Anybody who has raised funding knows that it can be very time consuming. The best investors will significantly improve your chances of success, and can even rescue you you from dire straits. But even with a strong personal network, it can take a very long time to schedule meetings with the good and the great. That is, until Jason Calacanis started the Open Angel Forum.
The Open Angel Forum puts 6 promising start-ups and 20 hand-picked angel investors in the same room as steak, wine and beer (the precise details may depend on your location). After everybody is suitably lubricated, each start-up pitches for 5 minutes and takes 10 minutes of Q&A.
The angels are stellar. We were in Silicon Valley, where the OAF boasts Dave McClure and Shervin Pishevar as chapter heads, and where the membership created or funded some of the world's most successful technology companies. These folks are the real deal. Don Dodge puts it best: “This is an invitation-only group, and these angels all write cheques.”
I am bullish on the OAF: it works. If you want to raise funding, and you are ready, then you should immediately apply. There are currently events in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, New York and Boulder, and there’s rumours of chapters in London and Israel.
Thanks again to Jason, Tyler, Dave and Shervin for putting on such a good event. It works!