Sunday, February 28, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Given the the killer whale that has now killed... ummm.... three humans, might it be time to reconsiders this whole "keeping multi-ton animals with the world killer in their name" in captivity thing?
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
2010 Winter Olympics. All hockey events are at the General Motors
Place, home of the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League,
and the UBC Winter Sports Centre, both in Vancouver, British Columbia,
Canada. The women's tournament, containing eight teams, began on
February 13, with the gold medal game on February 25. The men's
tournament, featuring 12 teams, started on February 16 and conclude
with the gold medal game on February 28.4 Each began the tournament by playing in the preliminary round with
each team facing the other three teams in their grouping. The teams
were then ranked, with the top four teams qualifying for the playoff
round. As the men's tournament includes more teams, the remaining
teams will compete in a secondary round to earn one of four additional
spots in the playoff round. The top two teams in each bracket will
play in the gold medal game while the next two runner-ups will compete
for the bronze medal.5
Date: Tue, Feb 23, 2010 at 9:58 AM
Subject: Fwd: Last-Minute Opportunity for TrialPay to Present at 2010 National Venture Capital & Growth Investment Forum / March 4th / Yale Club New York
I know how much you love these things. For your reading pleasure, see the justification for fees below...
From: Mike Segal <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, Feb 23, 2010 at 8:45 AM
Subject: Last-Minute Opportunity for TrialPay to Present at 2010 National Venture Capital & Growth Investment Forum / March 4th / Yale Club New York
To: Alex <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Opportunity to Present on March 4th at the Yale Club New York to Angels and
more than 150 of the Nation’s Leading Private Equity & Venture Capital Investors
I am writing to you as we recently learned that your company was selected to be featured at the Montgomery Technology Conference. In my opinion, the fact that you were chosen for this highly-regarded venue certainly speaks very well of the investment potential of your business. If you are seeking capital and things are not going a quickly as you would like, I wanted to let you know that we would be pleased to accept your application to present at our 2010 National Venture Capital & Growth Investment Forum being held on March 4th at the Yale Club New York. (My apologies for the short notice as we only recently learned about your company.) Your visibility at this unique “investor-only” venue could greatly enhance your ability to accelerate the funding process and meet your capital raising objectives on a timely basis. More information regarding the Conference and Presenter Qualifications can be found on our website at www.privateequityforums.com.
Please take a few minutes to read this e-mail carefully, as many of your questions will be answered and you will get a much better idea as to the value proposition (that for the last nine years) has attracted so many companies to our events from all over the United States and other countries. If you are all set with your funding requirements and existing capital sources, just let me know by return e-mail and I’ll be sure to take you off our list of potential Presenter candidates right away. I am sure that the last thing you need are more unnecessary e-mails.
As a courtesy, I can tentatively hold a Presenter slot while you are considering this opportunity, subject to your confirmation and any further review of the company on our part. To get things in motion, just send your Executive Summary to me at email@example.com and I will get back to you as quickly as possible. Companies will be considered for the event in the order that their information is received by our firm. If you have any questions or would like to speak with me first, please feel free to call me on my direct line in the New York area at 347 346 6650. As we only have a limited number of Presenter slots still available, kindly try to contact me as soon as possible with respect to your interest in being on the program.
This important event could provide another additional strategic opportunity to meet qualified investors and financial partners in what will also be a very prestigious setting. We expect principals from more than 150 active early and later-stage investment funds to attend from throughout the United States - representing more than $25 billion in capital. In addition, many high net worth investors and a number of prominent angel groups will be joining us. Even against the backdrop of the recent recession, our last forum on November 18th was a great success with nearly 250 registrants, which included many Angels, as well as leading private equity and venture capital firms. In addition to the well-established brand-equity of our venues, the strong investor response to our recent events would indicate that there is no shortage of interest from investment funds and private investors who are looking for serious opportunities in promising early and later-stage companies. From our vantage point, we can see there is a clear readiness to invest from many VCs, private equity funds and Angels who understand that historically, it is in times of economic downturn that the best investment opportunities are available.
In the event that you are not already familiar with our exclusive venues, kindly note our “principal differentiator” is, that unlike most groups which organize deal-oriented events, we are not part of any government agency or non-profit group, nor are we primarily subsidized by vendors or service providers, so as not to compromise our forums with a high population of non-investors such as lawyers, accountants, advisors and others offering services. Our private “investor-only” conferences could be best described as a co-op for the 12 to 15 Presenters and other featured companies. Accordingly, companies are required to pay a fee to attend or present based upon a number of factors, which may include a contingent or differed payment. We underwrite the events and the entrepreneurs share in the cost, the amount and terms of which we try to customize to a company’s particular financial situation. I would be pleased to discuss the visibility options and costs when we have a chance to talk. One thing that you can be certain of is that any fees associated with presenting at the event are substantially less that than the costs of extensive travel to meet investors or the front-end fees and retainers charged by investment bankers to reach the same caliber of investors who regularly attend our events.
Please keep in mind that our events distinguish themselves from many other venues in several key respects. Here are a few of them.
1) Nearly 100% of the guests (not connected with the presenting companies) are active investors who have PAID to attend.
2) Presenting companies reach a NATIONAL audience of qualified funding sources focusing on early-stage opportunities.
3) Only 12 to 15 companies are featured on the program which provides for high visibility to investors.
4) The events are not primarily sponsor supported and accordingly NOT heavily populated with service providers.
5) There are no concurrent activities or competing presentations. All companies present to the entire audience.
6) Companies are never more than 10 to 20 minutes from their breakout sessions after they present.
7) These are “deal-oriented” events. There are no panels or other distractions from putting the spotlight on the presenters.
8) The majority of the attendees are PRINCIPALS of the private equity or venture capital firms whom they represent.
9) Presenters can plan for the forums in advance as we provide confirmed guest information prior to the conference dates.
Our private equity forums, started in 2001, are among America’s best-attended events - noted for a first-class venue and an ultra high-end roster of funding sources. These deal-focused symposiums have provided a remarkably beneficial venue for companies to reach a national audience of qualified potential investors. The management of presenting companies benefit from being able to get their story across a receptive audience in a very favorable upscale setting. Our experience has shown that the investor venue created through our forums can significantly reduce the cost of capital as well as the time necessary to raise it, particularly in this current market with fewer active players for early-stage companies and tougher investment criteria. Because the investors come from all over the U.S., this exclusive forum is like a “Road Show” that comes to you.
The upcoming venue can help you solve the three biggest problems in raising capital 1) identifying qualified investors, 2) gaining credible entrée to them and 3) meeting them under favorable circumstances. Moreover, the event drives the single most essential factor in getting funded quickly, and that is the ability to create contemporaneous interest among investors - which also can serve to significantly improve deal terms.
Again, of particular importance, is the fact that our events are not primarily supported by paid sponsors. As a result, they are not heavily populated by service providers or vendors who would have no interest in investing in your company. Because we draw from all over the country, this venue will be a most cost-effective way for Presenters to meet investors from outside of their particular regions. You should also be aware that the majority of guests are partners, founders and managing directors of their respective firms; affording the featured companies a chance to reach senior people from the outset.
If your company is selected to present, M. J. Segal Associates can provide you with introductions to any of the firms listed on the conference website, irrespective of their attendance at the upcoming event. As I previously mentioned, companies can pay investment bankers up to several hundred thousand dollars in front-end fees and monthly retainers to gain access to these types of investment groups. Companies presenting at this forum gain the same entrée at only a small fraction of that cost, notwithstanding the inherent efficiency of our highly-targeted venue. You can find a complete listing of our prior conference registrants, organized by “Industry Sector Preferences”, at http://www.starlightinvestments.com/?id=276.
With respect to the Presenter qualifications, we favor companies with some revenues, but will also consider pre-revenue development-stage companies with new platform technology or some proof of concept. Revenues forecast by the third year following funding should approach $15 to $20 million. Preferred industry sectors are Information Management Systems, Enterprise Software, Business Process Management, Computer Technology, Wireless Technology, Telecommunications, Energy Technology, Network Hardware and Software, Healthcare Services, Education & Training, Medical Devices, Manufacturing Technology, New Media and Publishing, Internet-Based Business Solutions, Life Sciences, Distance Learning, Financial Services, Consumer Marketing, Specialty Retail, Outsourced Business Services, CleanTech, Homeland Security and Supply Chain Management. Other sectors may also be considered with sufficient growth potential.
If raising capital is the primary obstacle that stands in the way of moving your company forward, you should seriously consider the visibility that we can provide at the upcoming event. As I am sure you are aware, most professional investors will not even consider deals where they do not personally know management or those which have not been referred by a reliable source. Our forums significantly help to remove these barriers to management's power to reach qualified investors. Private Equity 2010: National Venture Capital & Growth Investment Forum can provide the third-party endorsement and credibility, which is so critical for getting funded in today’s market.
We estimate that more than $300 million has gone to past Presenters and Entrepreneur Guests over the last several years, much of which could be directly or indirectly attributed to our forums Our prior conference guests and other funds who have invested in these businesses include such prominent groups as listed below by funded company. Of course, there is no assurance that presenting at our upcoming forum will result in obtaining capital. This can be affected by many factors over which we have no control, such as the deal terms that you would find acceptable and how well a company prepares for the event, follow-ups with investors and responds to due diligence questions. Accordingly, this information on prior fundings should be viewed as instructive, but not predictive.
Aircuity: IDP, Navigator Technology Ventures, Venture Capital Fund of New England, Industrial Development Partners
Signalink: Private Investors through Corporate Strategies
iKimbo: Cross Atlantic Capital Partners, Draper Atlantic, MRW Enterprises, Schoffstall Ventures and Riggs Capital Investment
Visioneered Image Systems: Baker Capital, 21Venture and Arcturus Capital.
Adzilla: Alloy Ventures and Norwest Venture Partners
LNL Technologies: Mohr and Davidow Ventures
BioVigilant: Battelle Ventures, Community Investment Corporation, Innovation Valley Partners and Pearl Street Venture Funds
Ifbyphone: Apex Venture Partners and Origin Ventures
HardMetrics: NextStage Capital, Osage Ventures and SilkRoad Equity
Burly Bear Network: NB Capital Venture Partners, New York City Investment Fund, Constellation Ventures and Citigroup Investments
Multimedia Tutorial Services: Corporate Strategies, Maniv Ventures, Winner Media and other investors
TelaDoc, Dogmatic and Vystar: Tri-State Private Investors Network
Cybersettle: Spencer Trask Ventures, Tri-State Private Investors Network, Bowery Partners and Saint-Donat & Co.
E Ink: FA Technology Ventures, Hearst Corporation, Intel Capital and Motorola Ventures
Xtellus: AIG Orion Fund, Alta Berkeley Venture Partners and Israel Seed Partners
nTag: Pilot House Ventures and Group Sevin Rosen Funds
Operative (Formerly Trafficmac): Aardvark Capital
AgriPower: Vogel Capital Management and other investors
Hingi: Opus Capital Ventures
Health Plan One: Pequot Capital, Greycroft Partners and individual Investors
We sincerely believe that if a company's potential is truly compelling, and that management's vision can be effectively communicated, it will not find a more cost-effective way to reach potential funding sources directly, than by presenting at the upcoming event. Again, this is a unique opportunity to get your message across in “one place and in one day” to active serious investors who want to see fundable deals.
If you would not like to receive any further information on upcoming conferences, please let us know by return e-mail and your email address of firstname.lastname@example.org will be promptly deleted from our distribution list. In this regard, please provide us with any other e-mail addresses that you use to ensure that you receive no further communications from our office.
I look forward to hearing from you and learning more about your funding requirements.
Mike Segal, President
630 W. 246th St. Suite 728
Riverdale, New York 10471
Direct Line: 347 346 6650
Select Early Registrants - 2010 National Venture Capital & Growth Investment Forum
(Kindly Note the Names of Angels, Individual Participants and High Net Worth Investors are not Shown for Privacy and Security Purposes)
88 Capital Access International Capital Alerion Partners Andlinger & Co. Anisfield Investments Armvida (Private Investors) Asset Development Corporation (Private Investors) Bernstein Global Wealth Management Bespoke Growth Partners Blue Wolf Capital Boston Financial Equity Corp Bose Capital Partners Bowery Partners LLC (Private Investors) Brand Building Ventures Brock Capital Carter Stone & Company (Private Investors) Chatsworth Securities Chiron Capital Cloudleap Partners Core Resources Corporate Strategies (Private Investors) Criterion Capital Cross Border Enterprises Cycle Capital Dawntreader Ventures Emerson Equity Endeavor Capital ESK Investments GE Capital Global Enterprises (Private Investors) Gray Ghost Ventures GroundWork Equity Green Power Funding Hamilton Robinson Capital Partners Hartford Ventures Harvest Capital (Private Investors) Heron Capital Hinduja Group Hudson Venture Partners Infusion Capital Group Innovation Ventures Internet Capital Group IQ Ventures
Monday, February 22, 2010
http://www.pehub.com/64163/the-underbelly-of-silicon-valley-vc-finders/ Random Ramblings We’ve spent lots of time here discussing pay-to-play, in the context
of public pension officials and the placement agents who bribe them.
But there is percolating pay-to-play issue that we’ve only mentioned
in passing: The issue of VC conference organizers who charge
entrepreneurs to make elevator pitches in front of potential
investors. For the record, I agree with those who criticize such arrangements. VC
conference organizers should make their profits from sponsors, not
from struggling startups in need of cash. And, if sponsorship doesn’t
cover it, then also charge non-presenting attendees. For more on this,
you can read the vitriolic comment thread on Jason Mendelson’s Vox
Populi post from last week. But I’m not raising this to discuss the pay-to-play conference
situation. Instead, I’m raising it to discuss something even more
insidious: Venture capital “finders.” Last week, a Silicon Valley investor named Hugh Sloan III came across
a startup that had received a minor award from Microsoft. He emailed
the company founders, saying he had “3 ex Google angels and two Tier 1
venture funds who would be looking at this opportunity with me.” Sounds great, except there was a giant catch: Sloan wanted $7,500
up-front, in order to set up the meetings. No refunds if the investors
didn’t offer term sheets. The startup declined, and one of its execs even wrote a blog post
criticizing the approach (to put it mildly). Sloan immediately
responded, threatening legal action. The startup capitulated, and
pulled the post. So I called Sloan, to get his side of the story. To give you a flavor
of our conversation, it began with him saying he had no idea who I was
or what I did. Fifteen minutes later, he “really respected” my work.
Make your own conclusions as to his sincerity. Sloan defended his business practices, saying that he spends more time
working with “his” startups than do their own board members – adding
that $7,500 is actually a bargain. He also defended his threats to sue
the startup, but I couldn’t get an answer as to what his grounds would
be (since the post did not seem to contain any factual inaccuracies –
just some conclusions and adjectives to which Sloan objected). He
hemmed and hawed, finally admitting that it would be tough for a
startup to raise capital with “a legal claim hanging over its head.”
Lovely. Of equal import, Sloan had sent the startup a resume that included a
few dozen VCs who “I speak with on a biweekly basis.” I reached out to
some of these contacts, and they each told me the same things: It’s
untrue. One of them said he gets emails biweekly from Sloan, but has never
actually spoken to him. Another said he’s spoken with him once or
twice, but that it’s hardly a regular thing. A third wrote: “I've
never spoken to the guy. Absolute liar.” I pressed Sloan on this issue, and he apparently believes two things:
(1) Sending an email to someone – without receiving a reply – is the
same thing as speaking to them. I’ll have to tell my corporate
overlords that I deserve a raise, given that I speak to 57,000 people
each day. (2) If Sloan is an angel in a deal later backed by a VC
firm, he therefore is in regular contact with the partner on that deal
(even if he isn’t). To be clear, I am not suggesting that Sloan can’t set up the meetings
he promises. In fact, one of his references vouches for him on that
count (even though no deal resulted). Nor am I saying Sloan is the
only one engaged in such shenanigans. Instead, I’m pointing out that pay-to-play is not just the purview of
state pension funds or mega-LBO pros. It also takes place in the
startup world, where the intended prey are young entrepreneurs in
search of first-time funding. And it deserves to be called out. At least Hank Morris worked on commission.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Mahalo Answers is about to launch something really innovative I believe: We are going to start sharing Google AdSense revenue with our Mahalo Answers community in the form of our virtual currency, Mahalo Dollars. The way it will work is that the person asking the question will receive up to M$100 in revenue sharing and the best answer will get up to M$100 in Adsense revenue. What this means is that you might make M$100 ($75 US) for just ASKING a good question.... you might also get up to that amount for getting the best answer. This is, of course, in addition to the virtual currency (Mahalo Dollars) put on questions already. This is part of my overall vision to match virtual currency to knowledge exchange, content, UGC and search. The reason Mahalo rocketed to #150 on Quantcast and 15m uniques and operational breakeven is because of this new(er) vision. Feedback?
Monday, February 15, 2010
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jason Calacanis
Date: Mon, Feb 15, 2010 at 5:32 PM
Subject: Helping startups land angel funding (San Francisco, March 4th)
PLEASE FORWARD TO: startups looking for funding.
Jason's List Membership: 19,318
Google Buzz profile: www.bit.ly/jasonbuzz
More info: www.openangelforum.com
========================================= Friends, A quick and positive update on the Open Angel Forum (www.openangelforum.com). As many of you know from reading this newsletter, I'm not a fan of
people having to pay to present at a conference or to angel investors.
Three years Mike Arrington and I partnered on the TechCrunch
conference to stop the "pay to present" virus that the DEMO conference
has been spreading for a decade or so. It's been a huge success with
over 140 companies launching from the stage including Powerset, Mint,
FitBit and Yammer.
In January I launched the Open Angel Forum to stop the practice of
people paying to pitch angel investors. It's been a stunning success
thanks to the 11 amazing companies that have presented thus far. I
super proud to announce that we now have four chapters up and running:
Los Angels, Boulder, San Francisco and New York. We will be announcing
one new city every month or so for the next two years, until we reach
the foot print of the very bad Keiretsu Forum (which charges folks to
pitch!). How great would it be to have 10 to 20 chapters running
around the world?!
Quick updates by city including how startups can apply (you don't have
to be based in the actual city, but you must be willing to come
present at the event):
1. Open Angel Forum Los Angeles took place in January. Matt Coffin and
I are the hosts of the Los Angeles chapter. 20 amazing angels showed
up for five presentations. All of the companies have/are going to
raise money based on this meeting is the rumor. Yes, a 100% hit rate
is possible! The next events will be in April and September. Here is
the recap: a) Startups can apply for Los Angeles: apply here
b) Buy a service provider ticket: available here
c) questions: email@example.com Mark Suster – Inaugural Open Angel Forum Was A Success
Brian Alvey -- Open Angel Forum In L.A.
TigerTag -- TigerTag at the Open Angel Forum: recap
Backupify -- The First Hand Experience of an Enterpreneur at the Open
Angel Forum 2. Open Angel Forum, Boulder took place in February. David Cohen of
the amazing TechStars.com program and my old friend, and amazing
VC/bloggers, Brad Feld are running the Boulder chapter. The next event
will be in the late sprint and early fall in all likelihood. You can
read about the event at the links below: a) Startups can apply for Boulder: apply here
b) Buy a service provider ticket: available here
c) questions: firstname.lastname@example.org Odojo – My Experience presenting at The Open Angel Forum
FaceFile – Open Angel Forum Colorado
Grogger – OAF: Things Getting Better for Entrepreneurs
TeamSnap – TeamSnap presents at Open Angel Forum
Kijubi – Kijubi @ Open Angel Forum in Boulder Colorado
Brad Feld -- Open Angel Forum Is Off To A Great Start
Mark Solon -- The Open Angel Forum & The Changing Face Of The Venture Industry
ReadWriteWeb -- After Success in Boulder, Open Angel Forum Marches
Onward to San Francisco and New York 3. Open Angel Forum San Francisco will take place on March 4th. We're
thrilled to announce that new angel investors, the brilliant Kevin
Rose of digg fame, and seasoned angel investor Chris Sacca are running
the San Francsico chapter. Related links below: a) Apply for San Francisco: apply here
b) Buy a service provider ticket: available here
c) questions: email@example.com
4. Open Angel Forum New York will take place on April 8. I've tapped
Brian Alvey, my partner on Weblogs Inc. and Charlie O'Donnell of First
Round capital, to host the New York chapter. Related links below:
a) Apply for New York City: apply here
b) Buy a service provider ticket: available here
c) questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Open Angel Forum Charter:
1. Startups will never be charged to present and will be selected
based on merit by a committee of angel investors.
2. The first 20 angel investors in each city are not charged to join.
Angel investors after 20 per city are charged a one time initiation
fee of $5,000.
3. Five service providers can attend the event for $1,500 each.
4. Only "active angels" are allowed to join. We define active as three
known investments in the past year.
5. No spectators are allowed (i.e. entrepreneurs, press, pundits, etc).
6. All presentations are under “Friend-D-A.” Angels are expected to
keep presentations confidential.
7. If you’re a “combo angel investor and service provider” (think:
lawyer who sometimes invests) we qualify you as a service provider and
you must buy a ticket.
8. Tickets from service provider and the 21st angels are split 2/3rds
to local chapter and 1/3rd to the national organization. This is how
the organization operates.
9. Local chapters åre required to host a minimum of two events per year.
10. Local Chapter heads must follow the OAF Event Operating Procedure
during the event.
11. Chapter heads involved in selection are not allowed to invest in
startups until they have presented at the OAF (i.e. no cherry
12. VCs selected to attend the event must make room for other angel
investors if they choose to invest in a company presenting at the OAF
(i.e. no taking the whole pie).
13. Chapter heads will make final decisions for their chapter. In the
extreme case of conflict, the national organization will provide a
ruling if the chapter heads recommend it.
14. These rules are subject to common sense. They will be altered,
expanded, disregarded and contradicted based on the sole discretion of
the fine folks who are hosting the forum. We will always be fair and
true to the mission of OAF: To help entrepreneurs and angels investors
change the world. The Open Angel Forum Event Operating Procedure:
1. No more than 20 angel investors and six service providers can
attend an event.
2. The first 20 angels in a chapter can join for free. The 21st angel
investor to join a chapter must pay the one-time initiation fee. This
rule is to fund operations and ensure top quality angels.
3. Open Angel Forums take place at night, over dinner.
4. A public facing clock must be started when a presentation starts.
5. Startups presenting must drink, and finish, a beer during their presentation.
6. Angel investors and services providers will turn off all devices
during presentations out of respect for startups.
7. Angel investors will complete the startup feedback form while
watching the presentation.
8. Format (four hours; i.e. 6-10PM, 7-11PM):
-- First Hour: Standing, angel-only Cocktails/Networking
-- Next 90 minutes:Sitting: Brief introductions, dinner and five
presentations of six minutes each followed by up to eight minutes of
-- Last 90 minutes: Angels & Startups Network. If you have any questions do let me know!
all the best,
To be remove visit tinyurl.com/jasonslist or simply reply and put
unsubscribe in the subject line.
902 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Fairly stunning how quickly Google Buzz has grown in under a week. I'm now doing most of my "intelligent" / deeper discussion threads on Google Buzz.... crazy.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
- February 12
- 9:00 - Ski Jumping - Ski Jumping Normal Hill - Trial Qualification
- 10:00 - Ski Jumping - Ski Jumping Normal Hill - Qualification Round
- 18:00 - 2010 Olympic Opening Ceremony
- 17:00 - Hockey - Women's Preliminary Round - Canada vs Slovakia
- 14:30 - Freestyle Skiing -