Assuming you buy the premise that Boston needs more seed capital, what can we do about it? Well, aside from encouraging our venture capital friends to create new funds aimed at seed stage investments, which some have done (e.g. Start@Spark), maybe we can grow the angel investor community. After all, Boston is certainly not short on wealthy individuals, including many who made their wealth as high tech entrepreneurs.
What are these folks doing now? Perhaps they’re retired, perhaps they’re building or running another company. But are they angel investing? If not, why not? What if we could convince them to start? How big of an impact might that make on the Boston startup ecosystem? Sure, these new angels wouldn’t all start off as leads. But having more capital in the system to fill out angel rounds led by experienced angels would help immensely. And over time, they’d gain experience and start leading; new companies would form and some would thrive; and a new generation of entrepreneurs and angel investors would be returned to the ecosystem. That’s the virtuous cycle.
So to that end, I’ve started organizing an event called Angel Boot Camp, which will bring together a dozen or more of the best angels - some local, some from around the country - to share their experiences with prospective angels. But for this to be successful, we need your help. Spread the word, and if you know or hear of someone who might make a good angel, encourage them to come out for a day of learning and networking. No harm done if it doesn’t suit them. But who knows? Maybe they’ll have a hand in creating the next great Boston company, and that would be pretty special.
Angel Boot Camp will be held on June 1, the day before TechStars Investor Day. It’s invitation-only, so request an invite from the site if you’re interested. The event will also feature a startup demo session in the evening for any angels interested in sticking around.
To stay up to date on the latest news, follow @jonpierce or @angelbootcamp on Twitter.