Jason Calacanis started the Open Angel Forum to give entrepreneurs a free forum to get in front of experienced Angel investors...without paying for the privilege. Jason also teamed up with Mike Arrington several years ago to create the Techcrunch50 conference for the same reason...to give entrepreneurs a free forum to demo their products and ideas in front of the press and investors.
Open Angel Forum came to Silicon Valley last Friday night. Dave McClure and Shervin Pishevar are the Silicon Valley chapter leaders for OAF. Jeff Clavier, Andrea Zurek (XG Ventures), Cyan Banister, Pejman Nozad, Chris Yeh, and others attended the first meeting. This is an invitation only group, and these Angels all write checks. Each Angel listed some of their most recent or notable investments to start out the meeting. Some of the biggest names in tech were mentioned, and many of the current hottest startups. It is an impressive group.
There was a lively discussion about how to make the investment process flow more smoothly, and specifically around how to structure convertible notes that are simple, fair, fast, and inexpensive to put together. Earlier I wrote about convertible notes and some of the necessary provisions to protect Angels and align interests with entrepreneurs.
The startups were all early stage, raising their first money, and I hadn't seen any of them with the exception of AppWhirl...which I saw at DEMO a few weeks ago.
AppWhirl is to mobile apps what Blogger is to blogs, or what GeoCities was to web sites. AppWhirl makes it easy to assemble mobile apps from preformed templates and services. TekTrak is in semi-stealth mode, but they developing some cool technology to make it easy to track your cell phone in case it gets lost, and wipe it of data if you can't find it. MightyMeeting makes it possible to present from anywhere from a mobile phone or iPad. Rapportive puts simple CRM right inside of Gmail, in context with reading your email. BackYard is also in stealth mode and doesn't have a web site, but think Yelp meets CitySearch for local businesses. EditRing, also in stealth mode, is a real time collaboration tool for for Microsoft Office.
See Open Angel Forum for news on future meetings and locations. Jason Calacanis never thinks small. He wants to take this nationwide...and global.
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