UVEF Financial Panel Today

You were supposed to RSVP already, but today (Thursday, June 9th) at 12:00 noon at the Provo Marriott hotel there will be a Utah Valley Entrepreurial Forum financial panel consisting of:

This will be a well spent 90 minutes. If you show up with $20, I don’t think they’ll turn you away.

FundingUtah.com sent an email about this event to more than 350 entrepreneurs, so I think the attendance will be higher than average for UVEF meetings.

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FundingUniverse.com Gaining Traction

FundingUtah.com got its 100th
angel investor yesterday. More than $75 million in funds are now
available from Utah angels who want to invest in Utah companies. And
370 entrepreneurs have registered, posting 92 business plans so far. New plans are posted every week.

The Utah Angels, Utah’s oldest
organized angel investing group, voted recently to use FundingUtah.com
as its source of deals. We have added functionality to allow their
members to make private comments on business plans. We also enable them
to choose which plans they want to have pitched at their monthly
meetings.

FundingArizona.com is
started to gain some traction, and this week we launched nearly 40 new
sites. A few entrepreneurs from different states are starting to
discover our individual state sites.

I went to Phoenix Wednesday for an MIT Enterprise Forum broadcast which
focused on angel investing in the U.S. James Geshwiler, the director of
the Angel Capital Association
and founder of CommonAngels was on the panel, along with other very
astute angel investors and academicians who cover venture and angel
investing.

One panelist indicated that more than 90% of angels invest within a
half day’s drive of where they live. This is the primary reason we have
taken a state by state approach for our angel matching service.

I think we are still having a hard time convincing people that 1) this
service is free for both angel investors and entrepreneurs and 2) that
online matching services can actually generate deal flow. One panelist
at the event Wednesday said online matching services don’t work.
Apparently the University of New Hampshire tried some kind of matching
service years ago, and later it was turned over the MIT Enterprise
Forum, and then it was abandoned because it “didn’t work.”

To me that is like saying the PDAs aren’t viable because the Newton
didn’t succeed, or that Tablet Computing is a bad idea because Go
failed.

Maybe the timing wasn’t right, or maybe the implementation was flawed.
Based on our FundingUtah.com success this year, we are convinced that
our matching service will succeed. In each state site, we need to
convince angels and entrepreneurs to sign up. And then, like eBay, when
there are enough buyers and sellers and a company dedicated to
improving the experience for both, magical things will happen.

Please spread the word in your state. You don’t want Utah to get all the increase in angel investment deal flow do you?

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All CEOs Should Blog

I’m reading Hugh Hewitt’s book Blog: Understanding the Information Revolution that is Changing Your World.

He says that every CEO should have a blog so that employees, customers,
partners, investors–everyone–can hear directly from the CEO in
his/her own voice about what is happening in the company.

I think this is a marvelous idea and am now encouraging my portfolio
CEOs to do this. I’ll report back as we learn how this helps them
communicate their vision and their ideas to people who matter to them.
It’s definitely a short-cut way to getting some constant PR and buzz
around you. I think most CEOs will never take the time to do this, but
I believe those who do will find a following and a tremendous increase
in trust and confidence, as well as some interesting “talk back” from
people who would otherwise never communicate with them.

I blog mainly because I love getting comments, emails and feedback from
other people in the world who make me smarter. It’s also rewarding to
help others by sharing knowledge and ideas, but I know I love the
feedback because I click on the comments with a great deal of
anticipation every day.

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