Nuggets from our recent Angel Investment panel in Boston
I recently organized a little event around Angellist with our friends Nate and Boaz at HTML5 stalwarts Bocoup. We had invited Nivi (angellist founder) to town for our annual meeting and this event but he underwent a root canal surgery instead and could not make it over.
So we got together a “last minute yet great” group of people:
- Steve Kane, repeat entrepreneur and founder of LuckyLabs
- Jeff Fagnan, angel and venture capitalist, first money behind VentureHacks
- Mark Jung, repeat entrepreneur, chairman of Songbird, ex COO Fox Interative, founder of IGN etc etc
- Judy Obermayer, Golden Seeds and Launchpad member
- Scott Kirsner with his usual flair and style did a great moderation job.
The highlights are well worth a listen, in particular if you want to listen to:
- why Angellist is the reference marketplace for early-stage funding, moving from a simple VC hack blog to a true lean product company
- the blurring of angel and venture
- how the fundamental shift in velocity means traditional angel club methods are probably dead or in need of drastic evolution
- why Jeff Fagnan would have funded Dan and Brian at Norgard at Namesake even if they were selling steakknives
- how Bubs at colourLOVERS raised 90% of his funding through Angellist (even though he was a YC grad)
- how Steve Kane is not really Jeff Fagnan’s older brother, they just do yoga together
- why Friends and Family money is not always the best idea
- why VC’s sometimes destroy you and why raising money is a zero sum game
- why you better know what you’re going to do with that first $100K
- why convertible debt is really equity
I want to tip my hat to Steve Kane here for some really heartfelt and important observations, including thinking about success with a long-term perspective (and not confusing fundraising with success), what matters, why your tradeoffs as a founder are fundamentally different from anyone else’s.
You may want to check out this nice writeup from Andy at Rentabilities.
Panel Highlights (16 mins)
And if you really cannot get enough below is the full length video