On March 21st, 2012 we will be hosting Boulder’s fifth Open Angel Forum (OAF). For those of you who are unfamiliar with the OAF it was founded by Jason Calacanis, who heard that investors were charging entrepreneurs to pitch. Jason and the rest of the investor community were appalled by the pay to pitch mentality, so Jason founded the OAF, whose mission is:
To provide entrepreneurs with access to the angel investor community based solely on merit (and without fees). Additionally, we strive to build collaboration between angel investors and to inspire high-net worth individuals to become angels.
David Cohen, Tim Falls and I started the Boulder chapter shortly after Jason’s inaugural event. The goal of the OAF is to get companies funded. We try and create a relaxed atmosphere that’s small enough to encourage conversations between investors and entrepreneurs. We limit the event to 20 qualified Angels who have made at least 3 investments in the past year. You can sign up to be considered as an Angel for OAF5 here.
The entrepreneur selection process is competitive, we usually get 50 to 60 applications and pick only 5 or 6 companies to present. You can apply to OAF5 as an entrepreneur here. We try and pick the best of the applicants, and I think we do a pretty decent job, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t miss great companies. So please don’t feel discouraged if you apply and aren’t selected. Also, we’re always willing to provide feedback and insight into our decision-making to those who aren’t selected
Overall, I think the first four OAFs have been a success. Out of 23 companies who have participated:
- 13 have raised their seed round shortly after the OAF.
- 5 have gone on to raise their Series A
- 2 have gone on to raise their Series B (It’s still early and I expect a few more to close)
- 2 were accepted to TechStars Boulder (several companies were TS, DreamIT and other incubator alumni)
- 1 was accepted to Excelerate Labs Chicago
- 1 company was acquired
- “Participating in the OAF significantly increased the credibility of our company and team. Investors from the Forum provided a key portion of our investment and accelerated completion of our Series A funding. Also, relationships established during the OAF meeting with co-presenters and hosts have led to significant opportunities.” Team Snap
- “We acquired investment as a direct result of presenting at OAF. Forkly“
- “We pitched while we were in the DreamIT incubator. The Boulder OAF opened an audience of investors that we may not have typically been able to reach.” Adaptly
- “It was a good experience to learn what investors might be looking for and how to position ourselves better.”- Snugg Home
- “Introduction to David Cohen, Nicole Glaros, TechStars, High Country Venture, Jim Franklin, Chris Marks and in general, exposure to the Boulder ecosystem.” Full Contact
- “The OAF was our first pitch. We learned a lot from watching the other companies and the investor Q&A. It really helped us refine our pitch…” meeps
- “We met some great folks, and it led to an investment.” Fast Customer