Protect Angel Startup Funding: Important Public Policy Webinar Update

Angel InvestorThe Startup and Angel Investment Community needs your help!  Beginning this year, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is required under the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 to review the accredited investor definition as it relates to individuals. At issue is whether the financial thresholds should be adjusted or raised for the “protection of investors, in the public interest, and in light of the economy.”

The Angel Capital Association (ACA) is leading the charge to maintain the current thresholds for accreditation and also to suggest ways for sophisticated investors who do not meet the financial thresholds to also become accredited investors – but they need your help. Learn what you can do to make sure that the SEC doesn’t increase the financial thresholds and cut off the supply of capital to startups. Everyone in the startup community is welcome and urged to participate in this call.

Speakers/Topics to be covered

Jean Peters, Golden Seeds/ACA Board – Moderator

Mike Eckert, ACA Public Policy Chair – Importance of Angel Investing to US Economy and Job Creation, Why Angel Investing has so Little Fraud

Joe Wallin, Davis, Wright Tremaine – History of Accredited Investor Definition

Evan Burfield, 1776 Incubator – Importance of Angels to the Startup Ecosystem

Kevin Laws, AngelList – How Angel Investing is Evolving with General Solicitation

Carol Roper, Consumer Federation of America – Protecting Investors – Limiting Offerings to Those Who Can Afford the Loss

Register for the Webinar

When: Wednesday, June 11th at 12:00p Eastern / 9:00 a.m. Pacific

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Come Meet Seattle Startup Liaison Rebecca Lovell

Rebecca Lovell bannerWe are in the middle of a startup renaissance in Seattle and the State of Washington. We have a crowdfunding bill, and there is no end in sight for the possibilities. To add to all of the excitement, Rebecca Lovell just recently become the liaison to the startup community for the City of Seattle.

If you don’t already know Rebecca, she is someone you need to meet. She is a long-time TechStars Mentor, UW instructor, former Chief Business Officer of GeekWire, and the list goes on.

In this session she’ll answer some of the common questions she gets asked such as:

  • What does a startup liaison do?
  • What are the biggest challenges you’re hearing about from startups?
  • What does success look like in this role?
  • How should I get plugged into the startup community?

Don’t miss this!


Wednesday, June 18th, 2014
7:30 – 8:30 AM

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
1201 Third Avenue, Suite 2200
Seattle, WA 98101

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How do strategic M&A events germinate?

Pacific Rim M&AHow do strategic M&A events germinate?
When does the corporate development process for major companies begin?
How is corporate strategy developed?

Please join us for the Pacific Rim M&A Institute’s inaugural session. The program will feature a panel discussion on the corporate development process. The panel, moderated by Joe Wallin of Davis Wright Tremaine, will include:

  • Christine Feng, Corporate Development, Microsoft Corporation
  • Selim Giray, Corporate Development, Starbucks Coffee Company
  • Salil Gupte, Corporate Strategy & Business Development, The Boeing Company

We look forward to seeing you at this first PRMAI discussion on the initial steps of deal development.

About the Pacific Rim M&A Institute: PRMAI was founded by Davis Wright Tremaine, the University of Washington School of Law, and the University of Washington Foster School of Business. The mission of PRMAI is to create best practices and interdisciplinary knowledge sharing in the M&A community.


Thursday, June 12, 2014
7:00 – 8:00 AM Registration & Continental Breakfast
8:00 – 9:00 AM Panel Discussion

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
The John Davis Conference Center
1201 Third Avenue, Suite 2200
Seattle, WA 98101

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Crowdfunding Meets Quantified Self?

Crowdfunding Meets Quantified Self.jpgCrowdfunding is clearly one of the most important developments affecting startups in the last twenty years. It really comes down to three things:

    (i) you can validate a market quickly, before raising money and incurring significant capital expenditures,
    (ii) you can build your brand at a very low cost, and;
    (iii) with non-equity crowdfunding you can raise money without giving up equity.

There’s no doubt crowd-funding sites like Kickstarter and IndieGogo have increased the velocity of innovation by channeling new sources of financing to early-stage ventures.

But beyond providing start-up capital for new ventures, companies are starting to use crowd-funding as a business model as well. The magic of crowd-funding is that it allows strangers to cooperate safely and efficiently to accomplish goals all of them want but none of them would be willing to foot the bill for individually. One notable example is (formerly known, as, which crowd-funds scientific research.  The beauty of this  model is that it captures the long tail of studies that ought to be done, but that are unfundable from traditional sources because they are too small, too specialized, or are being conducted by teams without enough of a track record.

ehren bravCloser to home, GroceryInspector, founded by my friend and fellow Seattleite, Ehren Brav, seeks to do the same for the testing of food products. Once GroceryInspector launches, anyone will be able to crowd-fund a test of teas for pesticides, or cat food for mercury, or even the produce in their own local stores. Over recent years people have become far more aware of what they eat and are growing less trusting of government regulators to protect them and GroceryInspector is part of this trend. A recent example in Washington State was the Proposition 522 campaign to require GMO labeling. Although this particular initiative failed, states around the country are following suit, egged on by consumers demanding more information about what’s in their food.

grocery inspectorSo what’s particularly interesting to me about GroceryInspector is how it ties crowd-funding to this notion of a consumer’s right to information – call it “Quantified Self writ large”. The way I see it, Quantified Self is about using objective metrics to better understand your health and environment, whether that’s your own body, what you eat, or where you live. People are coming to expect real, hard data about themselves and their world, and GroceryInspector is riding this trend as well as the crowd-funding movement.

It’s interesting to contemplate to what other areas Crowdfunding-Meets-Quantified-Self may lead. I imagine entire neighborhoods getting together to test and improve their water supplies, or to clean up environmental contaminants they identify in places they live. It clearly is a model that can be repeated in numerous other areas!

Ehren tells me that they’ll be launching their own crowd-funding campaign soon, so if you like what their up to, sign up to get notified on their site!

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Meet Erik Benson of Voyager Capital

Erik BensonErik is one of the Northwest’s most prolific early stage tech investors and a great connector of people in our city. Erik’s last ten, million dollar venture investments have gone on to create over $750 million in enterprise value in just the last 5 years.

Come learn about what Erik and Voyager look for in seed and early stage investment opportunities, whether what you are working on is in their target zone, how to set yourself apart if you approach them, etc.

This meetup will follow our typical meeting style of VC unplugged. There will be plenty of time to ask questions.

We look forward to seeing you there!


Friday, May 23rd, 2014
7:30 – 8:30 AM

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
1201 Third Avenue, Suite 2200
Seattle, WA 98101

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