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I'm considering creating an investment syndicate an AngelList.
As a startup founder in Silicon Valley, I see a number of interesting startup companies, some of which are fundraising. Creating a syndicate would allow others to invest in these startups with me.
If you are interested in backing my syndicate, please visit https://angel.co/drodio/syndicate and sign up as a backer. The minimum backer amount is $2,500 per investment. I'm planning on doing one investment per quarter (four per year), which means you would allocate $10,000 per year to this syndicate. Only accredited investors are allowed to become backers (that may change if & when the SEC implements Title III of the JOBS act). This means to become a backer, you need to have a net worth of at least $1MM, or income of at least $200k per year for the last two years ($300k if joint income).
If I get enough backers, I'll proceed with the syndicate. If you have questions about how syndicates work, you can read the AngelList FAQs here or ask questions in the comments below.
The fine folks over at AngelList have agreed to allow me to give their materials away to select individuals, under the following conditions:
1) You agree not to distribute copies of these materials (AngelList is a free service, and what little revenue they make comes from selling these materials. So please don't violate their trust)
2) You agree not to provide other people access to this page
3) You'll tell the world how awesome AngelList is. (OK I made that third one up myself, so consider it my request of you)
If you have friends that want the materials, ask them to put a comment on my blog and ask for the materials in the comment, and I'll evaluate everyone individually.
AngelList is a platform that connects entrepreneurs to angel investors to raise seed stage capital.
Out of the $1.5 million dollars in angel funding we've raised for Socialize, over $1 million came from introductions made on AngelList. We were very early AngelList users under our AppMakr brand, with Brendan Baker doing a detailed analysis of our use of AngelList in his Anatomy of a Seed project. I also wrote a lengthy manifesto about our fundraising experience, and when AngelList was very new I interviewed Naval Ravikant, one of the AngelList founders.
Recently, using AngelList has changed the way I've been fundraising. Where traditionally, I've had to dedicate a block of time to fundraise full time, I can now fundraise passively, meaning just by focusing on having an optimized AngelList presence and a few specific techniques, I don't have to spend blocks of my time finding high quality angels. That is a game changer for us -- fundraising is an incredibly distracting process, and it's especially hard to innovate and iterate on your startup when you're distracted by bolstering the company's bank account. Being able to have angels come to me has given me a freedom as an entrepreneur that's just fantastic.
As I was talking to my friend Ben Young, CEO of Nexercise, about this sea-change in fundraising, I offered to critique his AngelList page to help him optimize it for this type of inbound passive investment.
Naval Ravikant of AngelList spoke to a sold out group at yesterday's Hackers & Founders event held on the Microsoft campus in Mountain View, CA.
If you're just starting to seek your first round of funding, Naval's talk is the best place to begin. You can also read my fundraising manifesto of how we raised $1MM for our company in 14 weeks (and how you can do it in less time than it took us).
In the video below, Naval discussed:
Here's the video of the event:
Naval Ravikant of AngelList spoke to a sold out group at yesterday's Hackers & Founders event held on the Microsoft campus in Mountain View, CA. If you're just starting to seek your first round of funding, Naval's talk is the best place to begin. You can also read my fundraising manifesto of how we raised $1MM for our company in 14 weeks (and how you can do it in less time than it took us). In the video below, Naval discussed: How the funding landscape has changed, and what it means for you Whether or not we're in another "bubble" What's most important -- and what's not important-- when you're seeking funding How AngelList works and how to take advantage of it Here's the video of the event:
This is the first of a multi-part blog post I'll be writing over the next week that will chronicle my experience raising a $1MM round for AppMakr.
I'll be sharing my learning and experiences as a first-time fundraiser out here in the Valley. My goal is to provide pragmatic tips to help other entrepreneurs understand the process and short-cut the time fundraising typically takes. Think of it as download that condenses 4 months of learning into a series of blogs you can read in an hour.
Be sure to subscribe to the blog if you'd like to get those future posts. Also, we're throwing a party to thank the investors who made this round possible, and celebrating the fact that over 1,000,000 people have now used apps made through AppMakr. RSVP here to join us on 10/28 at 6:30pm. You'll meet Mitch Kapor, George Zachary, Pietro Dova, Ben Narasin and other AppMakr investors.
For this first post, I scored an interview with Naval Ravikant, one of the co-founders of VentureHacks, which runs AngelList. AppMakr went through AngelList, and intros from AngelList were responsible for 54.5% ($545k) of the $1MM we raised. Needless to say, these guys rock. I'd also like to give a huge shout-out to my brother Sam Odio and amazing entrepreneur James Hong, both of whom intro'd me to Nivi & Naval of AngelList at the beginning of our fundraising process.
Here's the video with Naval:
I recently gave a keynote and was a panelist at Potomac Tech Wire's "Seed and Early Stage Funding Outlook:Raising Capital For Startups" event at the Ritz Carlton in McLean, VA. You can see the handout I used during my talk at left (click to download PDF).
For those who attended the event, AngelList has graciously allowed me to give away their 90 page e-book titled "Pitching Hacks," their 1,396 page "Venture Hacks Bible" and their sample cap table, which together usually sells for a combined $47.
Below is the full agenda and video.
Seed Stage Outlook 2011 is part of the Potomac Tech Wire breakfast series that brings together senior executives in the Mid-Atlantic to discuss technology issues in a conversational, roundtable environment moderated by the editor of Potomac Tech Wire. The two panels at this event will focus on seed-stage and early-stage funding from the perspective of both entrepreneurs and funders. In addition, a DC-area entrepreneur who recently raised $1 million from various angel investors through AngelList will give a brief presentation on his successful fundraising.
In 2010 I started writing a series of blogs titled "Fundraising Cribsheet" describing our experience raising a $1MM round for AppMakr.com.
My goal has been to allow other entrepreneurs to raise money more efficiently than the 14 weeks it took us. Brendan Baker, an MBA student at Oxford University, has added a deep layer of analysis to this experience by doing his thesis on our fundraising experience. Brendan's initial work is outlined in this blog post, with much more analysis here.
Here is my guide to this manifesto on fundraising, so you can consume the information in the chunks most relevant to you:
In 2010 I started writing a series of blogs titled "Fundraising Cribsheet" describing our experience raising a $1MM round for AppMakr.com. My goal has been to allow other entrepreneurs to raise money more efficiently than the 14 weeks it took us. Brendan Baker, an MBA student at Oxford University, has added a deep layer of analysis to this experience by doing his thesis on our fundraising experience. Brendan's initial work is outlined in this blog post, with much more analysis here. Here is my guide to this manifesto on fundraising, so you can consume the information in the chunks most relevant to you: Daniel's "Rule Of 10" Angel Intros + $1MM Raise Infographic with Brendan Baker. Cliff Notes on Raising Your First $1 Million Through AngelList' Keynote + Panel Interview with Naval Ravikant, co-founder of AngelList, an angel fundraising vehicle I highly recommend Interview with George Zachary, a partner at Charles River Ventures, on how to approach and pitch Venture Capitalists Interview with Stephen DeBerry, a partner at Kapor Capital, on recommended deal structures and more Interview with Shai Goldman, a director at Silicon Valley Bank A panel hosted by Shai discussing the differences in raising angel vs. Series A funding A blog showing visually how 8.47% of the potential investors I spoke to ended up funding us How to 'Hack Your Funding' by Naval Ravikant of AngelList Other good resources include: VC Panel at the Digital Media Conference Fundraising Panel at TechCocktail's Startup Mixology Event Don Rainey talks about investing in LivingSocial
If you haven't seen the hilarious viral honey badger youtube video, check it out before you read this.
I just read this awesome passage from TheNextWeb from Jeff Bezos when he was starting Amazon:
“I’ve been optimistic about Amazon since the early days,” says Bezos. “I was most pessimistic literally at the very beginning. It took sixty meetings to raise a million dollars, which I needed to get the company started. Twenty two people providing around $50,000 each, on average, to get me that million dollars. That was the riskiest time for Amazon, that’s when the whole thing may never have happened. Raising that money was very, very difficult.”
Reminds me of the nastyass honey badger.
Great to meet the Berkeley Haas crew today; thanks for stopping by the ShareThis office! Also, thank you to Jacqueline and Janice in our office for getting everything set up, including your schwag!
Here is the video from our talk:
And here are my notes from the talk today, as promised:
Founders: Soon, you'll be able to publicly raise money from accredited investors. But the SEC's proposed rules assume you'll be raising money the way institutions did 20 years ago. This means that you will be required to:
Imagine having to notify the SEC in advance and file documents every time you have a new communication with investors, and include boilerplate with every communication. And if you break these rules? Your startup will be sent to "fundraising prison" -- a one year bar from raising any funds.
It doesn't have to be this way. Tell the SEC why these rules are backwards and kill innovation.