2/18/2010

Open Angel Forum Unfreezes Capital




Update

Friends,
We’re hosting LAUNCH Mobile, Wearables & IoT again this year with our friends from Pivotal!
On October 15-16, Peter Rojas (founder of Gizmodo and Engadget), Sundeep Madra of Pivotal and I will welcome 40 of the most interesting founders to the stage for a dizzying look into the mobile future.
If you are a mobile developer or founder of a startup you can sign up as our guest (free!) here. Anyone else (VC, angel, big company exec, etc.) can purchase tickets here.
all the best, @jason calacanis


Jason Calacanis, Unfreezing Capital, and the Open Angel Forum
American capital markets right now are often, sadly, like the window in this photo... frozen. But also right now, Americans like those at the Open Angel Forum (OAF), being /Americans, are unfreezing that capital every day. Here is the OAF Facebook link.
Jason Calacanis, founder of Open Angel Forum, is one of the bright stars of that unfreezing. Read below for his recent post about how to secure capital from his investment network. If you are a small startup with a useful product, drive, good ideas, moxy and grit...and an American dream, exercise your right to opportunity and contact him. Below is an email I just received from Jason that explains it all.
PLEASE FORWARD TO: startups looking for funding.


Google Buzz profile: www.bit.ly/jasonbuzz


 Friends,


A quick and positive update on the Open Angel Forum (www.openangelforum.com).
As many of you know from reading this newsletter, I'm not a fan of people having to pay to present at a conference or to angel investors. Three years Mike Arrington and I partnered on the TechCrunch conference to stop the "pay to present" virus that the DEMO conference has been spreading for a decade or so. It's been a huge success with over 140 companies launching from the stage including Powerset, Mint, FitBit and Yammer.
In January I launched the Open Angel Forum to stop the practice of people paying to pitch angel investors. It's been a stunning success thanks to the 11 amazing companies that have presented thus far. I super proud to announce that we now have four chapters up and running: Los Angels, Boulder, San Francisco and New York. We will be announcing one new city every month or so for the next two years, until we reach the foot print of the very bad Keiretsu Forum (which charges folks to pitch!). How great would it be to have 10 to 20 chapters running around the world?!
Quick updates by city including how startups can apply (you don't have to be based in the actual city, but you must be willing to come present at the event):
How the Open Angle Forum Works
1. Open Angel Forum Los Angeles took place in January. Matt Coffin and I are the hosts of the Los Angeles chapter. 20 amazing angels showed up for five presentations. All of the companies have/are going to raise money based on this meeting is the rumor. Yes, a 100% hit rate is possible! The next events will be in April and September. Here is the recap:
a) Startups can apply for Los Angeles: apply here
b) Buy a service provider ticket:
available here
c) questions: la@openangelforum.com

2. Open Angel Forum, Boulder took place in February. David Cohen of the amazing TechStars.com program and my old friend, and amazing VC/bloggers, Brad Feld are running the Boulder chapter. The next event will be in the late sprint and early fall in all likelihood. You can read about the event at the links below:
a) Startups can apply for Boulder: apply here
b) Buy a service provider ticket:
available here
c) email any questions to: bo@openangelforum.com


3. Open Angel Forum San Francisco will take place on March 4th. We're thrilled to announce that new angel investors, the brilliant Kevin Rose of digg fame, and seasoned angel investor Chris Sacca are running the San Francsico chapter. Related links below:
a) Apply for San Francisco: apply here
b) Buy a service provider ticket:
available here
c) Email any questions to: sf@openangelforum.com
4. Open Angel Forum New York will take place on April 8. I've tapped Brian Alvey, my partner on Weblogs Inc. and Charlie O'Donnell of First Round capital, to host the New York chapter. Related links below:
a) Apply for New York City: apply here
b) Buy a service provider ticket: available here
c) questions: ny@openangelforum.com
The Open Angel Forum Charter:
1. Startups will never be charged to present and will be selected based on merit by a committee of angel investors.
2. The first 20 angel investors in each city are not charged to join. Angel investors after 20 per city are charged a one time initiation fee of $5,000.
3. Five service providers can attend the event for $1,500 each.
4. Only "active angels" are allowed to join. We define active as three known investments in the past year.
5. No spectators are allowed (i.e. entrepreneurs, press, pundits, etc).
6. All presentations are under “Friend-D-A.” Angels are expected to keep presentations confidential.
7. If you’re a “combo angel investor and service provider” (think: lawyer who sometimes invests) we qualify you as a service provider and you must buy a ticket.
8. Tickets from service provider and the 21st angels are split 2/3rds to local chapter and 1/3rd to the national organization. This is how the organization operates.
9. Local chapters åre required to host a minimum of two events per year.
10. Local Chapter heads must follow the OAF Event Operating Procedure during the event.
11. Chapter heads involved in selection are not allowed to invest in startups until they have presented at the OAF (i.e. no cherry picking).
12. VCs selected to attend the event must make room for other angel investors if they choose to invest in a company presenting at the OAF (i.e. no taking the whole pie).
13. Chapter heads will make final decisions for their chapter. In the extreme case of conflict, the national organization will provide a ruling if the chapter heads recommend it.
14. These rules are subject to common sense. They will be altered, expanded, disregarded and contradicted based on the sole discretion of the fine folks who are hosting the forum. We will always be fair and true to the mission of OAF: To help entrepreneurs and angels investors change the world.

The Open Angel Forum Event Operating Procedure:
1. No more than 20 angel investors and six service providers can attend an event.
2. The first 20 angels in a chapter can join for free. The 21st angel investor to join a chapter must pay the one-time initiation fee. This rule is to fund operations and ensure top quality angels.
3. Open Angel Forums take place at night, over dinner.
4. A public facing clock must be started when a presentation starts.
5. Startups presenting must drink, and finish, a beer during their presentation.
6. Angel investors and services providers will turn off all devices during presentations out of respect for startups.
7. Angel investors will complete the startup feedback form while watching the presentation.
8. Format (four hours; i.e. 6-10PM, 7-11PM):
-- First Hour: Standing, angel-only Cocktails/Networking
-- Next 90 minutes:Sitting: Brief introductions, dinner and five presentations of six minutes each followed by up to eight minutes of Q&A.
-- Last 90 minutes: Angels & Startups Network.

(For sceptics, visit Brian Alvey. He is one of the people running Open Angel Forum with Jason. Check out his brand.)
Although they will not be unfrozen for some time, there is a door, Open Angel Forum, that helps you

get past the ice until it unfreezes.

Take the longer view...there are many ways to enter and leave this frozen house as there are ways to enter and leave the current frozen capital markets. Due to the economic changes, everything has to be be rethought. Open Angel Forum is where the new thinking is taking place.
Be part of it. If you fit the bill, contact Jason and give it a go. If you look past this house to the right in this photo, there is a large valley behind that leads to the Blue Ridge Mountains. You have to enter the valley to climb the mountain to make it to the other side. Start now.
Other Open Angle Forum Opportunities: Here is the Facebook page.
If you are a service provider and want to provide business or other services to the Open Angel Forum, here is the Service Provider Sign Up Form,

Jason is recruiting angel investor's in other parts of the country. Join him in restoring capital to American businesses and unfreezing the markets. Here is the Angel investor signup form.


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