By: Kerry Inserra
As the founder of a hustling, bustling ad agency in the East Bay and Orange County, I’m often asked to speak at, or attend, marketing, advertising or public relations conferences. And while I must confess: I love giving my perspective on the “Importance of SEO” or “The Key to Unlocking Audience Insights” or “The Social Media Conundrum-Where Do I Begin? Truth be told, my latest assignment took me into another stratosphere all together-the world of angel investors and capital-minded entrepreneurs.
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Over 500 attendees- 60% angel investors and 40% entrepreneurs-participated in the Keiretsu Angel Capital Expo from all across the globe-either looking for funding or to offer an infusion of cash in exchange for a projected tidy return-on-investment.
There maybe a lot of uncertainty wafting through our country right now, but you’d never know it had you attended the 23rd bi-annual Keiretsu Northern California Angel Capital Expo at Microsoft in Mt. View this past week. Silicon Valley appears to be humming along at a steady pace and shows few signs of slowing down.
18 startup companies pitched to a room full of investors-think SharkTank without the star power. “Most people are here to capitalize on the American Dream. We can achieve anything if we set our mind to it and work hard enough” says fellow attendee Jeff Rosen, a serial entrepreneur.
Some of the many companies looking for funding included: Bouxtie, a digital gift card app that allows users to personalize a digital gift card with a video or image message and send for instant delivery; another was Abom, a wearable technology company with applications in military, consumer and industrial markets; Analyze, a cloud-based, big data consumer analytics company targeting the small-to-medium sized business market was generating a lot of interest.
Each company had approximately seven minutes to pitch and two minutes for Q&A from the audience. The presenters seem to pitch at lightening speed for fear of missing a key word or phrase that might potentially sway investors. Seven minutes goes quickly when the future of your startup is at stake.
Randy Williams founded Keiretsu (pronounced Ker-et-soo) in September 2000, to provide a disciplined and structured approach to angel investing. Today Keiretsu Forum has more than 2500 members with 47 chapters on 3 continents. Members have invested in more than 800 companies with total investments above $800 million.
Visit the Keiretsu Forum Member website to learn more about becoming a member.