The Northwest ACA Regional meeting was held in Seattle on May 1-2. About 80 active angels from around the Northwest attended, from WA, OR, ID, BC, and Montana. A few guests from CA and even New Zealand were also there. Sponsored by the AoA (www.allianceofangels.com) and hosted by K&L Gates (http://www.klgates.com/), most attendees seemed to find the meeting both informative and enjoyable.
Among the topic were:
- A brilliant keynote address by David Giuliani, founder and CEO at Clarisonic (www.clarisonic.com), who talked about how his team made Clarisonic success, the sale to L’Oreal, and his new gig, the WA Business Alliance (http://www.wabusinessalliance.org/). He was both entertaining and informative.
- A panel on Negotiating Terms & Valuation, led by Rob Wiltbank (http://www.montlakecapital.com/teambios.php?TID=10&PoID=14).
- A presentation on Convertible Notes by Mike Crill (http://www.atlasaccelerator.com/team/index.html). Mike also did an interactive group exercise.
- A panel by Gary Kocher (http://www.klgates.com/gary-j-kocher/) with several of his K&L Gates colleagues on “Traps for the Unwary: Issues that Cost Money to Fix”
- A panel let by Yi-Jian Ngo on Due Diligence with several experience angels. The angels in the audience asked those questions you always wanted to ask but didn’t know who to ask.
- A panel led by me (http://drosenassoc.com/team.htm) on Public Policy that effects angels and the JOBS Act (http://blog.drosenassoc.com/?p=97). Tom Alberg (http://www.madrona.com/venture-capital-team/team-members.asp?name=Tom%2DAlberg&member=1) also talked about work being done by the Obama administration and others to make permanent the zero capital gains for Qualified Small Businesses and an Angel Tax Credit.
- Mike Volker (http://mikevolker.com) led a panel of experienced investors who discussed “Effective Board Stewardship.” Many insights on about how to be a good board director and guide a company.
- Since no angel deal is complete until the company exits, the final panel, ably led by Nat Burgess (http://www.corumgroup.com/Nathaniel-D-Burgess.aspx) that discussed “Managing Exits.”
Looking at this list, we covered a lot of territory. I was impressed by the engagement of the entire group and the vast knowledge that the angels in the room represented. Anecdotal conversations lead me to believe that the event was overwhelmingly successful.