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June 03, 2010

Angels Soaring During Innovation Month

Dan Primack calls them the "rock stars" of the start-up ecosystem.  If you are a young start-up and aren't plugging into the myriad of angel investment vehicles percolating around the country, you are either clueless or one of the few who are super-wired already into the "Do Not Pass Go, Go Directly to $5M Series A" venture capital game.

Here are home, the angel community in New England is really starting to flex its muscles.  Thanks to Scott Kirsner's arbitrary declaration (and admirable leadership), June is Innovation Month in New England and there is a ridiculous amount of activity going on.

It started off on June 1st with Angel Boot Camp, a confab that gathered over 200 angels, VCs and start-ups.

Last night was Tech Stars Boston Investor Night, which continues to gain momentum heading into its second season, as well as the big annual the MITX Awards event.  Every night this month, there is something going on.  You can see the master schedule at www.neinnovation.com.

Many of these venues didn't exist 3-4 years ago - Mobile Mondays, Web Inno, Open Coffee, etc.  New events are coming to Boston this month, including the Open Angel Forum, which is June 18th.

And new institutions are popping up all over the place.  New seed funds, incubators (e.g., Project11 - which you'll hear more about in the coming days), the Founders Institute, etc.  And when you visit the local campuses, it's amazing how prominent entrepreneurship and getting access to the angel community has become.  Every school has a business plan contest.  HBS just completed a business plan contest not just for students, but for alumni as well.

Like I said, there's a ridiculous amount of activity going on, and the angels appear to be out in front.  At Flybridge we always joke that we treat our entrepreneurs like they're rock stars.  Kudos to the angel community for emerging as the new rock stars of the start-up ecosystem!


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Great post Jeff.

What stage of accomplishment should a startup achieve before attempting to look for Angel funding or competing in these events?

Right now my startup www.socialgrow.com is focused product development and on our entry to MassChallenge. The opportunity for a cash award and free office space as well as plugging into the MassChallenge PR machine is very attractive.

Marsh Sutherland
President | Co-Founder
@MarshSutherland | @SocialGrow

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A range of angels are interested in a
range of stages, but the certainly the more progress the better!  For a
consumer site, having some user traction and/or deep consumer research is key.

I particularly like the one about consistency because I think it applies to entire process of blogging. Also, I totally agree with Andrew’s comment about having a thick skin. I thought of that too while reading your post.Thanks for share it.

Jeff, thanks for the great plug for Innovation month in New England! Don't forget about the MASSCHALLENGE global startup competition gaining momentum at this time as well. We launched April 14, but our entry deadline for entrepreneurs is June 11!! We have many entrepreneurs taking the plunge, but there is still time to throw in a few hats. Anyone, anywhere, with any idea may enter. Entrepreneurs receive free resources, including networking opportunities, mentorship, and workshops relevant to starting a business, and we're giving away $1 million in awards at the end of the competition in October. Check out www.masschallenge.org.

Great addition, Amy!

Jeff, I just picked up your book today. At the rate Im going, I should be done tomorrow. Im in the middle of pre-launching my company, and after working on it for the past 6 months, I recently found myself at a stand still. It was probably similar to writers block, not knowing which direction to take the company. We have had an overwhelming great response when test marketing it to the public, now there is interest to go national but not sure if were ready for that. To be honest, Ive started small companies before, but nothing like this where I need capital and the right team to make it happen. Any advice on how to build your team?- with no real capital?
In reading just the first 20 pages of your book, it helped me remember who I was and why I am doing this. The passion I have for being an entrepreneur is in my blood, and it is not something I was taught. I want to thank you because it stories like yours that inspire us to make things happen. My company www.getmyschoolbucks.com will happen, I just need to find the right team. Any and all advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you Jeff

Find people you know, trust and respect. Network around with other start-ups to see who's good. Good luck with it, Chad.

I like your blog and I think you've got some very informative articles up. Since you clearly have experience in the field of angel investing, I'm hoping for some help. I put up some investment opportunities, but I'm really interested to know if they look attractive and if you think people would be willing to look into these opportunities. I would really appreciate some feedback on the way the opportunities are laid out and explained, thank you for your time.


Wow! This post is really interesting and great!!Coz many are posted their comments an interesting comments too =D..Cool!! This is great!

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