Angels are the new black

Last night I attended the DealMakerLA Panel on Angel Investing for Startups held at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips in Los Angeles.  The panel consisted of 4 current Angel Investors working and looking for Southern California based startups. 




Jarl Mohn, Investor (former CEO, Liberty Digital. Created E! Entertainment Television)
Dan Gould, VP Technology Fox Interactive Media
Rob Hayes, Partner, First Round Capital  *Silicon Valley Seed-Stage Investor
Thomas McInerney, Angel Investor, TGM
Scott Sangster, President, OrganicStartup (Tech Coast Angles).


It was a round table discussion led by Deal Maker Media with plenty of questions and discussion points coming from the attendees.  It was a lively group and it was interesting to see the different levels of Angel investment ranges (from $25K to $4m), as well as the different types of investors’ strategies, from personal investor Tom McInerney to pooled money at Tech Coast Angels (Scott Sangster).  If you are a start-up in the LA area, these events should be on your calendar as MUST ATTEND.

Since we were a sponsor at the event, I was able to talk for a few minutes about Microsoft’s BizSpark program which helps startups with the software they need to get up and running in this competitive environment without incurring the costs associated with it. (Read More about BizSpark).  After the meeting, I was able to talk to many entrepreneurs that were interested in finding out more about BizSpark, and along the way, I learned about a few real cool companies.


applelogo  Apple Tree – – Apple Tree is a website that creates a family tree for EVERYONE. The single global family tree.  It allows you to search the famous (or not so famous) to see their tree. It is currently using Microsoft’s SeaDragon for its functionality, but Scott Mueller (The founder of Apple Tree) is interested in porting it over to Slivlerlight 3 in the near future. We talked about how that could enhance the experience of his site and then segued into how adding multi-touch support would be really cool.



Players Club Golf – – This was one of the more interesting groups that I talked to. Mostly because I want to use their facilities. Players Club Golf, located in Santa Monica, is a INDOOR Golf club using state-of-the-art hi-def full swing golf simulators to allow people to play with friends in the area or around the world. In addition, they are planning a full gym and restaurant/bar to make it a one stop shop for weary LA workers that want to get in some golf but don’t have the time to drive to a public course. Can’t wait to try it.




text a day – – I then talked to Greg Lambrecht from about his work with church groups that allows pastors (through to keep in touch with their parishioners easily by sending personalized text messages throughout the week. It was a simple concept but quite powerful since it is an opt-in type of service. As opposed to a “verse a day” or “quote a day” which are generic, these allow the pastors to create specialize messages just for their parishioners.




kidthing – – is a real exciting service and I had the opportunity to talk to the CEO, Lawrence Hitchcock, after the meeting.  kidthing is a downloadable player written with Microsoft technologies that allow kids to to download books like the “Cat in the Hat” and view them on their PC’s.  It is loaded with parent and teacher controls to keep them safe from the internet. They are targeting the K-3 demographic and have already been used by many school districts. He was very interested in finding out how he could make it compatible with the ZUNE for future releases.


In addition to the above, I had a great time talking to many different companies at the event :

  • Albert deQuay – ExportDesk
  • Kevin Mendelson – Murano Software
  • Rik D. Middleton – Sage Cadre
  • Dave Waldman – twistbox
  • William Marks – Comcast Entertainment Group
  • Brad Parker – Muzlink
  • Jonny Sabbath – William Morris Endeavor Entertainment

Make sure you don’t miss the next Dealmaker Event.  Great People, Great Technology, Great Food, Great Drinks.


See you Socially  – Daniel

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