Posted 24 Aug 2008
I could use more palm trees here in Dallas and while I’m at it a Togo’s. However, the “City of Angels” reference in this post’s title is about bridging the gap between entrepreneurs and angel investors rather than going “Under the Bridge.”
The startup ecosystem in Dallas is discombobulated if not broken. “Underperforming” would be a kind word to describe Dallas relative to other startup communities. To improve the Dallas startup scene, Alex Muse of Big in Japan is taking action and starting an entrepreneur-angel investor group:
The basic idea is to form a group designed to a) generate LOCAL dealflow for angel investors, b) assist entrepreneurs in the creation of fundable startups and c) provide investment capital for startups. Instead of charging angels and entrepreneurs a fee to participate require that they instead invest their time.
If you are interested in helping organize this group I invite you to attend. At this time we are seeking a) angels with experience, b) angels without experience, c) entrepreneurs interested in helping and d) entrepreneurs interested in pitching. The idea is not to create an angel group in secret or without the input of entrepreneurs, but to instead create it by and for all parties.
The first meeting was last week and it went pretty well. We’re in the process of defining the vision (i.e., do we change the world or change one entrepreneur/angel at a time) and laying out the ground rules. In other words, the group realizes planning is essential to ensure an entrepreneur-angel improvement in Dallas.
From what I’ve experienced, Dallas investors are comfortable investing in real estate and oil & gas deals–but not in traditional startups. Maybe it’s because real estate and oil & gas deals tend to be structured as limited partnerships, and therefore the deal documents and language therein for startup investments might be too foreign for Dallas investors. Or maybe people in Dallas just know more about real estate and oil & gas.
Any thoughts on this from the Dallas crowd?