The Seattle Angel Conference is a team effort of many volunteers who are interested in educating new Angel Investors an thereby expanding the opportunities for startups in the Puget Sound and Greater Seattle  community. If you are interested in contributing to project as a volunteer or as an organizer, please drop us a note and let us know what you would like to work on.

John Sechrest - Founder

John Sechrest started as a software engineer at HP, writing network code for calculators. He is the founder of PEAK Internet services. He spent 5 years as the Economic Development Director of Corvallis Oregon, where he founded the Willamette Angel Conference. He participated in the Oregon Angel Fund. He is working to bring that model of community investing to Seattle with the Seattle Angel Conference. 

Erick Watson - Fund Manager, SAC XVIII

Erick Watson is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of SproutVest Advisers, Ltd. Co., a corporate development consultancy specializing in customer development and product-market fit. Erick has over fifteen years of experience in software product development and regulated financial services. He also has several successful stints in private equity and several software start-ups and has served on the advisory boards of several early-stage startups operating in the Greater Puget Sound area. A published author, Erick has contributed to books and articles on technology and culture and is a frequent speaker on the topics of customer development, innovation, competition, and intellectual property in the software industry.

Kurt Bilafer - Fund Manager, SAC XVII

Kurt Bilafer is a recent transplant from the SF Bay Area, an active Angel since 2015 with +100 investments, a LP in 4  funds focused on different stages and segments of the venture investment market and passionate about everything start-up related.  

Kurt was most recently Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) for Yapstone and was the former General Manager for Amazon Pay in the Americas. Prior to his role at Amazon, Mr. Bilafer was CRO for WePay. Kurt has over 25 years of sales and marketing experience, including numerous global and regional roles at SAP.  Earlier in his career, he started a number of companies, including Pilot Software, which was acquired by SAP in 2007.  Mr. Bilafer received a B.S. in Marketing from Central Connecticut State University.

Minda Brusse - Fund Manager, SAC XVI

Minda spent 20+ years in leadership and co-founding roles at four early stage startups prior to taking on investing roles.  Each startup along the way had different challenges and successes which allowed her to learn and grow through experience.   Ever the entrepreneur, she is currently developing Hestyia, a startup aimed at solutions that enable homeowners to manage remodel projects.  Currently,  Minda supports early stage companies as an advisor, investor and founder mentor. As an emerging fund manager, she brings a collaborative style, critical thinking, and entreprenurial spirit to her work with others.  She is active in the broader Seattle startup and blockchain communities.  Minda will be the Fund Manager for Seattle Angel Conference XVI. 

Keith Laepple - Fund Manager, SAC VI

Keith Laepple is a technology focused angel, seeking investment and engagement opportunities with Pacific Northwest startups. A Seattle Angel Conference participant since 2012, he has participated in five SAC investor funds, and is the fund manager leading the for SAC VI investor group. Keith is also a member of the Seattle Alliance of Angels.

Formerly a 22-year manager in operating system products at Microsoft, Keith has led teams in program management, technical evagelism, and business development for PC, mobile, and consumer electronics platforms.  

Geoff Harris - Fund Manager SAC VII

Geoff Harris spent 15 years in executive leadership and engineering management positions at Microsoft Corporation. He developed new businesses and led teams in areas such as digital media, mobile and speech and natural language processing. Since retiring from Microsoft in late 2013, Geoff has turned his attention to developing a deeper angel investment community in Seattle through his involvement with the Alliance of Angels and the Seattle Angel Conference as well as advisory positions with several local start-ups. Geoff holds a bachelor’s degree from Brown University. He will be the fund manager for SAC VII.

Josh Maher - Fund Manager, SAC V

Josh Maher is a passionate supporter of the Seattle startup community. He founded TechCafe (formerly Seattle Lunch 2.0) back in 2007, has provided mentorship, advising, and consulting to numerous startups on product definition, launching, fund raising, and customer development. He has also founded and worked in various capacities for startups. Past and current startups include SafeHarbor Technologies, Decider Technologies (closed), iConclude (sold to HP), IvyTalk, & KStream Media. He continues to engage with early stage companies as an angel investor and advisor.

Brad Carpenter - Fund Manager, SAC IV

Brad Carpenter, has been an active angel investor, mentor for tech entrepreneurs, and was the CEO for two early stage startups, Transparent IO and Newline Software. Prior to supporting the local startup community, Brad spent  20 years at Microsoft leading engineering teams for Windows, Unlimited Potential Group (focused on emerging geographies), PC hardware, and Microsoft Surface. Follow him @BradCarpenter.