Helping startups land angel funding (San Francisco, March 4th)

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From: Jason Calacanis
Date: Mon, Feb 15, 2010 at 5:32 PM
Subject: Helping startups land angel funding (San Francisco, March 4th)

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A quick and positive update on the Open Angel Forum (

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):

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:

2. Open Angel Forum, Boulder took place in February. David Cohen of
the amazing 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) questions:

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) questions:

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:

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
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
— Last 90 minutes: Angels & Startups Network.

If you have any questions do let me know!
all the best,
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902 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401

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