Event Report on the recent Los Angeles VC and Angel Event

The Biz Blog

March 12, 2010 by Michael Davidson

Yesterday, I drove to downtown LA to attend the Los Angeles VC and Angel Event put together by fundingpost.com.

I heard about the event from one of the LinkedIn groups I joined called "On Startups - The Community for Entrepreneurs".  I thought, well at BizEx we get all kinds of requests from our clients who are primarily small business owners.  Perhaps Angel/VC funding might be a good option for some of them.

The place was packed and it was standing room only if you got there late.  Everyone attending was an Entrepreneur, which was cool.   They all had their vision and it was clearly something they were passionate about.

The consensus on the economy from the speaker was generally optimistic.  That the bottom is past us and now was a good time to invest wisely in businesses.  The ability to raise capital was still challenging as there was less of it out there, but there are still funds available.  There were some concerns stated about the anti business legislation coming from Washington.  Otherwise, it was all positive on the future.

I learned three things about asking for money from and Angel/VC investor.

1.  The Management Team is what they are primarily interested in.  They want scrappy Entrepreneurs who have found a way to survive the downturn.  If they can manage these tough times, then it should only get easier as times get better.

2.  The Business Plan should be short and to the point.  Most of the speakers didn't read anything beyond the summary page.  So keep it short and pithy!  Those who did read them were more concerned about the thought process that went into the plan then anything else.  It is important to be consistent in what you say, which evidently was a common problem they all faced from the plans they reviewed.  Finally, the plan is only as good as its execution, so make sure its clearly executable.

3.  The Financial Analysis was not talked about in too much detail.  There seemed to be a belief that you could make projections look like anything you wanted it to look like, lol.  Again, they were more concerned about the assumptions made and the though processes behind it.  I think they learn more about the Entrepreneur then anything else through this process.

In general, the speakers were primarily interested in scalable businesses that can be grown to at least 10 times their valuation size, and maybe that wasn't big enough.  Also, they wanted Capital Efficient models.  Which I interpreted to mean they wanted their money to stretch farther now then ever.  They do not want to invest money to pay  off debt.  They invest money to grow scalable businesses.

I talked to most of the Speakers after the panel discussion, as I do for every event I attend.  Most of the guys were looking for pre-revenue businesses, so I don't know how good a fit it was for BizEx.  We like businesses that are successful and making lots of money!  I did learn a few things though, so it was worth attending.

Events