Saturday, December 15, 2012

Exo Labs Winner of 2nd Seattle Angel Conference December 2012 Investment Competition

Exo Labs Receives $100,000 Investment

SEATTLE, WA. – Dec 13, 2012 — The Seattle Angel Conference announced today that Exo Labs was selected as the winner of its second investment competition, held in Seattle, WA  at the HUB, a co-working and event space. The Bellevue-based Company makes iPad and iPhone microscopes for science education and beyond, making life easier for teachers and researchers. The Exo Labs Digital Microscope is targeted at K-12 education, providing a quick integration into existing curriculum, and allowing remote sharing of live microscopic images.  

Exo Labs will receive the $100,000 angel award investment prize.  Talk to the Manager, a startup focused on providing a customer service tool that allows managers to receive and respond to immediate, anonymous customer feedback via text messages won the "People's Choice Award", as the winner of audience balloting for the best business presentation.

"We are excited to bring a spotlight on the breadth and depth of Washington startups, and to expose these entrepreneurs to new and experienced angel investors from around the Pacific Northwest," said John Sechrest, founder of the Seattle Angel Conference.   "The quality of the business plans, and the strong support from the investor community show how vibrant the entrepreneurial economy is here.  We are excited to be providing a venue for Angels to develop their skills, and at the same time, help promising startups find their own angel investors .

This year's finalist companies were selected from over 30 companies based throughout Washington that applied to compete at the second Seattle Angel Conference. A rigorous selection process was undertaken by the 20+ member panel of active angel investors to select the winning company. Each investor staked $5,000 to create the $100,000 investment award for this year's event. This was the second Seattle Angel Conference, and the event has shown strong growth in participation, investment, and innovation.   The next Seattle Angel Conference will be held in April. 

About the Seattle Angel Conference

The Seattle Angel Conference is an investors conference, connecting early stage and seed businesses with angel and venture investors in the Seattle Area. Their mission is to encourage, accelerate and showcase startup companies in the Seattle areas and across Washington, and equally importantly, to introduce qualified investors to the potential, process and rewards of Angel Investing

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Announcing the Seattle Angel Conference Finalists

We are happy to announce the finalists for the next round of investment. 

The Six Finalists are:
  • Corengi 
  • Redpoint International
  • Exo Labs
  • Suncrest Farms
  • Talk to the Manager
We had 36 companies  apply to the Seattle Angel Conference.  After eight weeks of pitches, coaching sessions, reviews, selections and due diligence, these six companies remain as the finalists. 

Here are more details about the companies:

Corengi  - -  @corengi

Re-inventing how people learn about and connect with clinical trials - an industry that spends $14 billion annually on recruitment.

Corengi has a matching engine to help patients find clinical trials that is available both on a dedicated website and via a widget. This simple service provides referrals to trial sponsors and new revenue for health-related websites. Initial focus is on lead-generation – referrals for clinical trial sponsors, CRO's and investigative sites. In the future, our technology and data will be leveraged to help trial sponsors plan trials.

Redpoint International - 

REDpoint's patent pending and FDA cleared medical devices provide the most effective solution to a $1B globally recognized problem.
Over 300M domestic IVs are placed annually. If secured by tape, 92% of IV catheters fail to survive the expected 96 hrs. dwell time. IV adhesives cause skin reactions on 34% of patients. 70% of IV failures requiring restarts result from catheter movement. REDpoint's Stedline is adhesive free and prevents IV failures as it absorbs over 10 times the amount of pull on the IV lines as compared to all other leading commercial means of stabilization. - - @writerlytweets is a marketplace of independent publishing services that connects writers with the vendors they need to get their books to market.
The marketplace connects writers directly with the vendors they need throughout the self-publishing process. Writers post biddable service requests on to find copy editors, designers, ebook specialists, marketers, etc. Most self-published books fall short of the author's sales goals. solves this problem by enabling writers to create customized publishing support teams throughout the publishing and marketing process.

Suncrest Farms - 


SUNCREST™ is a Seattle-based clean tech company that uses advanced hydroponic "pond" technology to grow premium-quality lettuce in local, commercial-scale greenhouses 365 days/yr within 100 miles of urban centers across the U.S. — Whole Foods calls "Local" the new organic and it is the fastest-growing segment in the $1.2B Romaine/Leaf Lettuce Market. The problem is supply — because 98% of all US lettuce is shipped from CA, AZ, and Mexico.

Exo Labs - - @exolabs 

Exo Labs makes iPad and iPhone microscopes for science education and beyond.

Our iPad and iPhone microscopes make life easier for teachers by immediately integrating into existing curriculum, optimizing use of class time, and allowing users to take the classroom anywhere. Because of the exponential growth of iPads in education, we are initially targeting customers in the education and science/engineering markets; then we will expand our market targets to include hobbyists and technology enthusiasts.

Talk to the manager - - @talktothemanagr  

We provide a customer service tool that allows managers to receive and respond to immediate, anonymous customer feedback via text message.

Customers provide realtime, actionable feedback to management staff by anonymous text message. Management then responds, resolving issues before customers leave. This form of preventative reputation management improves the business' online character and boosts their positive social media reach. Analytics generated lead to operational improvements reducing costs, customer turnover, and provide a seamless marketing solution creating brand loyalty.

Wade Brooks Speaking at Seattle Angel Conference

Wade is the Executive Director of the Willamette University Angel Investment Fund, the first and only graduate school angel fund program of its kind. Wade co-founded this program with Rob Wiltbank, PhD and it provides experiential learning for MBA students in effectuation, due diligence and seed-level investing. It was ranked by Inc. Magazine as one of the "Top 10 Best Entrepreneurship Courses of 2011," alongside classes at Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
In addition to the Angel Fund, Wade teaches courses in entrepreneurship, new venture launch and venture investing at the Willamette University Atkinson Graduate School of Management. He also serves on the board of private companies. While he has taught corporate finance and capstone courses, entrepreneurship remains his passion.
When I founded the Willamette Angel Conference, we were lucky to have interest from the Willamette MBA Angel Fund. We had two students representing the Angel Fund work along side each of the investors in the Conference Investor LLC. They had made an actual investment into Conference and participated fully in the process. The investment discussions were definately better off having the MBA students engaging in the process.
Come learn more about the Willamette MBA Angel Fund and the returns of Angel Investors overall. Wade will be the Capstone Speaker at the Seattle Angel Conference on December 13, 2012

Do Angel Investors actually make money?

We have all heard the story of the guy working at XYZ big company, who over time becomes an SEC Qualified Investor. He gets approached by some co-workers who have a great idea. He invests $100K into this great idea with very little due diligence. In the end his friends loose all the money and kill the company. Perhaps they damage relationships along the way. And in the end, our investor decides that Angel Investing is a bad idea. 

On the other hand, we seem to see groups of people who are investing on a regular basis and they seem to be happy to continue even when for years, the only thing they get back is investments that have failed. While entrepreneurship and Angel Investing take a serious amount of optimism, what is it that keeps people engaging in Angel Investing. 

Fortunately, we have Rob Wiltbank conducting on going research about the results of Angel Investing. He recently posted some results in a TechCrunch Article: , showing that under some circumstances, groups of Angel Investors are making 2.5 times their investment returns. Which translates to something around a 27% annualized return rate. 

Take a look at the graph and notice that 60% of the deals end up loosing some or all of the money that was invested. In addition, companies that fail tend to die earlier than companies that succeed. So it would not be unexpected to have multiple years of losses before you start seeing investments that succeed. 

This makes it difficult to distinguish a series of just bad investments from a normal collection of good investments. However, by following some specific guidelines, Angel Investors have a better chance making a reasonable return.  Effective Angel Investing begins with doing a reasonable amount of due diligence on companies, which are in an industry that you understand and that you have relationships and contacts. 

Come hear more of the details of this research when Wade Brooks makes the Capstone speech at the Seattle Angel Conference on December 13th, 2012 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Going All In: 5 Lessons for Startup and Poker Success

Phil Gordon joins the Seattle Angel Conference as the keynote speaker.

From technologist to professional poker player, to CEO of a computer game company, Phil Gordon has led a "No Limits" life filled with adventure, challenges, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy. A National Merit Scholar who entered college at 15, Phil began his professional life as a computer scientist after earning his degree from Georgia Tech.

His first business success saw his company, Netsys Technologies, acquired by Cisco Systems in 1997. After the acquisition, Phil took off on a four year, 50+ country solo backpacking journey around the world that included stops at the top of Kilimanjaro, the outback of Australia, an elephant safari in Thailand, and the "greatest road trip in sports history" in the United States, a 138 event, 40,000 mile year long trip in an RV dubbed the Ultimate Sports Adventure.

Phil's travel adventures concluded just in time for an explosion in the world of poker. An avid card player all his life, Phil finished fourth in the 2001 World Series Main event, a result that catapulted him into the poker media spotlight.

Phil was the lead commentator for Bravo's hit show, "Celebrity Poker Showdown", served as the Poker Analyst for five years, was a member of the World Series of Poker Player Advisory Committee, and has written four poker books with more than 500,000 copies in print in 12 languages. Phil's poker tournament winnings are in excess of $3 million, including a win on the World Poker Tour at the Bay 101 Shooting Star.  Phil is also an an acclaimed public speaker and has given keynote addresses and led conferences for many of the fortune 500, including Google, Yahoo, ATT, IBM, The Economist, Greenlight Capital, and many more.

Phil supports the Bad Beat on Cancer benefitting the Prevent Cancer Foundation. To date,  thousands of poker players worldwide have raised more than $3.8 million dollars for the cause.  Phil also regularly volunteers time to charities around the world, including the Michael J Fox Foundation, Michael Jordan Foundation, Jason Taylor Foundation, Dan Marino Foundation, Rypien Foundation, SENG, and many others.  Phil and his wife Barb are active members of the Pend O'reille community in Newport, Washington and support many local initiatives there as well, including their Pend O'reille Micro-enterprise Development Organization (POMDO).

In December 2011 after nearly ten years as a professional player, Phil retired from poker and returned to the world of technology.  He founded Jawfish Games and is serving as CEO and Chairman of the Board.  Jawfish is the home of real-time competition for Facebook and mobile devices, making games of skill feature real-time, multiplayer tournaments.  Jawfish launched their first title, Word Rack, in March 2012 to rave review.  Jawfish is funded by Founders Fund and currently employs 23 full time in Seattle.

Phil will explore 5 aspects of winning poker that apply to running a successful startup.  We'll cover everything from the power of position, knowing when to fold, and when to go all in.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Seattle Angel on Q13 Fox News

In case you missed it, Seattle Angel was recently featured in a news story about angel investing on Seattle's Q13 Fox News.  The winner of the first Seattle Angel Conference, ILLUMAGEAR, was also highlighted.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

5 Cool Things About Seattle Angel Conference

By Pete Baltaxe 

It doesn't break the bank
Angel investing is typically expensive. If you are a member of an organized angel group, you are expected to make investments in the $25,000 to $50,000 range. The same is true for investing in a legitimate angel round on your own. And to have a hope of making money at angel investing, you need to invest in something like 20-30 deals to have a decent chance that one will make a big return and more than cover the total loss of many of the others. So that's $250K to $500K for 10 deals. You need to be comfortable rolling big dice. If you join Seattle Angel Conference as an accredited investor, and then you can roll dice for $5500 a pop. It's a good way to see if you enjoy the process, and enjoy making the bet on an entrepreneurial team; or if it just not a comfortable place for you.
You're not alone as a noob
Most of the investors who participate in the Seattle Angel Conference LLC are new to angel investing. There are no dumb questions. There are a few experienced angel investors who act as mentors, and who are also participating in the investment. A lawyer walks through the term sheet in one of the sessions, so you can ask as many questions as you like.
It is good for benchmarking startups
If you haven't been exposed to a lot of startups, it can be hard to know what a solid team should look like, or how fleshed out a business model or go-to-market strategy should be. How much customer traction should you expect, how polished a product? What evidence of real innovation or defensible intellectual property is "normal" at this early stage? Seeing 20 or more companies in a few weeks will help you get a feel for what looks like a solid early bet versus an untested idea or partial team.
You learn something
With 20-40 smart people in the room, you will learn about technical or business or industry considerations for each startup that you would not have been aware of on your own. You get the benefit of seeing how other people view this opportunity, some of whom will have experience in the specific field, some of whom will have insight into the marketing or business development challenges that a company might face, and some of whom may just have looked at enough companies to be impressed by what the team has accomplished in a short time.
It's great for networking
If you are interested in startups, SAC is a great way to meet 20-40 other people in the Seattle area who are interested in startups; and since these are accredited investors, they are typically successful business people or technologists. You also get to meet the founders of about 20 startups through the vetting and due diligence process.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Workshops Running up to the Second Seattle Angel Conference

 We had enough interest from the first conference, that we are aiming to do another one on December 13th.  Our deadline for submission for companies that want to participate in the review process is October 15th. 

We have 4 dates that are interesting over the next two weeks:

1) On October 8th at 1:00pm at Surf Incubator, we will host "Angel Investing 101 for entrepreneurs" - Please register at

2) On October 10th at 6:00pm at BGI, we will host "Angel Investing with Andy Sack"

3) On October 15th at 1:00pm at Surf Incubator, we will host Joe Wallin from DWT talking about " Termsheets for entrepreneurs" - Please register at

4) On October 15th at 11:55PM we have a deadline for companies to apply to the Angel Conference as a participating company. Please register at

If you know anyone who would benefit for any of these, please pass them on and invite them to participate.

Thank you for your support of the Seattle Angel Conference. It is our goal to increase the number of successful Angel Investments in our region. We can not do it without your help. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Investor Post: Six Degrees of Reservation

It’s been a rough summer – for the economy, for VC, and beyond.  Maybe you have some reservations about entering angel investing in this climate.  Or maybe you’re an experienced seed investor, unsure of the approach that we take at Seattle Angel.  I thought about my own path, and surfaced six “reservations” that seemed worth addressing:

1.  “The VC and angel ecosystems are churning”

Though a little histrionic, this reservation isn’t way off.  The Facebook IPO took its toll, and it came on the back of a disheartening Kauffman Foundation report. For any new entrant into the seed capital market, this summer played like a public service warning on the dangers of hitchhiking; If you wind up where you don’t wanna go, it’s your own fault for riding with opportunistic strangers.

The top level news isn’t helped by the sheer statistics of traditional venture investment ROI. The Quilvest team captured my favorite recent graphical summary:

Everyone has something to say. From June’s direct guidance from the accomplished & intelligent Paul Graham, to last weekend’s sane but self-serving notes from Andy Rachleff, the message seems clear: seed-stage investment is at best high risk (which we knew), and at worst can be brittle, arcane, even fickle.  An indiscriminant angel can only do poorly. Who wants any part of this?

If you’re slowed by this shadowy picture, you’re not alone  Yet I remain deeply committed to Seattle Angel. Why?

-       Everyone involved with Seattle Angel shares your awareness of the long odds of angel breakthrough. This is not a vanity exercise; it’s an organization committed – long term – to both the companies we invest in, and the processes of learning, self-criticism & adjustment from which success is born.

-       Our day-to-day execution is based on rigorous due diligence and challenge to the participating startups – not prediction and insider gamesmanship.

-       Our unique structure allows accredited investors to leverage a comparatively low commitment of capital into a meaningful seed investment.

Of course none of this eliminates this reservation. But acknowledging it – and inviting you to work within a community of realists – may help you reconcile your own relationship with the risks and rewards of seed-stage investing.

2.  “Seattle has an established angel investing ecosystem. Why cloud that with another entrant?”

I have to admit I’m surprised by this reservation when I hear it from prospective investors.  Yes, it’s absolutely true that we have a rich seed investment infrastructure in the Northwest corridor.  And yes, if you’re ready to make a substantive impact, you should join one of Seattle’s premier angel organizations.  In fact, many members of Seattle Angel are also active in the Alliance of Angels, Seraph Capital, and others. 

The reason I’m surprised, though, is the misconception beneath the reservation.  Yes, Silicon Valley may have tipped toward a haphazard level of artificial seed-stage “competition” that inflates valuations and turns thoughtful investment into a kind of merit badge competition.  I'm a pessimist, but still don't see large risk of that here in the Northwest.  

More important, though, Seattle Angel has an allergy to those gymnastics.  We are an incubator.  Twice each year, we conduct a deep, highly structured pitch and due-diligence competition, timed to amplify the best work of Seattle’s more established funnels and funds.  We do so with an eye toward educating first-time investors, routing them toward the region’s seed-stage pillars, and expanding the overall startup capital environment.  It’s a role we relish, and are certain is unique.

3.  “I can’t predict winners.  People who think they can are na├»ve, confused, overly confident, or all three.”

To this reservation, I can only shout ‘One Of Us!”  Among the many great experiences I’ve had as an active Seattle Angel member is exposure to the work of Rob Wiltbank, who delivered an inspiring, data-intensive talk at the close of our Seattle Angel Conference in May.  If you haven’t immersed yourself in Rob’s research on seed-stage investment, I strongly recommend it.  A key theme in his decade-plus work: effectual principles.  Far beyond predictive ability, the following three factors weigh highest in determining angel outcomes:

1. Due diligence time: More hours of due diligence positively relates to greater returns.
2. Experience: An angel investor’s expertise in the industry of the venture in which they invest also is related to greater returns.
3. Participation: Angel investors that interacted with their portfolio companies at least a couple of times per month by mentoring, coaching, providing leads, and/or monitoring performance experienced greater returns.

At Seattle Angel, we seek to optimize both our organization and our process around these three principles.

4.  “Internet-driven businesses get too much attention and capital. If this region is to grow, it won’t be exclusively on software and internet businesses.” 

I know this reservation well.  Possibly like you, I’ve spent a lot of my life developing and leading consumer internet businesses. I not only know the territory, but I know how well it can lift and scale from an investment perspective.  It'd be as foolish to overlook Seattle's DNA in this segment as it would to overlook those economies of scale.  Seattle Angel does neither.

At the same time, half of the finalists in our May conference sat well outside this realm.  And in the run-up to the conference, innovators in manufacturing, retail, education, and medicine shared our mindshare with (equally innovative) companies focused on applications and platform software.  In our recruitment of investor expertise, and in our openness to applicants, Seattle Angel is extraordinarily interested in breadth.  Our bias, if we have one, is toward opportunity and growth – not a particular segment.

If you are someone who believes growth for the region involves a complex blend of businesses, you may find Seattle Angel a good entry or diversification point.

5.  “This isn’t a hobby. My time and portfolio matter.”

One of the weird truths about building a nascent angel organization is that some mistakenly view it as a “hobby”.  I thought that impression might end with our successful first conference. And to be honest, there are some things burned into the Seattle Angel way of working that might make this misconception linger. 

We're a group of accomplished Seattle investors – serious about the task of evaluating deals, and critical of both entrepreneur pitches and our own process.  But it’s true: we’re nota linen napkin crowd.  We live in startup culture, choose cardboard pizza over catering, and pinch our operating costs through a sieve.  It makes for some decidedly low-end events.  But it has also fostered an informal, open, fact-focused atmosphere – and enabled us to attract and retain investors that value IQ, experience, respect, and results over flatware and playacting.

More important than group dynamics, though, is the structure of Seattle Angel.  You will leverage a $5500 per-unit investment into an LLC and rigorous vetting process in which your insight and participation matter.  A convertible note worth 20-40 times that will seed the work of a startup you helped select.  Whether you are broadening your angel portfolio as an experienced investor, or entering the seed-stage ecosystem as a first timer, the Seattle Angel process offers you a unique opportunity to build your network, skills, and holdings. 

It’s not a hobby for us, either -- or the entrepreneurs we deeply care about.

6.  “As if the above wasn’t enough: the world economy isn't sound.  Why pursue angel investing now?”
Seeds don’t complain about a dismal rain, and growth doesn’t stop when it’s dark.  

There’s a wealth of new businesses starting in this region, at various stages of development.  Our intent is to grow all of the entrepreneurs who move through the Seattle Angel process, and to help you – as a first time or experienced seed investor – find a conduit for your expertise.

This is a remarkable time.  Whatever the reservations, I hope you can join us for the Seattle Angel Conference.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Investor Post: Seattle Angel Conference #2 - by Charlie Kindel

On May 30, 2012 we held the first ever Seattle Angel Conference. It was a smashing success. Bolstered by the success of the first event, we’re doing it again on December 13.
The primary mission of those of us helping to drive Seattle Angel Conferences is:
“To grow the angel community in greater Seattle by creating an open environment where any accredited investor can participate in the investment of new startups.”
We know there are a lot of potential angel investors in Seattle who can’t evenspell “Angel Investing”. We want to create an environment where noob angel investors can “dip their toes in the water” and get involved in a relatively low-risk manner.
Here’s how it works:

The Investors

  • We shoot for recruiting around 40 investors from the Seattle area to participate. Ideally these are “new, never done angel investing” investors, but we welcome anyone as long as they are an accredited investor.
  • Each investor commits $5000 + a service fee.
  • Over 8-10 weeks leading up to the conference date, the investors meet regularly to learn about angel investing, due-diligence, term-sheets, deal flow, and so-forth. This is done via events as well as actually digging into due-diligence in the startups that are participating.
  • The money (($5000 + fee) * number of investors) gets put into a newly formed LLC and an LLC manager is selected. That LLC manages the investment moving forward.  40 investors means a $200k investment in a startup.
  • For the first conference in May we had 20 investors (and thus invested $100k).

The Startups

  • We recruit 100 or so early stage (seed stage) startups to participate.
  • The startups can be in any industry. Illumagear, the winner of the first Seattle Angel Conference had a construction gear product.
  • The startups go through a screening process (where the investors do due-diligence) over the same 8-10 week period.  The startups will meet with the group of investors several times.  Through this they get valuable feedback and practice in doing their pitches.
  • The top 5 or 6 startups are selected to participate in the Conference.
  • We believe in investing in the Seattle area so we have a rule that participating startups must be headquartered within a day’s drive from the city of Seattle.

The Event

  • At the event (December 13, 2012) the top 5 or 6 startups will get up on stage and give one final pitch for their company in front of an audience of several hundred people (we had ~150 or so in May).
  • Food & drinks are served and attendees will hear keynote speaker.
  • Anyone can attend the event: investors, entrepreneurs, media, etc… Everyone is welcome.
  • We charge for attendance; we run the program to break even. The more attendees we get, the more money goes into ensuring the event is high quality.
  • We are actively seeking event sponsors as well. If you are interested in having your company get great visibility please contact John Sechrest.
  • After the startups do their final pitches, the investors get into a back-room and decided which one of the finalists wins the big check. It’s kinda like American Idol. And a lot of fun.
Join in the fun.  If you have ever considered investing in early stage startups but didn’t know how to get started, or were scared because it seemed too risky, the Seattle Angel Conference is for you. One way of thinking of it is you get real hand’s on training on how to be an angel investor for just $5K.
We are providing early bird registration now through Sept 15th.  Get signed up early and save. Entrepreneurs register Here. Angel investors register here.
The entrepreneur registration deadline is October 15.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Angel Investing with Andy Sack

Andy has been extremely active in the Seattle startup scene, providing the foundation for Lighter Capital, Founders Coop and the Seattle Techstars program. His activities in the community has transformed how the startup scene in Seattle is working. As an entrepreneur, Andy was the founder of Judy's Book. As an Angel Investor, Andy has explored new models of connecting with startups, including revenue based investment with Lighter Capital and aggressive development of new startup entrepreneurs with the Seattle Techstars program.  Andy recently won the "Ironman of Startups Award" for all of his work.

You can find out more about Andy's activities on his blog at - .  You can follow him on twitter at @andysack

If you have had questions about how and why Andy Sack does his Angel Investing, join us on  October 10th at 6:00pm, when we will host "Angel Investing with Andy Sack". 

You can join us for a conversation about how Andy Sack approaches Angel Investing  by registering at:

Participant Deadline for SAC - Oct 15th

The Second Seattle Angel Conference is gathering steam. We are currently accepting applications from prospective companies and finalizing membership in the Investors LLC. The deadline for company applications and initial investor commitments is October 15th, 2012. 

Starting on October 16th, the applying companies will begin getting a review by the Investors LLC. 

If you are a company interested in participating as an presenting company - Please Register Here before Oct 15th. 
This is a great opportunity for companies to get a deep review by investors and to get feedback on their progress. We are looking at companies that are near revenue and have demonstrated traction. 

If you are interested in exploring Angel Investing and participating in the Investors LLC, please fill out the form on this page

This provides an opportunity for you to connect with entrepreneurs who are active at an early stage of development and to connect with Angel Investors who are working to expand the startup ecosystem in the region. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Seattle Angel Conference - Take two - Early Bird deadline 9/15

The second Seattle Angel Conference is coming up this fall. This is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to pitch their companies and get detailed feedback from new investors. This is also an opportunity for Qualified Investors to explore Angel Investing.  While the event runs on Dec 13th, there will be workshops and due diligence reviews of the applying companies throughout October and November. 

If you are part of a startup near or at first revenue, consider applying to the conference. If you are interested in learning about the basics of Angel Investing, please consider joining the LLC that supports the conference process. 

Early bird Deadline is Sept 15th - $99 
Deadline to be considered as an applying company - October 15th. 

If you know anyone who would benefit from this, please share it with them.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Convertible Note Fishbowl Discussion on 7/17/2012

Very early Angel Investments tend to use convertible notes as the basis of the deal terms.  Each of the Oregon Angel Conferences and the Seattle Angel Conference use a convertible note.  There are many different terms in the convertible note, some of which can have a dramatic impact on the investment process.  We would like to explore the details of the convertible note instruments, learn what they do well, find what they need adjustment on, and gain a deeper understanding of how and when to use convertible notes as a part of the Angel Investment conferences. 

With a very early investment, it is essential to keep the overhead of establishing and managing the investment to a minimum. As the same time, it is important to create a win-win opportunity for both the investor and the enterpreneur, so that the chances of success increase. 

We will hold a Convertible Note Fishbowl on Tuesday July 17th, 2012 to explore the terms of Convertible Notes. We have several lawyers who are interested in the conversation.

The format of the conversation will be a fishbowl conversation, where the speakers will be at the center. If you wish to speak, you will need to move to the center ring. If you wish not to speak, you will need to move out of the center ring.

If you have questions about convertible notes and Angel Investments, please register for this event. 

Space will be limited. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Exploring Seattle Angel Conference for December 2012

After the first Seattle Angel Conference, we had a significant number of people ask for the date of the next event. After doing a little resting and a little polling, we have critical mass to start the planning for the next Seattle Angel Conference.  Given the large number of Incubators and accelerators that are graduating interesting companies between now and the end of the fall, it makes sense to aim for December 13th as a target date for our second conference. 

We will start gathering entrepreneurs and investors for this conference date.

We are offering some VERY early bird prices on tickets for people who are interested in attending the second event.  Please signup below if you want to attend or if you want to present:

Saturday, June 2, 2012

First Seattle Angel Conference Awards $100K investment to Illumagear

Inline image 1The Seattle Angel Conference event on May 31st, 2012 was a culmination of many months of due diligence, review and evaluation. An Investor group of nineteen investors actively interviewed and reviewed the presenting companies.  Of the twenty six companies that applied, six finalist companies presented at the event. Each of these companies had champions inside the investor LLC.  In the many meetings leading up to the event, the investor group reviewed and discussed the merits of each company.

With a great pitch and a lot of passion, Max Baker from Illumagear was selected as the winning company.  The Investment fund of $100K will be invested in Illumagear using the convertible note listed on this website. 

The goal of the Seattle Angel Conference is to provide place for new Angel investors to bring new Angel Investors and New entrepreneurs together to explore the process of Angel Investing. With active due diligence and engagement in the startup process, Angel Investors can have significantly better investment outcomes. At the same time, active Angel engagement can build stronger startup companies.  At the conference, Dr Rob Wiltbank made a fabulous review of the outcomes of many years of investments using this mechanism in Oregon.  

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The 2012 Seattle Angel Conference FINALISTS ANNOUNCED

The Seattle Angel Conference (SAC) announced its finalists for the first Seattle Angel Conference to be held on Thursday, May 31th at the MakersSpace in Downtown Seattle. The SAC if following the pattern set by the Oregon Angel Conferences which are run in five Oregon communities. This is the first year for the Seattle Angel Conference.

The six finalists are vying for an investment of about $100K . A wide range of companies applied the conference. These finalists were chosen after weeks of due diligence performed by the SAC investors.

Seattle Angel Conference 2012 Finalists:

Apptentive - Seattle -

GetSatisfaction + for app developers. In < 15 minutes, developers can get better ratings & direct customer relationships.

Buddy - Seattle -

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One of the six finalists will be selected to receive the 2012 SAC investment on May 31th. The Seattle Angel Conference is open to anyone interested in the process of Angel Investing and Capital Entrepreneurship.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Crowd Funding? Paths to investment for startups

As a part of our ongoing workshops to help entrepreneurs and investors connect, we are doing the following workshop:

Talk about the JOBS Act
May 21st, 2012

With the recent passage of the JOBS CrowdFunding act, the rules for getting funding for your startup are changing. There is a great deal of hope about the possible new sources of funding for startups. There is also a great deal of fear that there will be rampant fraud. What are the possible outcomes of this legislation? Perhaps the changes in the 506 regulations will have a larger impact than the crowdfunding provistions. 

John Myer has started a conversation about this on his blog at :


John Myer and William Carleton will facilitate a conversation about the crowdfunding possiblities and consequences. Come join us to learn more about crowd funding. 

John A. Myer of Myer Law PLLC represents start-up companies from formation, though angel financing to merger or acquisition. Mr. Myer also negotiates bank or venture capital financing for established businesses and drafts contracts with companies' employees, customers or vendors. In addition, Mr. Myer represents investment advisers who operate hedge funds and others who manage public mutual funds. Prior to moving to Seattle in 2004, he was an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell (New York and Frankfurt), Paul Weiss (London) and White & Case (Miami). Before his career in law, Mr. Myer received an MS in finance from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and worked as a financial analyst and management consultant with Arthur D. Little, Inc. He earned his JD, magna cum laudefrom the University of Miami and an AB in mathematics and economics, summa cum laude, from Dartmouth College. He is a member of the Securities Committee of the Washington State Bar Association.


William Carleton, McNaul Ebel Nawrot & Helgren PLLC, serves on the Angel Capital Association's Public Policy Committee Advisory Council. In his work on the Council, he has closely followed the drafting and the passage of the JOBS Act. Bill writes regularly about startups, angel investing, the new crowdfunding exemption, and related topics in various publications, including his daily blog,

Friday, April 6, 2012

Application date extended to April 9th

We have had 24 companies apply to the Seattle Angel Conference. This looks like an interesting mix of companies. We have had a couple of request for people to join into the due diligence. If you are a company that wants to apply , the tickets have been reopened and will close on Monday 4/9.  Please go to 

and register as an applying company. 

If you are investor and want to get in on the due diligence, please look at the investor page and fill out the interest form:

Our due diligence will happen every Tuesday night until the end of May, where we will review companies and explore the process of investing. Our goal is to engage more people in the startup funding process. 

The First Due Diligence deep dive will happen on Tuesday April 10th. The reading of the documents for companies has already begun.  Please let us know if you would like to join this process. 

Termsheets for Entrepreneurs Workshop

Termsheets for Entrepreneurs
with Anik Guha from Orrick
April 16th, 2012  - 6:00pm

As an entrepreneur and an investor come to decison that they want to work together, they need to come to an agreement of the terms under which the deal will be struck. Will it be a Loan? A Convertable Note? An stake for equity or a piece of revenue? The terms and conditions of the deal will make a significant difference to the end result. 

Even with the new crowdfunding law in place, there will need to be terms and conditions on the deals that are made. Due diligence is one of the best tools when you are making a deal. Come talk with Anik Guha from Orrick about how to structure a deal. 

Learn about early stage term sheets (debt and equity), with a focus on long-term consequences for founders. Specific topics include:
            --How should you structure your early financings?
            --Dilution impact of convertible debt and early stage equity
            --Setting a template for future rounds
            --Board structure
            --What is "market"?

Anik Guha is the head of Orrick's emerging companies group in Seattle. His practice includes the formation, financing and general corporate counseling of emerging growth private companies. Most of Anik's clients are in fast growth fields related to information technology, media, entertainment and clean technology.

PS, Orrick is one of the firms that has an online Startup Kit

Friday, March 23, 2012

Get engaged in Startups: Present, Invest, participate in the Seattle Angel Conference

Apply to participate - Deadline is April 2nd. :

Participate in the startup ecosystem. Pitch your company to investors and get feedback and meaningful due diligence. Be an investor and as a group decide where to invest your fund dollars. Learn about due diligence and investment term sheets as a participant at the conference. 

Apply to participate - Application Deadline is April 2nd:

The Seattle Angel Conference is an investor driven event, which helps to grow the early part of the startup ecosystem. One of the ways to grow more successful startup businesses in the region is to have more people investing in more good startups. The Angel Conference draws together people who are interested in learning more about Investing in startups with the startups who are looking for investment. 

At the event, Come hear Dave Hersh from Jive Software tell his Entrepreneurial story. Listen to Rob Wiltbank from Willamette University and Montlake Capital present research about the success of Angel Investing. See six finalists present their companies and hear from the due diligence teams how they see the companies. 

But the most interesting part of the event happens in the 8 weeks before the conference event, with the weekly due diligence meetings between the Investors and the presenting companies. To get the deepest value from this event, participate as an investor or as a applying company. 

All of the companies that apply will be listed in the event booklet and will be able to attend the event. They will get get feedback on their idea and will be connected to resources to help move them forward. 

Apply to participate - Deadline is April 2nd. :

Monday, March 12, 2012

Rob Wiltbank will present at Seattle Angel Conference

Dr. Wiltbank will be speaking at the Seattle Angel conference. He is actively tracking the activities of the OEN Angel Oregon style Conferences and the Oregon Angel Fund. His analysis of Angel Investing and Venture Capital returns have been referenced in many conversations, especially the Returns for Angel Investors in Groups.  

Dr. Wiltbank is Associate Professor of Strategic Management for the Atkinson Graduate School of Management at Willamette University, a program dedicated to management principles that are core to creating value in For Profit, Not For Profit, and Government organizations. He teaches courses on Industry Analysis, Entrepreneurship, Strategy, Governance, and Venture Finance.

He is also a Partner at Montlake Capital, a growth stage venture investment firm headquartered in Seattle, Washington. He currently serves on the board of Max-Viz Inc, and the board of the Angel Resource Institute. In addition, he teaches governance and strategy to nonprofit organizations throughout the U.S. as part of National Arts Strategies, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing managerial expertise in non-profits.

Dr. Wiltbank's research focuses on strategy making under uncertainty, particularly as it relates to growing new organizations. He is a leading researcher in the field of angel investing, and has published research in top tier academic journals covering topics from change in top management teams, to non-predictive strategies; from entrepreneurial expertise in marketing, to formal venture capital investment practices. He also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Business Venturing.

Rob is co-author of the book The Catalyst from Crown Publishing, based on his research as a Batten Institute Research Fellow with the Darden School at the University of Virginia, selected by Business Week as one of the top 10 books on innovation and leadership in 2009. He is also co-author of Effectual Entrepreneurship, from Routledge Publishing in 2011, a text on entrepreneurial expertise based on 15 years of academic research on the topic. He holds a Ph.D. in Strategic Management from the University of Washington, and a degree in finance & accounting from Oregon State University.

Dave Hersh is the keynote speaker for Seattle Angel Conference

Dave Hersh picture

Dave Hersh is coming to the Seattle Angel conference and will launch the conference with the keynote address. 

Dave is an active investor and advisor to early stage companies with a focus on enterprise SaaS and social technologies. Dave sits on the boards of Crushpath, ShopIgniter, Steelwedge, and the nonprofit Wildaid, and is an active advisor to many companies. 

Dave was the Founding CEO and then Chairman of Jive Software, a Sequoia and Kleiner Perkins backed growth company. In that role, his vision and leadership grew the company from its inception as a small open source project with no revenue to a $55M, pre-IPO company. Jive became the hands-down leader of the Social Business Software revolution, with leadership positions in three separate Gartner Magic Quadrants. Prior to Jive, Hersh was the CFO at 4charity and a management consultant at VIA International.

Dave has gained a reputation for his knowledge of how to build great companies, create and win markets, and assemble rockstar teams. He has been profiled in New York Times and Forbes, is an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year, and is a frequent speaker at industry events. He lives in Mill Valley, CA and holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics from DePauw University.

Come to the Seattle Angel Conference to hear Dave speak about his startup experience.