Last week David Verrill, chair of the Angel Capital Association, invited to me speak at the Angel Capital Summit in San Francisco along with my super smart co-panelists Jason Best and Sara Hanks. The conference theme was “Navigating Change for Angel Success”. Here are a few snippets of the most memorable moments:
During day one, Anurag Nigam, providing perspective from his experience of doing 60-plus angel investments (many through Sand Hill Angels), said that “Given what is going on with AngelList, SecondMarket, and crowdfunding, it looks like within three to five years angel investments will be a liquid asset class,” and an audible murmur shot through the audience.
In an entertaining Keynote Panel entitled “Thought Leaders in Entrepreneurial Growth and Finance” we were all expecting Dave McClure to light up the room with his renowned colourful language and scathing attacks on traditional venture capitalists but it was Felicis Ventures‘ (investor in Ottawa based Shopify) Aydin Senkut who first praised McClure for creating “the world’s first global angel brand” and then goaded the audience with the question, “Who here is part of a regional angel group, investing based upon region?”
Once 90 per cent of the room raised their hands he wagged his finger over his microphone and shouted, “That’s just wrong! Why isn’t there robotics angels or e-commerce angels? Being geographically focused doesn’t guarantee you the best local deals. As we have demonstrated time and time again, we can cherry pick the best local deals around the world from Palo Alto because of our expertise in a few chosen areas and because we first and foremost focus on curating the best companies in our portfolio. Not based on where they’re located.” PEHub has a further post here.
“Angels need to see this era of low cost, globally funded startups as a new form of risk to manage,” was the point that I tried to make during our panel on the emergence of crowdfunding. “Your tried and true channels for filtering for quality deals are being flooded. Startups need less to get going and the low costs are enabling a lot more inexperienced incubators, accelerators and new angels. Crowdfunding is only going to compound the problem – which is zeroing in on quality signals in a world of noise.”
David Meunier has an excellent live blog of panel by Naval Ravikant, Rory Eakin and David Rose. I highly recommend you read the whole thing!