“Super Angel” Groups and Nodal Partners

by Wayne Willis on November 4, 2010

It’s no secret that Silicon Valley is overheated right now.  Despite all the gloom and doom about the US economy and the California unemployment numbers, the pace and magnitude of innovative companies springing up in the San Francisco Bay Area is truly astonishing.  Hard data on the magnitude of investments actually being made are not available, but there seems to be faster and larger amounts of capital being raised at the Fund levels.  That money is going somewhere – probably into early stage companies.

Consider all the angels, angel groups and “super angels” active in the Bay Area:

Founders Fund / Dave McClure /500 Startups

  • Andreesen Horowitz
  • Mike Maples / Floodgate fund
  • Aydin Senkut
  • Peter Thiel
  • Ron Conway
  • K9 Ventures
  • First Round Capital
  • Sand Hill Angels
  • Band of Angels
  • Harvard Angeles
  • Keiretsu Forum
  • Chris Sacca
  • Many, many more (see this list)

This “supply” of early stage investing is generated by a) the fact that recent exits have created major liquidity of relatively young entrepreneurs (who sometimes are serial founders), b) the cost of capital is low (i.e., not many other good investments in the stock or bond markets), and c) the amount of capital required in a startup company is relatively small.

Moreover, there are a lot more innovative companies which have been briefed on how to do product development and customer development at places like Founders’ Institute, Y Combinator, Startup University, Stanford (which has a senior economics course on starting a company!) and lots of veterans like us, who advise first time founders.

There’s a wonderful profile of Paul Graham’s Y Combinator in a recent Forbes.  I recommend you read all 600 words – it’s spot on about the trends driving innovation here.

Tom Friedman points out that the democratizing effects of the internet also enable innovation to accelerate in places like India and China, and some of my friends from AVG are investing in companies being developed in eastern Europe … with great results.  So, this phenomenon is not just a Silicon Valley thing.

Nodal Partners is pleased to be a part of all this – to participate in such a radical transformation of our global economy.  We are even more committed to our investment thesis and criteria … and encourage any “candidate companies” who fit those criteria to talk with one of our Members.

One last thing:  These were the events in the Bay Area for startup entrepreneurs of just ONE WEEK in October, 2010:

The Launch of StartupDigest University: Fundraising 101

The first course at StartupDigest University is here! We are putting together six in-depth classes to teach you how to fundraise like a badass.

This course will not be like a bunch of those BS panels at a bad conference or a collection of high-level blog posts on fundraising -- this course will be a set of practical, tactical classes that will teach you skills which you will actually use in your next funding round.

Our professors include Naval RavikantAdeo RessiYokum TakuJude GomilaJay Jamison, and Gagan Biyani (click through for bio's).

For everyone not in Silicon Valley, we will be recording all of the classes and putting the entire course up for sale on Udemy (stay tuned). Our big vision is to democratize the knowledge of how to start a high-growth tech company and to spread it all over the world.
There seems to be a VC vs. Founder events theme this week. Choose your side!
FailCon 2010 ($329)
When: Monday, October 25
Where: Hotel Kabuki, SF

A startup conference all about failure with some awesome speakers. Tickets are sold out online but you can buy them at the door.

Brazilian Startups in the Silicon Valley (Free)
When: October 26 @ 5pm
Where: Consulate General of Brazil, SF

A group of Brazilian startups are in the valley this week. Come hang out with them and hear 8 pitches about what they are doing.

Microsoft VC Summit 2010 (Free)
When: Tuesday October 26
Where: Microsoft, Mountian View

Only for VC's (not even press can go) but a good event to know about.

Ask a VC ($75)
When: October 26 @ 6pm
Where: Two Palo Alto Square

This event you can attend. There will be partners from K9 ventures, Maveron, and Tugboat Ventures.

Scrappy Startup Lunch! (Free)
When: Tuesday October 26 @ 12pm
Where: 5202 N First Street, Alviso

Come have lunch with some other scrappy founders.

ideakickSF (Free)
When: Tuesday October 26 @ 6pm
Where: Parisoma, SF

Kick around some ideas with other entrepreneurs. They recently moved venues and are now allowing more people to attend.

Pinchit launch party (Free)
When: Tuesday October 26 @ 7pm
Where: Mas Sake, SF

PinchIt is launching and having a party!

Stanford Accel Symposium ($495)
When: Wednesday, October 27
Where: Arrillaga Alumni Center, Stanford

Accel and Stanford are bringing together all of the top decision makers of digital media for a day long conference.

ETL: Ann Miura-Ko Partner, FLOODGATE (Free)
When: Wednesday, October 27 @ 4:30pm
Where: NVIDIA Auditorium, Stanford

Ann helped start the VC fund FLOODGATE and is speaking this week at the Stanford ETL Series. It's free and open to the public.

Startup Waffles! Meetup @ TrueVentures (Free)
When: October 28 @ 8am
Where: True Ventures, SF

If you are a founder or hacker come hang out with us and eat tasty waffles. The event was sold out but I just released a few more tickets.

WePay Halloween Office Warming Extravaganza (Free)
When: Friday, October 29 @ 7pm
Where: WePay, Palo Alto

WePay is moving and having a party! There will be a DJ and costume contest.

Co-Founders Wanted Meetup ($10)
When: November 2 @ 6:30pm
Where: Hacker Dojo, Mountian view

This event is for entrepreneurs looking for co-founders. No consultants allowed.

Hacking Marketing (Free)
When: Monday November 1 @ 6pm
Where: The grove, Stanford

The former Chief Scientist of Amazon.com will be coming to talk about marketing. Not sure if this is completely open to the public but apply now.

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