Tuesday, January 23, 2001

Angels we have heard on high!

The sumptuous University Club was ground zero for some entrepreneurs and angels at the Angel Capital Series half-day seminar presented by UniversityAngels, Inc. and the Wharton Club of NY on January 23rd. There were company presentations by startups like Artisan, iTendant and SkyScout. Akin Gump provided a workshop. Then there was a panel discussion moderated by HBS professor Robert J. Robinson, with panelists I-Hatch's Chip Austin, Grand Central Holdings' Gregory Belmont, RRE Ventures' Stuart Ellman and Alley Capital Venture's John Kiernan. Afterwards I chatted with Just Get Me Through This Founder & CEO Deborah Cohen and Columbia Business School's Carlos Desmaras, GasPedal Ventures' Andrew Schmeidler and FastWired's CEO Steven Kemler. They all had good things to say about the presentations and the diversified evening. Panelist Gas Pedal Ventures' Andy Sernovitz recommended that entrepreneurs make their Powerpoint presentations shorter. Decision Tree Media's CMO Sarah Miles was chatting it up with Spencer Trask representatives, who were showing off their Angel Investor publication. Grove Street Capital's Elaine Gilde and Sarah realized they'd met initially during their college days. UniversityAngels.com's CEO James Marcus and President Charles Sanford said that the panelists brought insight to many of the problems that entrepreneurs make. They also work hard to introduce quality companies to as many VCs as possible. Artisan Network's CFO Paula Charles and President Bob Cunha and consultant Jennifer Mendel took the opportunity to network during the cocktail reception, as did the hundred other guests in attendance. As the evening winded down, the salmon platter, roast beef, vegetables and pasta dishes were whisked away, and guests gathered their coats with fistfuls of business cards.