Went to an introduction talk on campus today about the Seattle Angel Conference. I’ve heard about the conference before from coworker and an author John Maher; Love his book. I’ve always wanted to join one of the conference rounds, but the time commitment has been too expensive for me. Oh ya, what is Seattle Angel conference?
From their website – “The Seattle Angel Conference is a recurring Seattle Angel-driven event where the investors create an LLC, engage in due diligence of the applying startup companies, and ultimately pool funds to invest in one of the presenting finalists. The Seattle Angel Conference is the primary method Seattle Angel uses to find and fund new startups. The Seattle Angel Conference is open to any member of the community interested in learning more about both starting and investing in a new business and to hear the investment pitches from the finalists.”
In my mind Seattle Angel conference is a few handfuls of accredited inventors gathering together under the guide of experienced angels. The groups pools resources and knowledge to collectively select and invest in a single company. The Guided by experienced, and pooling of resources and risk is what appeals to me. I’ve always been interested in investing in and or starting companies. Angel investing affords you both. You have the opportunity to be part of a company from its early stages and possibly yield 5X 10x 20x moreX return, or statistically you end up a complete loss of investment and gain experience. Investing with a group helps to mitigate the risk by spreading it across the collective. The entire conference process is designed to educate the participants.
But Shark Tank and stripers in Florida
One of the thoughts that stuck out in my head in a room filled with 80 other people was “right before the housing market fell apart, and a scene from The Big Short, the saying the striper with 6 houses as rentals” or the thought “when an investment is too hot and about to implode people you meet in the grocery store will talk about getting in” or “when a top ranked TV show is all about it, Shark Tank, the market is too saturated” I rattled this idea in my head most of the way home then my ” I don’t think so” reason finally hit me.
Seattle Angel conference is coming up on being a decade old, they are not brand new, and they are super regulated by the SEC and business law and members. They are not driven by commission and pressured sales; they are not incentivized to sell a product like mortgage brokers were before the bubble. Members and participants of the conference all have to be accredited investors. An accredited investor is someone who makes 200k a year single, or 300k a year married, or has a 2 commas in assets not including their primary residence. They can be any of the three, they do not need to be all three. The accredited investor barrier means most people you meet in real life can WANT to be involved, but are legally blocked from being involved. The hard barrier to play means everyone cannot be involved to bust it up.
More awareness, books, and TV shows, and popular culture might actually help create more possible companies for angels to invest in because they popularize entrepreneurship, and provide a rudimentary understand of the process and vocabulary. I’d love to be involved in a round of the conference, but living so far from Seattle, about to have another kid, and building more house are great excuses to justify the time expense vs. the impact on family, and keep from going. For now, I’ll stick to the only game I play on my Iphone – Robin Hood, and Maybe I’ll read Josh’s book again Startup Wealth: How the Best Angel Investors Make Money in Startups – When the kids are a bit older and simpler to leave I think Michelle and I will participate in a round.