Today I am attending the third annual Angel Capital Summit in Denver, and, in complete disregard of my fears of typos and nerdiness, I am live blogging it from my iPhone. (Okay, my kids tell me I disregarded my fear of nerdiness years ago.)
7:30. "I see what you mean." The big blue bear outside the Colorado Convention Center is especially blue in the morning chill.
7:50. Ben Franklin was many things in life, including successful businessman. Here he is speaking to students from the Denver Venture School about the responsibility of business owners to society.
9:00. After a disappointing key note speaker, I'm off to hear from "presenting" companies; not sponsors, but organizations seeking funding.
9:15 Shonaquip, develops wheelchairs and educates users to increase quality of life; too bad their pitch is hampered by computer foul-ups.
9:45 eTelesis, an L3C company. More on this new form of business in a later post, L3C is a hybrid profit-nonprofit designed to earn profits to pay returns on capital and of capital to investors. This company builds solar energy farms in developing or remote areas; this pitch is for investors for a project in Chile.
10:15. Rocky Mountain MicroFinance. One of 4 nonprofits in the 39 presenters. I've mentioned these folks as a source of funding for startups. Their mission is to help businesses create jobs, build wealth, and pay taxes to increase our tax base.
11:00. Adventure Sports Products. In business for 10 years and touting a 100% annual increase in sales and profits, they are looking for investor to build national distributor/dealer network and expand product line. A similar story to some of my clients.
Lunch break. Discussing sustainable business practices with New Belgium Brewing. The R in ROI isn't always money. How a company defines its mission should determine what return(s) you want/need on your investment. Great statement on leadership: "Being a business role model is what gets us out of bed in the morning."
1:30. CO2Nexus uses liquid carbon dioxide as cleaning solvent to replace problematic dry cleaning chemicals. Compelling presentation on opportunities to make money being green.
2:00. Rivertop Renewables. About half of presenters are green companies reflecting investor interest in such businesses. Pitch that new technologies overcome old limitations in producing multi-purpose glucaric acid is too dry. Attracting investors to move to pilot plant stage will require more compelling reasons.
2:30. Current Motors makes electric scooters. Good balance of professionalism and passion that has been missing in some presentations.
3:00 Optibike. President rides in on his very high-end electric bike to begin talk about changing lives, but "confidential" legend on slide show is silly. His passion helps engage the crowd.
4:00. Closing remarks from Ben Franklin (you know, the guy on the $100 bill). Curiosity, practicality, and a desire to do good are traits that made him successful, first as businessman, then as statesman. Humor, too, and the ability to relax are important for business.
Two more ideas, fitting to close this post, from Ben Franklin:
To effect the greatest good, one must work in association with others.
Who will lead your country out of its economic woes? You, the entrepreneur, will.
Good night, Bear.