A few weeks ago I joined the Northwest Entrepreneur Network, and so far the membership has been worth every penny.
Last week I attended their breakfast seminar “The Essentials of VC Financing for Emerging-Growth Companies” at the offices of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati high up in the Columbia Center.
The seminar was incredibly useful, and it certainly filled in a few gaps in my understanding of VC financing. Michelle Goldberg's talk on “Financing Strategies” provided a great insight into startup financing from the VC's point of few. Even though I follow the blogs of a large number of VCs, it was very useful to be able to hear the information directly and ask questions.
Anyhow, what about this Investment Forum?
As I write this, I'm sat in the Bell Harbor Convention Center in Seattle (the same convention center at which Gnomedex is taking place), waiting for the start of NWEN's seminar that promises to reveal the secrets of the Early Stage Investment Forum (EFIS) at the end of April.
NWEN describes ESIF as “The Source for What's Next”:
The seed of an idea and the skill of a start-up team. Add one perfect pitch, provide them with early-stage capital, then stand back and watch them grow.
That's that premise - and the promise - of the Northwest Entrepreneur Network's seventh annual Early-Stage Investment Forum (ESIF): to showcase the fresh ideas of an exceptional set of high-energy entrepreneurs for an audience of West Coast angel and venture capital investors.
…see 15 to 18 high-potential seed -- and early-stage companies --all in one buzz-filled day. These newest ventures in software, communications, e-commerce, retail, medical technology, or service are continuing the tradition of innovation that has put the Northwest on the world map. These are companies that deserve the spotlight - and truly are “the source for what's next.”
Sounds a bit like DEMO.
Anyhow, this evening's event promises to show us “how to do ESIF right.”
This seminar will provide an introduction to the Early-Stage Investment Forum (ESIF), which will be hosted by the Northwest Entrepreneur Network in April. We are featuring a panel of previous ESIF winners, all of whom are seasoned entrepreneurs. This is a rare opportunity to get an inside perspective on how to prepare yourself, how to pitch your idea, and how to make the contacts you will need to be a successful entrepreneur.
Looking around, there appears to be about one hundred people here - the entrepreneurial spirit is healthy here in Seattle…
Anyhow, the seminar is starting…
…and now it's over.
Good stuff that is relevant to any forum of this type, but a key thing that the panelists raised time and time again is the value of the coaching that the conference provides for the selected companies. They provide five or six highly skilled coaches that will help you hone your presentation and business plans.
Also, this year for the first time representatives of various other forums (such as the Alliance of Angels) will be present.
Overall, the panelists really valued their previous participation at ESIF.
And if you're an early stage investor looking for a software studio with some cool ideas, please drop me a line…