Three Cheers for Jason Calacanis!
I don’t really know Jason. I sublet some office space from him in the early days of Zingy when he was running Venture Reporter, but we never took the time to have a meaningful conversation. However, I am very impressed by his initiative to promote entrepreneurship with the Open Angel Forum.
Open Angel Forum brings together carefully screened entrepreneurs with angel investors without charging either side! Charlie O’Donnell, who is an entrepreneur in residence at First Round Capital and runs a great mailing list with everything noteworthy happening every week in New York tech, invited me to the first Open Angel Forum event in New York last night. He co-headed the event which took place at DogPatch Labs’ offices.
The event was very well done! Six startups presented and there were twenty or so angels in the room. The format worked well: 1 hour of informal chats from 6-7, 2 hours of presentations from 7-9 with a break for burgers, fries and beers and more networking and informal chats after the presentations. The presentation format was extremely effective: the entrepreneurs declared upfront how much they were raising and on what valuation. They then gave a 5 minute demo (no Powerpoint presentations allowed) and did 5 minutes of Q&A. The presentations & Q&A were exactly the right length.
I had never heard of any of the 6 companies (and actually liked one of them) or met half the angels in the room, really highlighting the importance of the event.
I look forward to going to their next events!