Philly Angels Gather For A New Start-Up Pitch Event

By Diane Mastrull
The Philadelphia Inquirer

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The upcoming “Angel Capital Expo” will feature twelve companies pitching investors for big bucks.

The Philadelphia Inquirer

In Philadelphia, where finding a start-up investor is as tough as finding a Cowboys fan — or at least one who will admit it openly — the Angel Capital Expo could be considered an entrepreneur’s dream come true.

The annual event by Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic brings together the private-equity community with entrepreneurs looking for funding — generally $1 million to $2 million.

If recruitment goes according to plan, the group’s sixth expo, on Oct. 17, will draw its biggest investor crowd yet, expected to reach 250, up from 160 the first year.

Twelve companies each will have a shot at impressing investors enough to commit capital to their ventures in the Lincoln ballroom at the Union League of Philadelphia. The move upstairs this year was prompted by last year’s standing-room-only turnout of 220, said Howard Lubert, Keiretsu Mid-Atlantic cofounder and president of the Philadelphia-area chapter.

There’s a very good chance the day will end with most, if not all, companies leaving with funding commitments, Lubert said, because they have been through substantial preparation, including pitching in front of investors at monthly Keiretsu meetings and undergoing mandatory coaching.

“I’d say 10 out of 12 walk out of the expo knowing there are people who have committed to write checks,” said Lubert, a 30-year veteran of venture capital and private equity.

While still soliciting investors for next week’s expo, Lubert was thinking deeper into the calendar.

“I’m hopeful that next year we will convince our counterpart angel groups in PAN [PA Angel Network] to come together and jointly run our own one-day expo, where all our angel groups can come together and share our deal flow … where we can focus on the best of the best angel investment opportunities in the entire mid-Atlantic region and certainly here in the Delaware Valley,” Lubert said. “The motive is to get all the deals funded and share syndication of deals.”

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