Angels Anonymous

Dan: “Hi. I’m Dan and I’m and addict.”

AA Group: “Hi Dan”

Dan: “It’s been one month since I did my last Angel investment.”

AA Group: “Way to go Dan.”

Dan: “But I’m weak. I know that I’ve failed forty times in the last 6 years. I really need to make another Angel investment soon.”

AA Group: “Be strong, Dan”…
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University Spin-Outs

I am a big fan of high-tech companies. People that know me (and my co-investors) know that I like companies that are “changing the world” or “creating new industries” through technology innovation. And they know that I believe that research universities spawn great technologies and deserve public support. Universities do a terrific and efficient job of educating students, organizing research …
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Severance – Oh No!

Many entrepreneurs, when they take outside money into their company, want to protect themselves. This is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

The investors putting the first money into the deal also want some protection, especially when the founders own a vast majority of the overall stock and probably have a majority of the board seats.

One of the items …
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Seattle Alliance of Angels has a terrific 2010

The Seattle Alliance of Angels had a wonderful 2010. To quote the headline: Alliance of Angels Invests Record-high $10.3 Million in 2010; Group hits new milestone with investment in 33 Northwest-based startups; surpasses previous investment record by more than $1 million.

I was quoted:

“Once again, our angels have set a new standard for investing in innovative, young companies,” said …
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Aprimo – what a wonderful year-end surprise

I was the founding managing partner for Frazier Technology Ventures (http://www.fraziertechnology.com/), which unfortunately was founded in May 2000, possibly the worst time for starting a new venture fund. Up until last week, the fund’s performance was in the middle of the pack (and therefore did not come close to returning capital). This was a financial, professional, and personal …
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Angel Investing is Vibrant and Getting More So

Not much surprises me these days, particularly during this mud-slinging political campaign season.

However, Marcelo Calbucci’s Tech Flash post (http://www.techflash.com/seattle/2010/10/have_we_killed_the_angel_investor.html) did. How my posts could be so misunderstood by someone I respect baffles me, especially when that misunderstanding is posted to a widely read blog.

My previous post on Angels forming LLCs for their investments IS entrepreneur friendly, …
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Investor Relations for Private Companies

One of the questions I am asked by first-time startup CEOs: what is an appropriate level of communication with my investors?

This is both a difficult and profound question. It is simple to say that more is better than less. It is also simple to say that any good investor would rather have you spend your time executing your plan …
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Merger of Angel-backed Companies

Most startups first create a feature. If they are smart, it will be a unique feature that fits a demonstrable customer need in the market and they can have many customers adopt their technology. If the company is really good, they will transform this feature into a product. If that works, they might get to create a series of related …
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