I’ve come to realize that I haven’t posted in months, but leave it to the always brilliant Paul Graham to pull me out of semi-retirement. Not that I always agree with him. His latest post is about how angel investors are the seeds that create startup hubs is absolutely spot on. The fact that entrepreneurs are the likeliest sources of angel funding for new ventures, proves the old addage, “Success breeds Success”. The real issue that most budding start up companies have in terms of funding is where to find these sources.
I’ve spent a significant amount of my time getting involved with various organizations around Houston that helped foster the local start up community. In my recent internet travels (e.g. blog reading), I discovered an idea that I think has the best chance of putting entrepreneurs with early stage investors in a casual setting called OpenCoffeeClub. In a word, it’s a meetup - an informal time and location for like-minded people to get together. It was founded in London by Saul Klein and recently brought to our shores by Jason Mendelson and Brad Feld in Boulder who run an outstanding blog called AsktheVC among other things like running an early stage VC firm. These guys clearly “get it”. They have realized that social aspects of finding and funding companies (especially Web 2.0 companies) are an important factor in the new landscape of internet companies.
Based on their good example, I’m initiating OpenCoffee Club Houston at 8am on Friday May 4 2007 at CoCo’s Crepes and Coffee near the Houston Technology Center. I think that we’ll have a decent turnout and I’m very curious about the crowd that it attracts. I hope to make this a recurring event as I think that it will increase both investor education for startups and dealflow for investors over time. This will be sort of a standing mini-unconference in that the agenda will be set by the attendees at that time.
Wish us luck and pictures and a debrief to follow.