Friday, November 28, 2014

Welcoming the TechCafe community

After 3 years of the Seattle Angel Conference, we're continually impressed with the magic that happens when we have more conversations about how capital fits into the entrepreneurial journey. Seattle Angel is the result of seeing this magic happen over and over again.

To create more opportunities to have those conversations in our own back yard, TechCafe is merging with Seattle Angel. TechCafe has been around for the last 7 years focusing on entrepreneurs... but rarely focusing on capital as it relates to entrepreneurs and the tech community. These days you can go to an event almost every night for recruiting, being inspired by other great entrepreneurs, or finding partners, and co-founders.

We’ll be merging with Seattle Angel…. and of course kicking off an awesome new series of events focused on helping entrepreneurs with capital, helping angel investors become better investors, and of course focusing on how we can improve the funding story here in Seattle. There are loads of great angels in town such as Rudy Gadre, Geoff Entress, Gary Rubens, Dan Rosen, Greg Bennett, and the list goes on and on. We’re so impressed with them and thankful for the Alliance of Angels, Element 8, Keiretsu Forum, Zino, TAGS, WINGS, and all the other angel groups who have been working so hard to keep funding the best and the brightest. We will add more value to entrepreneurs seeking funding as well as helping new and old angel investors understand this part of the entrepreneurial journey.

Come celebrate the merger with a drink and come prepared to learn from local entrepreneurs about their experiences raising capital and building a company here in Seattle.

What: How did they raise capital in Seattle?
Where: Davis Wright Tremaine (thanks for sponsoring)
When: December 16th 5-7PM
Details: Yours truly, Josh Maher, will moderate the panel which will include:
Registration: Please register at here

If you haven’t been to a TechCafe in a while or are just finding out about it as we transition to focusing on startup capital. I wrote a few posts like Experiences Attending and Hosting Seattle Lunch 2.0, Seattle Lunch 2.0, and Four Years of TechCafe.

I’ve also pulled together details from many of our events over the years. Do you see any of your favorite companies?

From the most recent to the oldest events, here are all the events we’ve put together to make the Seattle startup scene a more vibrant space. For some reason they all didn’t get documented very well, and some didn’t even make it onto the list below somehow. Here is a video of the event over at Big Door Media for example and another example is Jonathan Sposato talking about the art and science of being bought.

TechCafe Lunch @Wowrack w/2Morrow, Gametiime, & NLP Core
TechCafe Happy Hour @INRIX
TechCafe Happy Hour w/Turnstone @Whitepages
TechCafe Happy Hour @OneToTheWorld
TechCafe Happy Hour @Cairncross w/Currently
TechCafe Happy Hour @Appature
Founders and Foodies – private invite only dinner
TechCafe Launch Event @EastsideIncubator w/Puzzaz, Kickofflabs, & 1track
TechCafe Lunch @Zillow – The second time Zillow hosted us!
TechCafe @Glympse
TechCafe Happy Hour @Appature
TechCafe Happy Hour @BlueBox Group
TechCafe @ColoInSeattle
TechCafe Happy Hour @AEONLaw
TechCafe Happy Hour @3R Technology
TechCafe Happy Hour @TeachStreet
TechCafe Happy Hour @TechDwellers – The Name Inspector spoke at this one, a great event!
TechCafe Developer Lunch @Cheezburger
TechCafe Happy Hour @CoCollage w/SolutionsIQ
TechCafe Lunch @Hark
TechCafe Lunch @EnergySavvy
TechCafe @Appature
TechCafe Happy Hour w/Ratio Interactive & Point Inside – we did this one at a bar, so we could hold the 300 attendees.
TechCafe Happy Hour @Contour
TechCafe Lunch @HillandKnowlton w/Fitch
TechCafe Presents w/Crowdmap & Zebigo
TechCafe Lunch @Cheezburger Network w/Bing – The Bing guys were actually upset that I defaulted to using Google Maps when I published this one.
TechCafe Happy Hour @PinchZoom w/Lillipip
TechCafe Happy Hour @BlueGecko w/Avelle
Seattle Lunch 2.0 Presents (DEMO Event)
Seattle Lunch 2.0 Happy Hour @TalentSpring
Seattle Lunch 2.0 @Symform
Seattle Lunch 2.0 @BlueBoxGrp
Seattle Lunch 2.0 @Cooley w/Appature
Seattle Lunch 2.0 @Zendorse – another epic 200+ person happy hour in Fremont.
Seattle Lunch 2.0 @Parker w/Azaleos
Seattle Lunch 2.0 @BuddyTV
Seattle Lunch 2.0 @Gist
Seattle Lunch 2.0 DEMO @Pacific
Seattle Lunch 2.0 Happy Hour @ Cooley w/Icebreaker
Seattle Lunch 2.0 @ Parker w/Konnects
Seattle Lunch 2.0 @ Microsoft Health Solutions Group
Seattle Lunch 2.0 @Evri
Seattle Lunch 2.0 @ BlueGecko
Seattle Lunch 2.0 @Vholdr – who became contour, who hosted TechCafe, who ultimately was beat by GoPro.
Seattle Lunch 2.0 @Ontela – this was an epic 250 person happy hour
Seattle Lunch 2.0 @Parker w/Big Fish Games – oddly, this post is just an announcement with photos of the blist event.
Seattle Lunch 2.0 @blist – (Now Socrata) all these early registration links that point to crack me up.
Seattle Lunch 2.0 @Zumobi
Seattle Lunch 2.0 @Avvo – this was Avvo’s holiday party and also the day they won a major court ruling
Seattle Lunch 2.0 @F5 w/Scott Berkun – F5 just wanted to participate in the community
Seattle Lunch 2.0 @Google – can’t find a link to a mention of this one…and no it’s not because MSFT pays me a salary.
Seattle Lunch 2.0 @Widemile
Seattle Lunch 2.0 @Adobe – Adobe ‘got it’
Seattle Lunch 2.0 @Cardomain – A great event that showed our culture.
Seattle Lunch 2.0 @Wishpot – Thanks for the memories! Nathan Kaiser of 2bar Spirits sponsored the pony keg for this one!
Seattle Lunch 2.0 @Zillow – The first time Zillow hosted us, thanks Zillow!
Seattle Lunch 2.0 @Wetpaint – Great videos from the FIRST event!

Monday, November 17, 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