Seed and Angel Investing: May 5, 2015

Seed and Angel Investing in Startup and Early Stage Companies: ENET meeting, May 5, 2015


Tomorrow night, on Tuesday May 5, 2015 at 630pm, The Entrepreneurs’ Network (ENET) will hold a meeting on this subject at the group’s Waltham location: Constant Contact, 1601 Trepalo Rd., 1st Floor, Innoloft, Waltham, Massachusetts (Exit 28, I-95/Route 128). For this meeting, I helped the moderator recruit two of the three speakers.


The speakers are leaders from the Boston seed and angel investing community who will answer your questions about how they make investment decisions. No presentations. No slides. At this meeting it will be just you, our panel of Angels, and your questions. As a founder, or founder-to-be this is your chance to ask the panel all those questions that are going through your mind about raising capital. Here are a few very common questions:

What are the best ways to find an angel who’s investment interests align with your objectives?

How do Angels pick investments? What criteria is most important to them?

How do Angels decide how to value my company and how much to invest?

As with every ENET meeting you will also get the chance to network with the panelists and other meeting attendees, both before the start of the meeting and afterwards. The meeting starts at 630pm and there will be an hour of networking until 730pm before as ENET Chairman I call the formal part of the meeting to order. There will also be a pre-meeting dinner at 515pm at Bertucci’s in Waltham for those seeking additional networking.



Deb Kemper, Angel Investor


Deb Kemper is an active angel investor and a member of two angel networks, Golden Seeds and Clean Energy Venture Group. She focuses on women-led businesses as well as ventures in clean tech, healthcare, and technology.    Previously, Deb worked at McKinsey, where she served clients in the electronics, utility, and health care sectors.    Her functional experience includes manufacturing, product development, operations, strategy, professional development, and leadership coaching.

James Geshwiler, Managing Director, Common Angels


James joined CommonAngels in 1999 and has been an active investor in mobile, cloud, consumer and business software as well as digital media companies. He also has been a leader in shaping the institutionalization of angel investing. He was the founding chairman of the Angel Capital Association, the professional alliance of angel groups that has grown from 46 groups as charter members to now over 145, representing over 7,000 investors. James also was the founding chairman of ACA’s sister organization, the Angel Capital Education Foundation (now called the Angel Resources Institute), in partnership with the Kauffman Foundation. ARI works with angel investors, venture capitalists, academic leaders and entrepreneurs around the country to provide research and educational programs on angel investing.


James is on the Board of Trustees of the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council and the Board of the MIT Alumni Association. He has written papers and various articles on angel investment processes, and regularly speaks on entrepreneurship and private investing.



Ryan Moore, Partner, Atlas Venture,


Ryan focuses on emerging web service companies that make the lives of consumers better and help any size business perform better. Since joining Atlas in 2011, Ryan seeded clypd, DraftKings, and Plastiq and also led our investment in Mojo Motors.  He also serves on the boards of MOO, OwnerIQ, Secret Escapes, The Currency Cloud, Valore (formerly SimpleTuition) and Globoforce. Ryan was also the initial investor in Rocketmiles, Ubersense (acquired by Hudl) and OYO Sportstoys.


Prior to joining Atlas, Ryan was a general partner at GrandBanks Capital, which he co-founded in 2000.  At GrandBanks Capital, Ryan incubated WHERE (sold to PayPal), and led the investment round and served on the boards of Enpocket (sold to Nokia), Nexage (sold to Millennial Media), Savored (sold to Groupon), and Vela Systems (acquired by AutoDesk).  Ryan also served as the lead investor in, First Coverage (sold to TIM Group), InsightSquared, and Vivox.




Greg Dawe,, is ENET’s Vice Chair of Operations and has been working in the software industry for over 30 years, first as an engineer, and later, in management. For over 10 years, he held senior management positions in the computer network security industry including experience with RSA Security, Inc. Greg specializes in establishing and growing new organizations directly linked to improving company results.


For more information on, or to register for, this May 5, 2015 ENET event tomorrow night, go to


Several years ago, I organized and moderated an ENET panel on Seed and Angel investing that also included James Geshwiler, of Common Angels. To see my write-up and slides from that ENET meeting, go to


Hopefully, this ENET panel as well as the slides and information on my earlier ENET meeting on this subject will be quite helpful to founders, entrepreneurs wand would-be entrepreneurs for the small and early stage companies I represent. Hope to see you at our ENET meeting at Constant Contact in Waltham, tomorrow night!


*     *     *


I remain active in ENET, a Waltham and Cambridge based group that aids entrepreneurs, small and early stage companies, and people who invest or work in those companies. I have been on the ENET Board since 2002, and served as Chairman since 2009, this month now completing my third 2-year term as ENET Chair.


During the current 2014 – 2015 ENET program year, I have organized and moderated three ENET meetings.





  • September 2, 2014 – “Entrepreneur Success Stories”, which featured successful entrepreneurs from different fields – high tech, consumer and life sciences. The three presentations for this 2014-2015 kickoff meeting were taped and you can view the tapes if you wish on the links below.




  • ENET Video #1 (High Tech):  Achieving success over the long term as a high tech startup via bootstrapping, funding and successful exit.

LINK:   (17 minutes)


  • ENET Video #2 (Consumer):   Serial Entrepreneur speaks about achieving the right culture for financial and personal success in startups led by Women CEOs

LINK:     (16 minutes)


  • ENET Video #3 (Life Sciences):       Scientist, Inventor, VC and Serial entrepreneur (all in one person!) speaks on “building the concerto” – all the key pieces you need to fit together to build a successful life sciences startup

LINK: (22 minutes)


For more information on the event and speaker bio’s for this Sept. 2, 2014 ENET Kickoff meeting, go to or    My legal assistant John Papale2nd also served as a co-organizer for this September 2014 ENET meeting


Additionally, in prior years, I’ve moderated and/or spoken at a number of ENET panel presentations, including presentations on the following subjects:

  • “Raising Money from CrowdFunding , May 2014 (moderator),
  • Co-Founders and Core Team – finding them, protecting yourself, managing expectations”. February 2014 (moderator & speaker)
  • “Ready, Set, Launch. Knowing when you’re ready & How to start a company” , September 2013 (moderator),
  • Online Finance and Crowd Funding , April 2013 (moderator),
  • Bootstrapping 101: Alternative Ways to fund a Startup without an Angel or VC, November 2012 (moderator)
  • Seed and Angel Financing , October 2012 (moderator),
  • Getting Stuff for Free, April 2012 (moderator),
  • Transforming Your Idea into a Successful Company, September 2011 (speaker and moderator),
  • Get Going! Launching a Successful Business, September 2010 (moderator),
  • Licensing Technology, February 2010 (moderator),
  • How to Select and Retain Management for your Startup Company, February 8, 2008 (speaker and moderator)
  • Getting Initial Money to go from Nothing to Something, October 2007 (speaker and moderator)
  • Strategic Alliances and Partnerships: to build, finance, and develop early stage companies, November 2006 (speaker and moderator)
  • Building Boards of Advisors and Boards of Directors, March 2006 (moderator)
  • Protecting Your Intellectual Property, January 2006 (speaker)


For each of the above presentations, my slides and those of the other speakers on my panel are also available at the ENET web site at this link – .   I hope this information is helpful to you in your business. Again, if you would like more information on our group, go to




Thursday, May 14, 2015 8:00 – 9:00 AM <—- Note Date Correction

A Webinar

Alternate Sources for Financing Your Company

A Panel Discussion with

Margaret Somer, Robert Adelson, Trish Fleming

and Moderator: Annette Reynolds

Register for this program

While many companies seek Angel or Venture Capital investment, the truth is that very few obtain it. There are other ways of ways of financing organizations. Our panelists will highlight other means of obtaining resources to keep your organization going until it becomes a profitable entity.


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