Wednesday, April 28, 2010

HBS Research shows angel-backing makes a difference in the success of new ventures

Some pretty impressive research published by Harvard Business School's William R. Kerr and Josh Lerner, and MIT's Antoinette Schoar. Check it our here.

Among their findings:

- "Angel-funded firms are also more likely to show improved venture performance and growth as measured through growth in Web site traffic and Web site rankings. The improvement gains typically range between 30 and 50 percent."

- "Investment success is highly predicated by the interest level of angels during the entrepreneur's initial presentation and by the angels' subsequent due diligence."
>>This is a very interesting observation -- I would add that a pre-existing business relationship between one of the angels in the group and a founder also makes a big difference.

-"Access to capital per se may not be the most important value-added that angel groups bring. Some of the "softer" features, such as angels' mentoring or business contacts, may help new ventures the most."
>>This last point is something that we at AngelVineVC have noticed for the last several years -- as the NYC angel and tech community strengthens and grows, the mentoring and business collaborations are critical to helping entrepreneurial ventures push past the inevitable rough spots, find executive talent, and provide access to key customers and business partners.

AngelVineVC Presenting Company Klout raises $1.5 million Series A

Klout, the definitive measure of influence across the social web, presented at our January 14, 2010 meeting. We are pleased that Klout has raised a sized-up $1.5 million Series A round with the participation of several AngelVineVC members who discovered Klout through AngelVineVC. Executive Committee member Matt Keiser (from LiveIntent and Grape Arbor Ventures) brought Klout to AngelVineVC and sponsored them through the AngelVineVC process. Best of luck to Joe Fernandez and the team and we look forward to great things from Klout.

See here for Klout's announcement

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Post-meeting wrap-up

90+ angels, VCs, and founders descended on the Harvard Club of NYC for major networking, good wine (thanks Ed Zimmerman), and terrific presentations (thanks Doug Stevenson - Co-founder/CEO of Vibrant Media and Alexis Maybank Co-founder Gilt Groupe). Our jury-selected start-up -- from 5to1, Accordant Media, BankSimple, MiMedia, MyNines,, and Trust Metrics, did a great job telling their stories in an informal setting. Thanks to them as well.

So what did we learn?

--The New York City tech scene is vibrant (to borrow Doug Stevenson's favorite word, but without his awesome accent), with an engaged community of angel investors, terrific NYC-based VCs, great VCs covering NYC from outside this geography, and, wonderful founders who have taken the first steps toward building $100 million revenue companies - taking the leap and founding. We salute the NYC entrepreneurs who are building cool products and creating great new services.

--Vibrant, Gilt Groupe, and our angel-ready companies are creating very cool jobs in NYC. Gilt Groupe and Vibrant are employing engineers who are doing cutting edge work and accessing all New York has to offer. And as our seven angel-ready companies grow, they will also be driving job creation for engineers, talented salespeople, and the like.

--A talented UI designer for B2C sites could have walked out of that room with a dozen job offers (actually she or he might have been carried out of the room!).

--The folks at Gilt Groupe probably don't take a lunch break at noon, since everyone in the world is hitting their site as soon as the new sales launch. (Which I will be doing tomorrow).

--The same CEO can helm a company from zero to big revenues (I'm looking at you, Doug Stevenson).

--Hiring for start-ups in NYC is interesting but (a) Doug taught us that you get the benefit of being located across the street from many of your customers, and (b) Alexis taught us that if you schedule the interviews for your engineers at the same time at which you are screening your fashion models, you will get some pretty amazing engineers.

Thanks also to our executive committee: Ian Sigalow @ Greycroft, Matt Harris @ Village Ventures, Matt Keiser @ Live Intent and Perky Jerky, Sarah Reed @ Charles River Ventures, Ed Zimmerman, and Ray Thek; and to Mark Kesslen, Kathi Rawnsley, Karen Ernst and Betsy Hatfield (especially to Karen and Betsy, without whom we would have been standing by ourselves in an empty room, with empty glasses, talking about the NFL draft). (I'm also on the executive committee, but it would be unseemly to thank myself (again)).

Watch this space for an announcement concerning our next happening -- an AngelVineVC office hours in NYC in June at the offices of Greycroft Ventures!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Companies joining us for our April 2010 meeting

We are pleased to announce that the following companies will be joining us at our April 2010 AngelVineVC meeting (in addition to Gilt Groupe and Vibrant Media):

-5to1 (James Heckman CEO & Co-Founder)

-Accordant Media (Art Muldoon, President and Co-Founder; Matt Greitzer, COO and Co-Founder)

-BankSimple (Joshua Reich, CEO & Co-Founder; Shamir Karkal, CFO & Co-Founder)

-MiMedia (Erik Zamkoff, Founder & CEO; and Chris Giordano, Founder, President & COO)

-MyNines (Apar Kothari, Founder & CEO) (Reece Pacheco, Founder; and Dan Spinosa, Founder)

-Trust Metrics (Jeremy Davis, co-Founder; and Andy Lerner, co-Founder)

We look forward to having you meet them!

Our next meeting is this week

We are looking forward to our next meeting, to be held later this week.

Our theme is - "Building a $100 million revenue company in NYC"

We will be joined by Alexis Maybank, co-founder of Gilt Groupe, and Doug Stevenson, CEO and co-founder of Vibrant Media, each founded in NYC, that have grown to more than 200 employees and massive revenues.

In addition, we have selected several exciting start-ups looking to close angel rounds.

For more information or to register, please e-mail or call 973-422-2922. As always, attendance is by invitation only.

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