Despite the bad weather, the CTEK Angels Live event was still packed. About 25 angel investors took the stage and opened up their regular meeting to a live audience of nearly 400 people. Three companies pitched (including Hypersites and Chaperon, both covered here previously), and each of them did a great job under stressful conditions. It’s hard enough to pitch to angel investors and try to explain your business in eight minutes and it’s even harder to do it in front of 400 additional strangers.
After each company made their pitch, the panel of angel investors took turns asking probing questions and seeking clarification or further details. The questions came in rapid-fire fashion, and often related to business model or market size. The presenters did a great job, often pulling up backup slides to address the question more directly. The presenting company then left the room and the “angels only” (+400 listening in) discussion continued. Audience members would later tell me that this was the most interesting part of each segment, because they got to hear the normally private thoughts and concerns that the angels expressed to each other.
“We own a small business and we’re thinking about going after angel funding. It gave us a great look at the kind of questions that investors asked. They were legitimate and fair questions“: Entrepreneur in the audience.
“It was really interesting to see the different perspective of the investors who were looking at opportunities from a very high level. There was so much experience on that panel, it was amazing to watch them dig in.“: Internet entrepreneur with a successful exit looking to build a new startup.
Nobody at CTEK knows of any other highly organized angel group that has ever exposed their process to the public in this way. I applaud CTEK for doing this, and I also think the angels who attended should be thanked personally. Many of them are very private people and obviously worry about everyone knowing their identity. But this was good for entrepreneurs to see, there is no doubt about that.
I’ll follow up in a day or two with a full end-to-end podcast of the event (it takes some time to produce) as well as some post-event reaction from some of the angel investors, presenters, and audience members.
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