Posted May 22, 2013 By Frank
Join me in NYC next month for the 2nd Annual Venture Forward Conference. It’s hosted by Gust‘s David S. Rose.
The one-day conference is preceded by a splashy soiree on June 17th followed by a full day of the brightest bulbs on the east coast. Except Mark Suster will be there, too. As will many others.
Last year I called it,
The best conference I had ever attended!
and even though I’m prone to exaggeration, I’m assured the program is even better this year.
See for yourself, register now.
Posted May 13, 2013 By Frank
Hansi Hansmann, President of the host angel group AAIA kicks off the EBAN Congress
A surprise for me as the 13th EBAN Congress began in Vienna this morning; I finally met Stewart Craine of Barefoot Power in person. He’s been a guest on the show for his efforts to bring low cost power to impoverished villages in the Third World and this morning he was telling me of a new venture.
So as these events often do, I am surrounded by old friends as I meet new ones.
The venue at the Haus of Industrie is over the top with rich, old-world architectural touches; I really feel as if I’m transported to a European destination.
The theme for this year’s event: The role of Angel Investments for Europe’s Prosperity. And the message is coming across. Early speakers describe lots of wealth tied up in foundations, but not funneling into startups and, just like in the U.S., that’s where all the new jobs come from. Accordingly, AAIA Advisory Board member, Manfred Reichl spoke of the need for revised tax policies to encourage new diversification strategies for Austria’s old money.
Everything related to the startup scene in Vienna seems brand new — the AAIA is only 6 months old yet here they are hosting the Congress. There’s a lot of energy and enthusiasm for making a big shift to an innovation economy.
Like other EBAN Congresses, this one has started slow; each host country feels compelled to send their Economic Ministers to welcome the audience. I’ve been sitting in plenary sessions all morning while looking forward to more interactive breakout sessions in the afternoon.
Selma Prodanovic moderates a panel with Oltac Unsal, Matthias Ummenhofer and Anna Maria Darmanin
Vienna is described by many as the ‘most livable’ city in Europe, an argument that’s hard to refute.
Posted May 6, 2013 By Frank
We’ve crossed paths at 4 ACA Annual Summits; now it’s time for everyone to meet Hong Kong Business Angel Network‘s founding Chairman, Allen Yeung.
Lot’s of high net worth individuals? It’s easy to imagine that Allen should have lots of members near at hand, but what are the unique challenges of building an early-stage high tech investing network in Hong Kong?
Allen shares his story…
Show #412 Stream, flash player or iTunes
Posted May 2, 2013 By Frank
All Dan Mindus’ angel group members are under 40. Is this age discrimination, or is he on to something?
It turns out his NextGen Angels has become a unique fit in the Washington D.C. fabric of early-stage investing groups.
I met Dan as we prepared for a panel discussion at the ACA Annual Summit in San Francisco last month. Before we prepped I was concerned that such a small panel couldn’t cover 45 minutes of due diligence discussion. I was mistaken; Dan could more than satisfactorily hold his own sitting next to ACA Chair David Verrill.
Dan and his NextGen Angels might be focused on youth and hot deals, but he brings a surprising amount of experience to the group – he worked with John May and his group for the prior 5 years. I ask him,
Was setting the age limit the only way to keep John May out?
So why did he organize around age? And what benefits does a more youthful group bring to the party? Surely, the benefits of a little gray hair would more than make up for whatever drawbacks we old-timers have…
As you might guess, there’s a lot more to the story than just the age of the investors.
Show #411 Stream, flash player or iTunes
Posted April 24, 2013 By Frank
He’s taking an eCommerce approach to Crowdfunding and he should know how to do that. Lou Doctor returns to describe his latest entrepreneurial venture: Crowd Supply.
He’s running about a dozen eCommerce sites. One new one is xCameras where he offers the GoPro and Contour video cameras and all the accessories. He’s opened AudioGeeks; a new site with matching bricks and mortar shop that sells high-end headphones. Makes me wonder what he’ll be selling next. Of course, this all started with a garage-based business selling bicycle tires; check out BikeTiresDirect.
As early-stage investors we’re often perturbed over the potential disruptions Crowdfunding may bring, but there are other aspects that offer great benefits to startups:
There’s information that you learn by Crowdfunding a project that isn’t complete yet that will help make it a better product.
Lou shares stories and thoughtful insights as he describes his vision for a renaissance in consumer product development.
I’m already pledged to one of the Crowd Supply projects; check out the LIT Ultra-reflective Bike Tire.
Disclaimer: I’m an angel investor in Crowd Supply.
Show #410 Stream, flash player or iTunes