Open Angel Forum and The Amazing Disappearing Funding Gap in New York City

About a year and a half ago, I wrote that New York needed more dedicated early stage capital.

Let’s look back at what has happened since the beginning of August ‘08…

Betaworks raises more than $10 million in September ‘08.

First Growth Venture Network formed to mentor high potential seed and early stage companies.

First Round Capital makes 11 new investments in NYC, hires me to be here fulltime, and announces a new NYC office in Union Square.

Founder Collective raises $40 million in September ‘09.

Nate Westheimer hired by Flybridge as an advisor.

Jon Steinberg joins Polaris and opens Dogpatch.

Roger Ehrenberg is announces a new $25 million fund.

The Lerers raise a $7 million fund.

NYC Seed announces a summer incubator for 2010 that includes 20k investments.

Yeah, I’d say problem solved, no?  And if that doesn’t do it, then this is certainly the cherry on top.  I’m excited to announce that the Open Angel Forum is coming to NYC.

So what is the Open Angel Forum?  Well, remember the dust up a while back with the backlash against “pay to play” pitch events where startups had to pay to meet angels?  Jason Calacanis came up with a solution—creating an event where angel investors and startups get to know each other in a casual environment without a cost to the entrepreneur.   

I’ll be running Open Angel Forum NYC with Brian Alvey on April 8th, 2010.  Here’s how it works.  Startups apply here. (UPDATE: Applications due 3/25) They are not charged to present, but five will be chosen by a committee on merit to attend free.  Angel investors are not charged to attend, and we’ll have around 12-15 top folks in attendence.  Angels can indicate their interest in attending here, but they must be active (3 deals in the last year).   We respect an entrepreneur’s time and want to put them in front of people who are actually writing checks.  After the event the five startups receive a list of angels who express their interest level in their startup: a) Setup a followup meeting, b) Keep me posted but not a fit right now, c) Not a fit.

The format of the event is a dinner where five companies get to present their ideas for 10 minutes each with a short Q&A afterwards.  The dinner is paid for by service providers and sponsors who pay $1500 each to participate.  (Interested in being an attending sponsor?  Apply here.)

So if you’re a startup and you want to amass the most experienced, savvy investors NYC has to offer, please fill out the form and apply to join us as we build better connections between startups and investors in the Big Apple.