Saturday, February 26, 2011

My response to @bryce crying about @anglelist

Whaaaaaaaaa......... Wha............ There are more people fishing in
my pond.... Wahhhhh!!!!! :-)

After reading this I'm left with the following impressions:

1. You're grandstanding
2. You're grandstanding without a salient point
3. You're wildly threatened by the democratization of early stage
investing and you're taking your ball going home to mommy

Are you such a special investor, with such magical dollar bills, that
when things heat up--or have social proof (which I agree is an
annoying term)--that you're investment strategy is to short circuit
and you walk away?

If that is the case I'm worried for your LPs!

When there is heat and competition that is a signal of quality, and
the truth is that money is no longer important.

There is nothing special about having "money" to put into a startup.
Five years ago having money was special, and VCs were important
because of that fact.

Today things like Angel List have boxed out VC--especially small ones
like your firm--to the point at which you are not needed in the food

Harsh? Yes. True? Hell yes.

Let's be honest and just say what's happening here: you're pissed that
you now have hundreds of angels swarming on deals that you used to be
able to snap up at half the price.

Naval is the ring leader of these annoying, price-insensitive angels
and you're going to make a big statement by opting out.

Excellent! Go home, more deal flow for me!

Angel List and Open Angel Forum are the biggest nightmare small VCs
have ever witnessed--and that's good for startups.

There are now *hundreds* of qualified and unqualified angels who are
driven by sport and not return! They are betting with their own
money--not some LPs--and their more excited by private companies than
4% muni bonds.

The era of the boutique VCs is over. The returns are f@#$%ked for all
time, because angel investors are happy with a 5-10% return YOY
provided they are having fun.

If small VCs post 5-10% returns YOY they are wildly disappointing to
LPs and out of business.

Small VC funds don't provide enough value and are going to be
disinter-mediated in the new world where money is table stakes.

Good luck finding deals off of Angel List, because those deals will be
in companies run by very stupid entrepreneurs. If you're an
entrepreneur you're going to embrace Angel List because that's where
the passionate, low-return driven money is.

Good luck playing with your ball in that backyard with mommy. The rest
of us are going to Naval's playground.

Viva la revolution!

Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

Thursday, February 24, 2011

LAUNCH Doors open to public today!

We're opening the expo area and simulcast area to the public today...

Come over and enjoy the 400MBIT internet and 100 amazing companies in
the LAUNCH Pad!!!

Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

Monday, February 14, 2011

. @mahalodotcom's nerd developers playing starcraft--on valentine's day. Wow.

My response to the "why don't you have any TKTK as judges... "

Almost every time I attend an event I hear someone complain about the
composure of the people on stage.

It's like clock work, and it's understandable since our industry is
filled with so many men and so few women, as well as so many asians,
indians and white dudes.

Here is the latest..... and my comment:

Q: Do you think I did a decent job respond?

best j

Couple of points:

1. Thanks for taking the constructive step of actually making
suggestions as opposed to just throwing stones.

2. The panel is very diverse as you can see, and it was selected based
on merit, as well as my personal network. The diversity was organic,
but obviously not having a black executive does stand out to some.

3. There are not enough black CEOs, founders or VCs in the internet industry.

I don't know exactly why that is, but if you run down the top 200
sites on Quantcast's ranking I'm going to guess that the number of
black CEOs or founders is going to be very low.

Someone should do this breakdown--it would be meaningful. It would
also be interesting to see how many female, asian, indian and LGBT
members are on this list.

4. We can all agree that conference producers are not responsible for #3 right?

5. We can all agree that conference producers are most responsible for
putting on a great show with as qualified speakers--or in the case of
LAUNCH "judges"--as possible, right?

6. We call agree that we should never put someone on stage because of,
or primarily because of, their race, gender, religion or political
affiliation. Unless of course the panel is about that specific issue I
guess (i.e. "the role of female, Democratic, Irish Catholics in mobile
SNSs"--an important panel at SXSW this year :-).

7. Sadly, I can't remember ever running into a black VCs or angel
investor in 20+ years in the industry!

I just went to angel list and sorted by # of investments and found
only one black angel investor in the top 150 or so listings.

Note: this is imperfect because Angel list isn't a perfect
dataset--but it still says something. I have met some hip-hop moguls
who have tried to build internet companies and failed horribly (who
shall remain nameless).

8. I've always tried to have diversity in every conference I've done,
but I will never lower the bar on who should participate on stage. I
feel lowering the bar means a) the conference would suffer and b) the
speaker would suffer from being considered a token.

9. The qualifications for being a judge at LAUNCH are much, much
higher than being a speaker at a high-end internet conference. Judges
at the conference need to have very significant success in the
industry as demonstrated by things like a) investing in a significant
number of successful companies, b) creating a very significant
internet company and/or c) having significant exists in the internet

The reason for this should be obvious: the person who is judging
another startup needs to, at least ideally, have more success then the
person pitching a company. Now, this isn't always the case, and it
certainly isn't the case for all time.

Note: Once and a while there will be a wild card thrown in for fun,
like Kevin Pollak, MC Hammer or Ashton Kutcher, who are celebrities
with an interest in technology. I've had all three of them speak at my
events in the past. I think one of them is black--but he wasn't
selected for that reason. He was selected because he is awesome,
insightful in matters of media and fun! :-)

10. This is a long-winded way of saying that although the folks you
suggest up top are undoubtedly successful, I wonder if they themselves
consider themselves successful enough to judge other startups?

There are two of note, one of which I know would be qualified: David
Drummond of Google.

Also, I don't know Michael Seibel, a co-founder of Justin.TV, but I
would consider Justin.TV a modest success to date. They have raised
money and built a mid-sized company. I wonder if Michael considers
himself ready to judge other startups or if he would rather take on
this challenge later in life with more wins under his belt? Either
way, I'd love to meet him for consideration next year.

Summary: Conferences, blogs and newspaper tend to reflect the
demographics presented to them. They don't control those demographics,
nor could or should they.

What could have an impact?

Well, I'm no expert but I think the funnel is the problem. Perhaps we
should be focusing on energy on the angel funding and accelerator

BTW: one of the companies *presenting* at LAUNCH has a black founder
and CEO. And I'm an investor in it! And it's awesome!

I hope this long-winded response doesn't come across as defensive. I
just want to make sure I give as full an answer as you gave in your
blog post.

I invite the people you've select above to attend the event at my
guest. I'd love to get to know them better! email intros would be

all the best,


Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

Saturday, February 5, 2011

HackNews thread on free tables dead with 81 points and 150 comments? Why?

> why would a story with 81 points and 150 comments be dead? tried to make it not commercial (which it obviously isn't)?

Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

Superbowl Commercials 2011 (all 40+)

I'm going to make a running list of every SuperBowl Commercial 2011 here. Please post ones you find in the comments. 


Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

BOOM! @CarmeloAnthony's agent tell teams: New York only.

Let's do this Knicks.  jmc

N.Y. or bust for ‘Melo?

Carmelo Anthony
(NBAE/Getty Images)

Several sources told Yahoo! Sports that Carmelo Anthony’s agent, Leon Rose, has recently begun informing teams that the All-Star forward is interested in signing a contract extension with only the New York Knicks. The stance has weakened the Denver Nuggets’ leverage in trying to deal Anthony, not only to other teams, but also the Knicks.

The sources said the Knicks don’t feel pressed to present a substantial trade offer to the Nuggets because they think they can also sign Anthony after the season if he opts out of his contract, as expected.

“If you’re New York, you just sit and wait until the offseason,” one general manager said. “That’s where it’s likely to go. Why give up assets to get him now when you can wait and get him next season?”

Said another source: “If ’Melo is telling the world he wants to go [to New York], why fight so hard to get him? [Knicks president] Donnie Walsh knows this.”

Though there’s less than three weeks before the Feb. 24 trade deadline, a deal for Anthony isn’t imminent. Sources said the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks still have interest in Anthony despite knowing he doesn’t plan to re-sign with them.

“Don’t blame ’Melo. He’s been up front about wanting to go to New York since the summer,” one source close to the talks said. “They better trade him to New York or end up with nothing.” 

Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

Friday, February 4, 2011

VIDEO: Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric in 1994: what is internet?

MIND BLOWING: Amazing video of uncontacted tribes

Zuck @finkd @facebook raises the interest of Congress--oh no.

This is why I told The Zuck to slow down and think about the users first. As opposed to what is technically possible and cool. 

Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

NYC Startups: Beware Mike "scam" Segal

It's a traaaaaaap!!!!!!

You can always tell a dirty, dirty scam when they use high-pressure tactics like this paragraph: 

As I indicated is my prior e-mail, if you are all set with your financing requirements or have other avenues to get funded, please let me know by return e-mail and I will be sure that your company and email-address of REDACTED is taken off my list of potential Presenter candidates. I know that the last thing you need are more e-mails that are not relevant to the matters affecting you business.

Normal folks do not speak like that. Certainly not investors. 

Also, notice in the list of investors you don't Fred Wilson of Union Square, RRE, Insight Venture Partners, Esther Dyson, John Borthwick of Betaworks, Howard or Charlie from First Round, Bijan or Mo from Spark Capital, Polaris, Kevin Rose, Chris Sacca, Dave McClure or anyone you respect or interact with on the web. 

You know, the folks you hear directly from on This Week in Startups week after week!

If this is a valuable VC and angel club where is the A-list? Oh right, they would NEVER support a scam like this. If you see an even in New York City and they can't get the names and firms above it is certainly a scam. The folks above will support anything in New York City that's good for the community. 

My previous ultimatum to Mike to stop charging startups

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mike Segal <>
Subject: Opportunity for Late-Entrants to Present on February 24th at the Yale Club New York



Opportunity for Late-Entrants to Present on February 24th at the Yale Club New York to
Angels and more than 150 of the America’s Leading Private Equity & Venture Capital Investors

As we have not heard back from your office, I am following-up on my earlier correspondence about introducing your company to funding sources at our upcoming National Venture Capital & Angel Investor Forum being held at the Yale Club New York on Thursday, February 24th. (My apologies if there is an e-mail or phone message that I may have missed.) We have been hosting these exclusive “deal-oriented” and "investor-only" venues for 10 years. They are one of the most well-established and the best “investor-attended” events of their kind in America and are not compromised with a high population of vendors or service providers. We literally create a “Road Show” that comes to the company, thus eliminating the costs and time of extensive travel to meet investors. In the event that you are still seeking capital and stalled in your efforts to get funded, I have set aside a few Presenter slots for last-minute entrants.


This will be our 32nd consecutive venue, all of which since June of 2001 have been fully-booked with approximately 150 to 200 investors. These include numerous Angel Groups, high net worth investors, venture capital firms, private equity funds and investment partnerships who attend from throughout the United States, with a focus on both early and later-stage opportunities. (Kindly note that any data that we provide in connection with our current or past investor attendance is well-documented by registration records and can be further verified by direct contact of the Angels, VCs and private equity investors who have been our guests.) Because of the number and caliber of the investors whom we attract, most companies see their participation in our events as an alterative or complement to hiring an investment banker or going on the road to raise capital.


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 now over 10 years) has attracted so many companies to our events from all over the United States and other countries. There is no comparable funding venue in the United States to what we offer as measured by the number and quality of the active capital sources who attend our forums - not withstanding the fact that we also reach out to investors for our entrepreneur participants and assist them in following-up after our event.

If you believe that your company's potential is truly compelling and that management's vision can be effectively communicated, this private event will provide you with a unique national platform to get your message across in “One Place and in One Day” to active serious investors who want to see fundable deals. In order to apply to present, all you need to do is send a copy of your Executive Summary to me at I'll get back to you promptly as to whether or not your company would be good fit for the event. Also feel free to call my office at 347 346 6650. I would be happy to discuss the visibility options, qualifications, costs to attend or present and answer any questions you may have about the format, audience composition, references, etc.   

Although there are no guarantees, the proven value of the unique “investor-centric” platform that we provide for raising capital is well-established. You can see more than fifty testimonials from other entrepreneurs at Perhaps the e-mail below from one of the presenting companies in 2010 says it best and very much reflects the feedback that we receive from many of our featured entrepreneurs.

“Thanks Mike. Great event. Best I've ever attended, and most focused and well constructed. Walked away with 27 cards, 4-8 sincere investors advising of interest in investing, and many could not get to talk with us directly at the breakout, as we were too crowded. Caught up with many (investors) at the various opportunities to socialize. Will keep you posted on our success...I will follow your recommendations, as your advice so far has been invaluable. Thanks again.”

Specific citations and copies of actual correspondence on any of our posted testimonials are available upon request.

As I indicated is my prior e-mail, if you are all set with your financing requirements or have other avenues to get funded, please let me know by return e-mail and I will be sure that your company and email-address of REDACTED is taken off my list of potential Presenter candidates. I know that the last thing you need are more e-mails that are not relevant to the matters affecting you business.

If you are currently raising capital and need to take any of the following steps, then you should seriously consider applying to present at this event.       

                                                1) Go outside of your existing network of contacts to find investors.  
                                                2) Schedule an expensive national road trip to meet capital sources.         
                                                3) Pay to retain an investment banker or placement agent.   
                                                4) Find a cost-effective proven venue to locate new investors.        
                                                5) Accelerate the funding process to execute your business plan.

                                                6) Move-on, as you are still waiting to hear back from investors,    
                                                    who should have provided the funding you needed by now.        

Please keep in mind that most of our presenting companies have already had some outside funding from Angels or VCs and are at the point where they are ready to begin commercialization or have begun marketing their products, and are not usually "unfunded start-ups" with no sales. We will consider pre-revenue companies that have a clear proprietary advantage in their science, technology or business method and can reach a large addressable market. General presenter qualifications are listed at  

Although we wish it could be, this is not a free event. (I believe that over the years we have clearly demonstrated, as is true with most things in life, it is not what or if you pay, but what you get for what you pay.) We are not part of any non-profit group or government agency and our events are not primarily funded by vendors or service providers, which ensures an “investor-only” venue. Accordingly, companies are required to pay a fee to be featured at the event based upon a number of alternatives, which we try to tailor to the financial situation of each company and may include a partially differed or contingent payment. As every company varies with respect to its financial resources, stage, revenues and funding requirements, we do not have a “one size fits all” structure with respect to fees or visibility options. Our forum could be best described as a co-op for the 12 to 15 companies that present - such as a trade show would be. We underwrite the events and the featured companies share in the overhead cost. They do so because our model ensures them an audience of nearly 100% qualified investors who have paid to attend and whom we disclose in advance.


Targeted Outreach to Prospective Investors: You can find a complete index to our current and past registrants below or on the conference website at, indexed by Industry Sector Preferences. If your company is selected to  be a Presenter or Featured Entrepreneur Guest, we can provide you with introductions to any of the firms listed on the conference website, irrespective of their attendance at the upcoming event, adding an important dimension to your ability to reach investors. As you know, in many cases, 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 the symposium


This highly-targeted venue can help you solve the three biggest problems in the fundraising process: 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.

Please keep in mind that this event distinguishes itself 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 approximately 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 keeping 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.

10)       Featured companies benefit from the strong brand equity that we have built with investors over nearly 10 years.

11)       Detailed contact information on all attending investors along with follow-up assistance is provided to entrepreneurs.

12)       More than 5 hours networking time is provided to meet “one-on-one” with individual investors and venture capital firm partners.   

To learn more about the event, attending investors, format, pricing, qualifications, etc., please call me and kindly do not send me questions to respond to by e-mail. I have found that preliminary conversation first can save a great deal of time in the back and forth of numerous e-mail exchanges. Thanks for your understanding on this. I am happy to spend whatever time is necessary with you on the phone. As we only have a few of our Presenter slots still available, please contact me as soon as possible if you have an interest in being selected to be on our conference program. To see a list of investment groups who regularly attend our events, please go to

I look forward to hearing from you and learning more about your funding requirements.

Kindest regards,

Mike Segal, President   

LinkedIn Profile


630 W. 246th St. Suite 728

Riverdale, New York 10471


Direct Line: 347 346 6650

New York Private Equity Forums
Guest Registry of Investors & Capital Sources
to Select Current and Prior Conference Guests by Industry Sector Preferences

Please select from the sectors below to see the some of the industry preferences of our current registrants and prior attendees. Note that investment groups who indicate a specific focus do not necessarily limit their investments to those sectors. More detailed information is displayed on their websites for which links are provided after clicking on the applicable sector preference. A listing of our registrants' portfolio companies is provided where available. 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.


Select Initial Confirmed Registrants - 2011 National Venture Capital & Angel Investor Forum

(Kindly Note that the Names of Angels, Individual Participants and High Net Worth Investors are not Shown for Privacy and Security Purposes)


Adroit Capital

Alerion Partners

Alpha Capital

Bowery Partners LLC (Private Investors)

Angel Capital Group

Ason Associates (Private Investors)

Blue Sky Organic Ventures

BNC Venture Capital Group

Carter Stone & Company (Private Investors)

Centripetal Capital Partners

Cerus Partners

Chiron Capital

City Light Capital

ColumbusNova Investments

Connecticut Innovations

Coral Capital Solutions

CP Capital Group

CRG Capital

Daiwa Investment Management

du Pasquier Asset Management


Entrepreneur Partners

Fairridge Venture Partners

First Merger Capital

G.S. Schwartz & Co.

Halo Angels

HarbourVest Partners

Harvest Capital (Private Investors)

HealthCare Finance Group

Heron Capital

Hudson Venture Partners


Invesco Private Capital

IQ Venture Partners

iQ Venture Advisors

Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation

Keiretsu Forum

Kuberon Capital

Lanza Tech Ventures

Lenox Hill Partners

Linell Capital

Metamorphic Ventures

Miami Innovation Fund

Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My first @facebook spam message! Nice sports bra, btw!

GRRRR: Bleacher report spamming Google News... cc: @mattcutts

I hate bleacher report for spamming my google news feed with stories they are reblogging from quality sites like Newsday, Posting and Toasting, NYT and ESPN. 

Not only do they just reblog stuff, they do it like 10x a day for the same story!!! 

... and their writing is horrible. 

Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

My first @FACEBOOK spam email!

Bleacher Report spamming Google News cc: @mattcutts

I hate the Bleacher report because all they do is poorly rehash the news that other outlets--doing original reporting--write *once*.

So, when I go to google news 2x a day to check in on the Knicks it's filled with SPAM from Bleacher report.

Matt Cutts & Google: this is so unfair to ESPN, Newsday and Posting and Toasting, which do original reporting.

Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Call of Duty Black Ops Zombies: Ascension

ATDHE .NET seized by Homeland Security! Go 9/11!

Anyone else disturbed by homeland security seizing domain names?

Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

My value add as an angel? Free booth @LAUNCH + 10 tickets :-)

I've given every one of my angel investments/advisor companies a free table/booth at the LAUNCH conference ( ) and the ability to bring their entire team! 

Hey, I gotta compete with Yuri from DST and Ron Conway giving away free money! :-p

Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

My value-add as an angel? Your company name in my sig file!

My value-add as an angel investor?

Your company name in my sig file going out in 300+ email messages a day, 10,000 a month and 100,000 a year...

... and I trade emails with a lot of interesting people. :-) 

Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups