Matchmaking for investors and Entrepreneurs
Have you identified things you do so well in life that they come as natural as breathing? One of those things for me is bringing people together. Earlier today, I helped organize an event for the Space Angels Network which describes itself as “the premier source for aerospace deal flow for investors and of early-stage capital for aerospace-related ventures across a wide spectrum of technologies, markets, and industries.
The Space Angels Network exists mostly as a virtual group but sometimes in person trumps all other options. I’ll give you the brief summary of how today’s event came together.
I reached out to the law firm of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP who has an existing aerospace practice, regularly hosts events at one of their offices, and currently hosts the Aerospace and Defense Forum which I co-organize.
It’s almost impossible to find a perfect date and time for an event in the L.A. area, so we decided to go with a Thursday morning and give ~ 2 weeks notice to our invited attendees. Many times if you ask them to far out in advance, they will respond that they don’t know what their calendar will look like. Go figure!?
We invited two entrepreneurs to come pitch their investment opportunity. Also, included was a third company whose been in business since the mid 1990’s and could share some war stories.
~ Outline of the event
7:30am – 8:00am Registration, Continental Breakfast, and Networking which really means get your caffeine fix in, deal with powerpoint issues, load up on carbs.
8:00am – 8:15am Welcome Remarks which means to check those uber important emails on your phone. Actually, the introduction today Joe Landon was concise and engaging.
8:15am – 8:45am Key Note speaker Will Kohnen, Founder & CEO, SEAmagine who builds personal submarines. I’m including a video a the bottom of this posting. We learned that there are many parallels between space and the exploring the hydrosphere. Sign me up.
8:45am – 9:15am Company Presentations
We gave the presenters from Firestar and Masten 6 minutes each to present their companies. Some would say that’s generous since another entrepreneur told me earlier today that companies were only given 90 seconds to give their pitch.
We ran about 10 minutes late, with the second company finishing at 9:25am. I learned we had to be out of the firm’s main conference room at 9:30 to make way for another meeting. Luckily, there was a slightly smaller but perfectly acceptable room available for us to finish our forum.
Take-aways from today
1) A good pitch is rehearsed ahead of time and slides are kept to a minimum.
2) Entrepreneurs ought to state clearly early on in the pitch how much money they are looking to raise and what the value is to a potential investor.
3) Get into a room early if possible to make sure a/v works, have the right cables, etc.
4) Confirm details with the venue 24 hour ahead of one’s event.
5) Remember to breathe.
6) Call/Email many, many more investors that you think might actually attend.
7) Remember to breathe and have fun.
Hosting an event for investors and entrepreneurs is not really art, but just takes some planning, patience, and resourcefulness. Even if the entrepreneurs don’t get new investment today, they will be have practiced their pitch and met some new individuals. Where any of it leads, I can’t predict, but it feels good to have been a small part in the process to help manifest an entrepreneur’s dreams.
Resources for Entrepreneurs
- Articles from Garage Ventures.
- Space Angels Network
- Article on How Great Entrepreneurs Think from Inc Magazine
- Book offer