systems was the winner at this week's Seattle Angel Conference. The three-year-old firm has developed a cost-effective, energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly battery system using iron can power light industrial, agricultural and commercial facilities.

Portland-based Energy Storage Systems has secured a $135,000 investment ....more

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Seattle Angel Conference VI Invests in Portland-Based Energy Storage Systems

More than 100 new angel investors have awarded nearly one million dollars since 2012

SEATTLE, WA. – November 13, 2014
The Seattle Angel Conference announced today that Portland-based Energy Storage Systems was selected as the winner of its sixth investment competition.  The three year old startup that builds efficient battery technology will receive a $135,000 investment award from the Seattle Angel Conference VI LLC.  Five other companies also presented at the conference held on Wednesday.

Energy Storage Systems has developed an extremely cost-effective energy management system that combines a safe, abundant and non-toxic iron electrolyte with their patented flow cell design. “Taking first place is significant for not only our company but other hardware centric startups facing a tougher investment environment based on the success of Pacific Northwest software companies,” said Craig Evans, CEO, Energy Storage Systems.  “Receiving recognition from Seattle angel investors is an important step in helping to complete our funding.”

In less than three years, the Seattle Angel Conference has invested more than one million dollars in 7 Washington State firms across a wide range of industries.  Amazingly the money has come from about 100 investors out of the approximately 75,000 King County residents who are federally qualified to be Angel investors.

“I congratulate Energy Storage Systems on their first place investment prize, and want to acknowledge all six finalists for making it to our final round,” said Keith Laepple, Seattle Angel Conference VI LLC’s volunteer fund manager. “I’m also proud of the insightful work by this fall’s investor group, over half of whom have now grown the ranks of Seattle’s angel community through their first-time participation in Seattle Angel Conference VI. This demonstrates how angel investor skills and confidence develop quickly through fun, facilitated due diligence collaboration, drawing upon the group’s varied expertise and backgrounds.'”

Here were the other finalists selected by the investment team to deliver ten-minute business plan pitches:

Connect2Classes- Connect2Classes™ is the one place class providers can list their classes knowing people will find them; the place where potential students are looking for local and online classes.

NorthAmerica TALK- NorthAmerica Talk builds community social networks.

PotaVida- PotaVida lowers the cost of access to safe water in disasters and urban slums, and enables program evaluation by automating the collection and reporting of usage data.

The Hub Edu- The HubEdu is an online learning community where faculty and students in higher education can collect, connect and collaborate.

THIRD & Loom- Third & Loom is a vertically integrated designer label that democratizes haute couture by letting clients become fashion designers.

“The Seattle Angel Conference is focused on growing the ecosystem for startups by helping to provide early capital for the large number of startups and incubators in our region,” said John Sechrest, founder of the Seattle Angel Conference. “We’re fortunate to have a large pool of residents that are able to invest in local companies and I look forward to working with many more new investors in the future.”

Events sponsors include Barker Hostetler, Ater Wynne, Thinkspace, Impact Hub Seattle, 9 Mile Labs, S@, Surf Incubator, Startup Poker 2.0, SeedInvest, Startup Seattle, WTIA and AWS.

This year’s finalist companies were selected from over 40 companies based throughout Washington that applied to compete at the Seattle Angel Conference 2014. A rigorous selection process was undertaken by a group of angel investors to select the finalist companies. An angel investor is a qualified individual who provides capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity. In the Seattle Angel Conference case, the investment vehicle is convertible debt. The Seattle Angel Conference introduces new Angels to the process of Angel investing through education and participation.

The next Seattle Angel Conference is expected to be held May 21, 2015.  All Washington startups and interested investors should inquire in December about participating in the next round of educational events, trainings, and competition.  Deadline for applications will be February 24, 2015.

About the Seattle Angel Conference
Each Seattle Angel Conference culminates a 5 month program to educate and train accredited investors as exemplary angel investors through workshops, hands-on practice and mentoring.  The Seattle Angel Conference is an investor driven conference, connecting new angel investors with early stage and seed businesses in the Greater Seattle Area.  The Seattle Angel Conference introduces qualified investors to the potential, process and rewards of angel investing, and equally importantly, works to encourage, accelerate and coach startup companies in the Seattle areas and across the Northwest. For more information see 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Susan Preston to Keynote Seattle Angel Conference VI

Leading Angel Investing Educator and Consultant to speak on Angel Investing

Susan just received the Small Business Person of the Year for 2014 from the Small Business Council of America.  She was honored along with five Congressional representatives in the nation’s capital.  

 Susan Preston is manager of the newly founded Seattle Angel Fund, and is the General Partner for the CalCEF Clean Energy Angel Fund. The Angel Fund is focused on seed/start-up stage investments in clean energy technology.  Susan is a world-recognized expert in angel financing and angel organizations. Susan has spent most of her career in senior management positions in public and private companies, from general counsel to CEO.  She has also been a partner in two national law-firms and is a patent attorney.  Susan is also the Buerk Endowed Fellow for Entrepreneurship at the University of Washington.
Susan is the author of numerous articles, white papers and books on angel financing. Her most recent book, Angel Financing for Entrepreneurs, Early-stage Funding for Long-Term Success was released by Wiley Publishing in March 2007, and her first book, Angel Investment Groups, Networks and Funds: A Guidebook to Developing the Right Angel Organization for Your Community, a comprehensive guidebook on the establishment and operation of angel investment groups, for which she has received numerous accolades, was published by the Kauffman Foundation in 2004.
She has been and continues to be a national and international consultant and speaker on economic development, angel and venture financing for numerous countries and NGOs including the EU, OECD, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Industry Canada and EBAN. She was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation for 6 years and continues to serve as a consultant, specifically focusing on initiatives related to angel investing and angel organizations.
Susan has held several board positions with public and privately held corporations, and has served on numerous non-profit boards. Ms. Preston has been profiled in Red Herring, Inc. magazine, Smart Money, Worth and other local and national publications; and has contributed to numerous nationally published articles on angel investing. Ms. Preston is the founder of Seraph Capital Forum, the first all-women's angel investment organization.
She is the architect of the Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs Act, a bi-partisan federal income tax credit bill for private equity investing, which was introduced in the House and Senate in 2006 and 2007, and has been re-introduced in the current Congressional session.

Ms. Preston received her JD, cum laude, from Seattle University School of Law and her BS, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, in Microbiology and Public Health from Washington State University.

Bob Crimmins to MC Seattle Angel Conference VI

Reprising his Role for the 4th Time

 Bob Crimmins returns to the Seattle Angel Conference as MC, bringing his insight and wit to the proceedings that will share the core business plans, and reveal the due diligence and investor questions about the 6 finalist businesses.

About Bob Crimmins:

Bob Crimmins is a lifelong technologist and serial entrepreneur. Bob has founded five investor-backed companies.  Bob is devoted to fostering a women/girl-friendly tech and startup environment and is a founding board member of Seattle Women in Tech. Closer to home, Bob is sharing the lessons of entrepreneurship with his 12-year-old daughters as they work together on, a pet product they invented.  Bob is also the chief instigator of the popular founder networking events, Founder to Founder and Startup Poker 2.0. While Bob talks a lot about business models, customer acquisition and team building these days, he is a geek at heart. He wrote his first computer program in BASIC on punch cards in 1978 when it was neither cool nor lucrative to be a teenage programmer. Bob teaches, coaches and mentors dozens of entrepreneurs and startups through his work with TechStars, Startup Weekend, TiE Young Entrepreneur Program, Women in Tech and as a formal advisor to a number of Northwest companies.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Rahul Sood to Capstone Seattle Angel Conference VI

Rahul Sood, Creator of Microsoft Ventures, CEO of Unikrn will capstone the Sixth Seattle Angel Conference with a Fireside Chat about his approach to entrepreneurship.

 Rahul Sood is the CEO of Unikrn, a Seattle based gaming related startup.

Microsoft Ventures Creator 

Previous to Unikrn, Sood joined Microsoft in January of 2011. He created the first incubation fund for startups at Microsoft, and eventually Microsoft consolidated their global startup activities under Sood’s leadership. In June of 2013 he launched Microsoft Ventures.


Serial Entrepreneur

 A serial entrepreneur, Sood spent 18 years in multiple startups prior to joining Microsoft. He founded luxury and gaming computer manufacturer VoodooPC, which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard in September of 2006. Voodoo brought the ENVY product line to HP, contributing advanced technologies, such as commercial liquid cooling, and an increased focus on design. Sood is a co-founder of BrightSquid Medical, a unique collaboration platform for medical professionals, which was subsequently acquired by NetworksMD. He co-founded BrightSquid Dental, which was spun out of the medical business in 2010. Sood also created BullsOnWallstreet, a trading and education platform for retail investors and traders, and he is an active angel investor in a number of small Canadian-based energy companies. Sood sits on the board of advisors for Razer, a company that is widely known for taking over where Voodoo left off.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Seattle Angel Conference VI Finalists

Seattle Angel Conference Announces Finalists for the Sixth Seattle Angel Conference:

The companies will compete Nov 12th at the HUB Seattle and the winner will receive an estimated $165,000 angel investment. Tickets are on sale at the early bird discounted rate through Nov 1st.

This year’s finalist companies were selected from over 40 companies based throughout Washington that applied to compete at the Seattle Angel Conference 2014. A rigorous selection process was undertaken by a group of angel investors to select the finalist companies. An angel investor is qualified individual who provides capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity. In the Seattle Angel Conference case, the investment vehicle is convertible debt. The Seattle Angel Conference introduces new Angels to the process of Angel investing through education and participation.

Each investor staked $5,500 to create the anticipated $165,000 award for this year’s event.
The following companies were selected by the investment team to deliver ten-minute business
plan pitches


The following companies were selected by the investment team to undergo rigorous due-diligence and be eligible for the investor-led convertible note:

What is the Seattle Angel Conference?

The Seattle Angel Conference is a recurring Seattle Angel-driven event where the investors create an LLC, engage in due diligence of the applying startup companies, and ultimately pool funds to invest in one of the presenting finalists. The Seattle Angel Conference is the primary method Seattle Angel uses to find and fund new startups. The Seattle Angel Conference is open to any member of the community interested in learning more about both starting and investing in a new business and to hear the investment pitches from the finalists.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Missing the point: "Its not fair than SAC only invests in one company"

Some investors have queried me about an entrepreneur commented on the Seattle Angel Conference process saying: "it was not fair that only one of the teams got an investment in the process"

I told him that this entrepreneur did not understand his job at the conference and that he needed to be seeking these other values.

I just send a note to an entrepreneur trying to get their focus on the real value of the angel conference. In that note I said:

However, I want to point out that the real value of the event is not winning the investment.

the Real value come from several things:
1) by having a deadline, you move things forward faster.
2) by having a reason to practice your pitching, your pitching gets better
3) by having a dozen people review your materials, your materials get better
4) by making connecting with several dozen investors, your story gets spread
5) by seeing the pitches of other companies, you learn things you would not know otherwise
6) by engaging with other entrepreneurs, you build a support network
7) by getting into the finals, you get all of your investor documents together and polished.
8) by sitting with your quarter-finalist investor coffee, you get a chance to engage a new investor
9) by being at the conference with 100 angels in the room,you build out your investor network. 
10) by being in the room with engaged investors, your goal should be to come out with an investor who is a champion for you. 

And most importantly, if you find a champion, who cares about what you are doing, the chances of finding a side investment are significant. 

As a CEO of a new Startup, make sure you know what the key conversation in the room is. Sometimes it is not about being the winner on stage, but about building the foundation for your investment regardless of who is on stage. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Succeeding at the Seattle Angel Conference -Guest Blog

Guest Post by Zach Simmons  Discuss.IO

For those that aren't already familiar with Seattle Angel Conference (SAC), it is an angel investment group with a unique investment process.  It connects promising entrepreneurs to a syndicate of local angel investors.  A "winner" is selected after a rigorous 2 month selection process which results in a six figure investment.

It was an honor to be selected from the great set of teams in SAV V. Discuss.IO received the $160,000 investment first prize, while another great finalist, SocialGlimpz, received over $80,000 from SAC investors.

I would highly recommend that Seattle entrepreneurs to participate in this great process.  The competition is tough.  Here are a few tips based upon our experience 

·         Nail your 1st pitch - 

 The first 3 minute pitch is the hardest.  You need to be memorable out of a crowd of 20+ pitches. Try and focus on the following high level points 1) quantify the size of the problem 2) briefly explain how you solve it 3) explain your progress/traction so far.  Don't worry about details.  Just say enough to pique the audience's interest.  There is plenty of time during the process to dig into the details.

·         Find A Champion - 

 It is really important to find an investor early in the process that believes in your vision.  The investors meet weekly during the selection process to eliminate teams.  You must find a least 1 person that is going to standup and argue that you are the best bet in a crowded field.  This requires actively soliciting feedback on your business during the process.   

 ·         Welcome Feedback -

 You will be posed with a lot of tough questions.  This is especially true if you make the finals.  Embrace it!  You aren't cut out to be an entrepreneur if you can't take critical feedback. The diligence process is the best reason to participate in SAC. Angel investors are often entrepreneurs themselves. Their experience, perspective and connections are often more valuable than the checks they can cut. 

·         Get Organized - 

Find time to draft your business plan and financial model.  The act of writing down your vision will help clarify your thinking and ready yourself for investor questions.  These docs don't have to be poetry and you can have unknowns.  We used Google Docs so that our diligence team could post questions and poke holes in our logic directly within our doc.  This iterative collaboration yielded a final doc that was easy to share with the other investors.  Remember, you need to get the most votes to win. A succinct business plan gives your diligence team an easy way to communicate your value with the other 80% of the investors that won't be very familiar with your business. 

·         Find Paying Customers -

 Traction is the single most important selection criteria.  Investors naturally want to see a clear path to profitability.  You will become dramatically more exciting if you can prove that consumers will pay money for your product or service.  Nothing proves the viability of your product like clients lined up and ready to pay for it, even an early "minimally viable product" (MVP).  Showing customer demand growth over the 2 month selection process is very helpful, even in your pre-revenue stage.

Don't lose hope. Keep Going!

My last suggestion is to not lose hope if you get eliminated.  Plenty of great businesses won't win SAC VI.  In fact, Discuss.IO came up short twice before winning in May 2014.  Good things come to those who exceed their consumer expectations. Good luck!

by: Zach Simmons @ Discuss.IO Winner of SAC V, after two prior attempts.

Register now for our final summer workshop - note new date!

SAC: The Startup Journey

with Bill Bryant

Moved to 8/28/2014

8/19/2014 at 6:00pm  at Impact Hub Kirkland

Bill Bryant is a partner with DFJ and has been part of many investments, both Angel Investments and Venture Capital. He will explore some of the issues that have come up as startups have moved along the path to IPO. This is an opportunity to have some of the twists and turns of the funding pathway illuminated.

Sponsored by: Seattle Angel Fund

Register Here:

Please spread the word to companies that you know who might benefit from these discussions.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Convertible Note Training for Start Ups & Journey to IPO

SAC: The Convertible Note Structure

with Alex Modelski from Ater Wynne

8/12/2014 at 6:00 at the Impact Hub Kirkland

The Seattle Angel Conference will be using a convertible note as the default for the deal instrument. This is an opportunity to walk through the term sheet and to explore the details of how an early seed stage deal might be structured. This will be a chance to ask questions and explore the details for the SAC Convertible note.

Friday, August 1, 2014

When Should I incorporate my new Startup?

By Carter Mackley 

"When should we incorporate?" 

This is a question startup attorneys frequently hear and it came up again at the last legal documents workshop hosted by Seattle Angel Conference. Everyone knows that you want to run your business through a corporation or LLC to have the limited liability protections afforded by those entities. But before any business gets going there is always an exploratory phase. During this period, business plans are developed and tested, market research may be conducted, and software code might be written.

Many times it turns out the idea isn't worth pursuing, so it doesn't always make sense to incur the time and expense of incorporating, not to mention having to get a tax ID, a business license, and incurring reporting obligations with federal, state and local governments. On the other hand, problems result if you wait too long. Software, the business plan, contact lists, perhaps trademarks – all of these things are or should be assets of the business. If you don't have agreements among your collaborators, there can be confusion or disagreement about the ownership of these assets when the business gets going. Frequently collaborators haven't decided yet or they don't take time to work out the percentage ownership of the business. Often emails or other writings are exchanged that may be ambiguous or contradictory. I've seen at least one case where an early collaborator who did very little made a successful claim against the company when it had an exit a few years later. She received a healthy, and unearned, portion of the company sale price.

Personal Liability

Another very serious issue is your potential personal liability if you collaborate with others during the exploration phase. In an adequately capitalized corporation or LLC, an entrepreneur's risk is normally limited to the amount of his or her investment. A creditor suing the company could not reach, for example, the entrepreneur's personal assets such as car, home, or bank accounts. That liability limitation does not apply for partnerships. Partners are personally liable for the debts of the partnership. See RCW 25.05.120. And individual partners have the authority, absent an agreement otherwise, to incur debt and other obligations for the partnership.

DeFacto Partnership

Now take those two rules of law and couple it with a third principle – by just working on the project together you may have formed a de facto partnership. The explicit rule for Washington can be found at RCW 25.05.055:

"The association of two or more persons to carry on as co-owners a business for profit forms a partnership, whether or not the persons intend to form a partnership."

So, if you are not careful, you might think you are just helping out a friend on his business idea and later discover you formed a de facto partnership and are personally liable for a debt that one of your partners took on in behalf of the business.

So the takeaway is don't wait too long to incorporate. You should definitely incorporate before:

  • earning any revenues
  • entering into any material contracts
  • hiring any employees
  • receiving any funding

During the exploratory phase, if after considering the above factors you feel it is still early to incorporate, take precautions to maintain ownership of your business and assets. Make sure that anyone who works creates or works with any of your intellectual property signs an intellectual property assignment agreement. This includes volunteers and contractors, as well as all collaborators/partners. If you decide to hold off on incorporating, it is a really good idea to put in place a simple agreement between you and your collaborators. At a minimum this agreement should have the following elements:
  • statement of the partners' percentage ownership
  • contributions of individuals, including time, money, and assets (e.g., software, equipment)
  • limitation on authority of partners to sign contracts or incur debt without approval of other partners
  • assignment of all related intellectual property
  • agreement as to what happens to IP and other assets if the partnership dissolves

I have a simple template agreement at that covers these elements. It is no substitute for legal counsel and you use it at your own risk. So please, before you or your collaborators have risked significant time or money, consult an attorney.

Carter Mackley is an experienced securities lawyer in Seattle, Washington who primarily represents startup companies and angel investors. He conducts frequent clinics for entrepreneurs and publishes the informational website,

Friday, July 18, 2014

What is Seattle Angel Conference in 60 Seconds!

Must Know for Angels & Entrepreneurs- Upcoming Events

The next round of workshops for the Seattle Angel Conference IV are coming together.

We have put together some workshops to talk about some of the areas where people have been asking questions.

As we learn more about different parts of the Angel Investing process, we work to spread the word. 
For example, there are some kinds of investments where an straight equity investment has some disadvantages. David Bangs has been exploring Revenue Based Funding to address some of those problems. Have a discussion with people who are active with Angel Investing and learn how it works well and when it doesn't at our Angel Investing Workshops: 

Link through to registration by clicking on the topic! 

DateNameTopic and registration
(click on topic to link to Eventbrite registration)
July 16David Bangs Revenue Based FundingImpact HUB Seattle6 PM
Jul 22 Geoff Harris, Keith Laepple and Paul LippertThe SAC experience for Angels

6 PM
Jul 29Carter MackleyLegal Documents for FoundersImpact HUB
6 PM

Monday, July 7, 2014

Investing in a World with Few Exits -Workshop

Learn about Angel Investing from the Seattle Angel Community
Help us build a stronger startup ecosystem: Stronger Entrepreneurs and Stronger Angel Investments.

Workshop #1 for Seattle Angel Conference VI

Investing in a World with Few Exits

Exploring Revenue Based Financing for Angel Investors

David Bangs
Tuesday JULY 15, 6:00 pm 
Impact HUB Seattle

Many investment opportunities do not have clear "exits", where the founders sell their company, and investors make their return on their investment.  In this workshop, David Bangs will share the methods they are using as angel investors to invest in companies with no planned exit.  Learn about "revenue redemption of equity" as an alternative approach that keeps the company closely held, and provides investor returns.

RSVP Today at Eventbrite

David Bangs: 

David Bangs is at Energy Friendly Ventures and is an active member of the Seattle Impact Investors Group. He is a board member of Element 8 ( formerly known as the NW Energy Angels) 
He has invested in over 5 different companies using a Revenue Redemption based Term sheet.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Illumagear- SAC I Winner Closing Series A- TRACTION!

Traction and Progress in HaloLight TM at Conexpo

Winner of the inaugural Seattle Angel Conference, ILLUMAGEAR continues to show great traction and progress. The company launched it’s first product, The Halo Light™, only a couple of months ago, but in that time, interest and feedback has been very positive and demand has been high. Product has already been shipped to customers around the world. The company attended CONEXPO in Las Vegas in March, the construction industry’s equivalent to CES, and generated over 1600 leads, more than 3x their stretch goal. The company has now generated over 3000 leads and is rapidly building a sales force (they’re hiring!) and locking up distributors in order to drive those leads through the sales funnel.

Series A Round Nearing Completion

The Halo Light is a patented 360ยบ light system worn on any hard hat that produces a halo of light around the wearer, enabling him or her to see and be seen in all directions at all times, especially in low light conditions. ILLUMAGEAR is already working on new products. Longer-term it imagines combining hardware and software to redefine personal active safety on job sites around the world.
ILLUMAGEAR is nearly closed on its Series A round of financing.

To learn more about ILLUMAGEAR, the company and its products, and what it is up to lately, you can visit their website at or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. You can contact ILLUMAGEAR at

- by Andrew Royal, Illumagear

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

SEC Considering Raising Accredited Investor Requirements

Potential to Eliminate 60% of Angels

The SEC is evaluating changes to the definition of an Accredited Investor. If their suggested changes go thru, it could eliminate 60% of those who currently qualify, potentially halving the size of our group and the U.S. angel community.

According to both SEC and General Accounting Office estimates, adjusting the net worth test for inflation, as advocated by some organizations as a form of “investor protection,” would eliminate about 60 percent of current accredited investors. The two agencies estimate that inflation-based adjustments would increase the net worth standard to about $2.5 million and annual income to $450,000.

More info:

Take Action:

From the ACA (Angel Capital Association)
Please help us protect angel startup funding by executing the following steps (takes less than 3 min)

(1) Go to following website:

(2) Scroll to Third Quarter, September 27, 2013

(3) Click on “Submit comments on S7-06-13”

(4) Fill out the form (Name, Address etc.)

Suggested Text for comments:(modify as you will)

(5) In the Comments box, please cut & paste the following text (feel free to edit if you wish):

As a member of the Angel Capital Association (ACA) and the Alliance of Angels (Seattle Angel Conference)  I urge the Commission to protect angel funding to ensure the health of the startup economy we support, by retaining the existing financial thresholds in the current accredited investor definition.  These thresholds -- $1 million in net worth or $200,000 in income -- have worked well for decades, creating a vital accredited angel investor sector that is the primary source of funds for early-stage companies that drive the innovation economy and job-creation nationwide, and with very little fraud.

If financial limits were sharply increased, angel investment in early-stage companies would suffer.  An increase in the net worth threshold to $2.5 million, advocated by some, could cut upwards of 60 percent of current accredited investors out of the market.  The startup ecosystem would be devastated by such a dramatic shrinkage of this vital investor pool, especially in regions where venture capital is not prevalent. A contraction in angel investing could stall local economic development, university technology initiatives, and stem innovation and job growth.  At the same time, millions of Americans would instantly lose the opportunity to participate in the innovation economy that is largely the purview of companies raising funds privately from accredited investors.

It is important to consider investor protection, the public interest and our current economy.  However, the SEC should note that, as more accredited individuals have engaged in angel investing, direct investment in startups has remained largely free of fraud.  This is a result of concerted due diligence, negotiated terms, and ongoing entrepreneur support and mentoring that are the hallmark of angel investing. 

Given the importance of the innovation economy to the nation, the need for capital formation in the early-stage sector, and the need to balance access to investment opportunity with investor protection, I urge the Commission to adopt the following approach to the accredited investor definition:

i Maintain the current financial thresholds of $200,000 income per individual; $300,000 for joint filers, or $1 million net worth not including primary residence for individuals to qualify as accredited investors.

ii Incorporate the concept of “sophistication” for individuals who do not meet the above thresholds to prudently expand the accredited investor pool, using a detailed questionnaire to identify qualitative information about knowledge and experience with this type of investment.

Such an approach will continue to provide investor protection while also recognizing the growing role and importance of accredited investor investment in innovation and growth that are essential to serve the public interest and sustain our nation’s economy.

Thank you for your consideration.

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Startup Discuss.IO is Winner of Fifth Seattle Angel Conference Investment Competition


Startup Discuss.IO is Winner of  Fifth

Seattle Angel Conference Investment Competition

Winner receives $155,000 Investment, 33Angel Investors

gain hands on investment training.

SEATTLE, WA. – May 22, 2014 — The Seattle Angel Conference announced today that Discuss IO was selected as the winner of its fifth investment competition, held in Seattle, WA,  at the 220 and Change in Seattle .   Discuss.IO is a Seattle based company that has been building their market research platform for years. They had participated in SAC IV in Nov. 2013, and fell short in their goal to win the investment.  This round they showed their growth, ability to meet their commitments, and solid sales traction, which impressed the investors.  Discuss.IO’s mission is to simplify consumer market research. They use video conferencing and crowdsourcing to connect brands and consumers.  Discuss.IO  will receive a $155,000 angel award investment from the Seattle Angel Conference V LLC .  Given the strength of the candidates, the Angel Investors couldn’t let it stop with one winner.  SocialGlimpz, another brand marketing company, focused on visual engagement with consumers won a second investment of $45,000 from the LLC.

This event’s finalist companies were selected from over 40 companies based throughout Washington that applied to compete at the fifth Seattle Angel Conference. A rigorous selection process (known as due diligence) was undertaken by the 33 active angel investors to select the winning company. Thirty to Fifty hours of investigation was performed on each finalist, amounting to over 240 hours of due diligence.   In the process 15 new Angel Investors were introduced to the investing process. Each investor staked $5,500  to $10,000 to create the  $200,000 investment award for this year’s event.  This rounds investment brings the total investment from the Seattle Angel Conference to a remarkable $835,000  invested in the local economy and over 100 investors educated about angel investing in just 2.5 years of the Seattle Angel Conference.

“The Seattle Angel Conference is all about giving new angel investors mentoring, training and experience, growing the available support and capital for Washington’s many startups, removing a key bottleneck for the economy,” said John Sechrest, founder of the Seattle Angel Conference.   “At the same time, we are helping promising startups improve their business models with support and feedback from successful investors”.

The five  finalists who pitched were:
Grow Plastics – @growplastics Enabling replacement of  solid  plastic products with half as much bioplastic, providing greener and cheaper solutions.
Meshfire - @meshfire   a social media empowerment platform enabling teams to manage the firehose flow of social media for brands.
Discuss.IO - @discuss_IO –simplifying consumer market research, using video conferencing and crowdsourcing  to connect businesses to 11 million panelists
SocialGlimpz - @socialglimpz  -Visual engagement platform enabling brands to gather consumer insights and create user generated content
Zealyst - @Zealyst using data driving software and creative design to build long lasting human relationships and improve engagement and innovation.

Participating companies received awards of a month at Maker Space.   BakerHostetler, Comcast for Business, AterWynne, The Gateway group at Morgan Stanley and SeedInvest also provided sponsorship, making the conference possible.  HubSeattle, SurfIncubator, Thinkspace and Bainbridge Graduate institute provided invaluable in-kind support.

The next Seattle Angel Conference will be held in November 2014.  All Washington startups and interested investors should inquire in June about participating in the next round of educational events, trainings, and competition.  Deadline for applications will be September 1, 2014.

About the Seattle Angel Conference
Each Seattle Angel Conference culminates a 5 month program to educate and train accredited investors as exemplary angel investors through workshops, hands-on practice and mentoring.  The Seattle Angel Conference is an investor driven conference, connecting new angel investors with early stage and seed businesses  in the Greater Seattle Area.  The Seattle Angel Conference introduces qualified investors to the potential, process and rewards of angel investing, and equally importantly, works to encourage, accelerate and coach startup companies in the Seattle areas and across the Northwest. For more information see 


John Sechrest
Seattle Angel Conference
c: 541 250 0844