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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Second Order Impact of FG Angels

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If you’ve been following along at home, you know that we recently created an AngelList Syndicate called FG Angels. Our goal is to make 50 investments through AngelList before the end of 2014. We’ll contribute $50k to each investment; our FG Angels Syndicate will contribute up to $450k.

Shortly after doing our first few investments, I got a really nice email from a member of Impact Angel Group, a Colorado-based angel group that organized an investment in the FG Angels syndicate. It shows a second order effect of what we are trying to accomplish with FG Angels. I thought it was worth sharing.

I just wanted to say thank you for all of your work in breaking through the red tape to put together FG Angels. I believe all of our committed members have completed their investments as individuals and we have made our first investment through the LLC we put together.

We really appreciate the time you spent to answer our questions and work through the details. I thought it might be helpful for you to see the positive impact you are making for our small group, which I’m sure can be multiplied a hundred times over. As you all know, herding angels and getting new angels to actually pull the trigger is not an easy task. FG Angels has helped us address all of our major angel-herding challenges through the following:

  1. FG Angels increased the amount of capital our group has committed since our official founding in 8/13 by 103% which will certainly help us with deal flow, member acquisition etc.
  2. 18 of our 37 angels pledged to participate and 14 are actually participating. Our members have a variety of different backgrounds and interests, so this is the largest participation rate for one deal that we’ve seen to date. 
  3. 15 of the 18 had never visited AngelList prior to researching FG Angels.
  4. 6 of the 18 who pledged and 4 of the 18 who participated are never-ever angels. 
  5. 7 of the 18 are making their first investment as Impact Angel Group members.
  6. 2 angels are considering creating their own AngelList syndicate as a result of their experience.
  7. We created an LLC of 145k to allow some of our newer angels to participate at smaller amounts. 1% of the carry will go to the Entrepreneur’s Foundation of Colorado. 1% of the carry will go back to us to help us support angel investing in Colorado.
  8. I learned an incredible amount about SEC regulations, crowdfunding and the logistics of AngelList.

 

Oblong NYC Event on 7/24

One Comment

If you are in NY on 7/24 and want to have your mind blown by one of my favorite companies ever, go to the Oblong NYC Open House to see their new demo center.

In addition to an amazing demo and good food, Christopher Walsh (Director of Product Effectiveness for McGraw Hill Financial S&P Capital IQ) is going to be talking about how his organization uses Oblong’s Mezzanine to change the way they work.

It’s Thursday, July 24th from 5:30-8:30pm EST. Register here.

Will A Different Approach to Search Work?

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Google dominates search. Sure, there’s a thing called Bing and a few other choices out there, but everything ends up being the blue and purple link thing curated mostly by machines.

In an effort to experiment with a different approach, we recently led an AngelList syndicated investment in one potential search challenger, a Kansas City based startup called Leap.it who is taking a different approach based on the belief that machine-based algorithms can only get you so far. They hypothesize that by injecting social and real-time data, along with interactions with real people, your search results become much better.

When you first visit Leap.it you will immediately notice that they completely do away with search lists. Instead, their search results are presented in cards that include web, video, social, and image previews.

What I find most compelling are Leap.it Perspectives. With Leap.it, anyone can collect, collaborate, and share results on any subject and then have them show in future, related search results.  I have a few of my own Perspectives that highlight my background:

If you find something missing from any of these perspectives, you can add to the perspective once you’ve logged in.

Fundamentally, Leap.it is trying to integrate the notion of search directly with the real-time web and the extended social network faciliated by services like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Give it a try, create a perspective, and tell me what you think of it.

Will A Different Approach to Search Work?

Comments (15)

Google dominates search. Sure, there’s a thing called Bing and a few other choices out there, but everything ends up being the blue and purple link thing curated mostly by machines.

In an effort to experiment with a different approach, we recently led an AngelList syndicated investment in one potential search challenger, a Kansas City based startup called Leap.it who is taking a different approach based on the belief that machine-based algorithms can only get you so far. They hypothesize that by injecting social and real-time data, along with interactions with real people, your search results become much better.

When you first visit Leap.it you will immediately notice that they completely do away with search lists. Instead, their search results are presented in cards that include web, video, social, and image previews.

What I find most compelling are Leap.it Perspectives. With Leap.it, anyone can collect, collaborate, and share results on any subject and then have them show in future, related search results.  I have a few of my own Perspectives that highlight my background:

If you find something missing from any of these different perspectives, you can add to the perspective once you’ve logged in.

Fundamentally, Leap.it is trying to integrate the notion of search directly with the real-time web and the extended social network faciliated by services like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Give it a try, create a perspective, and tell me what you think of it.

My Obsession With Online Identity

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Today, we announced that we’ve led an $11 million round for about.me and that I’ve joined the board.

I’ve been living online since the mid 1990′s. I’ve tried every service I could find to create an online identity for myself, even Geocities. Today, my identity is spread out over many things, including my blog, Twitter, Google+, Foursquare, our Foundry Group site, the Startup Revolution site, my relatively inactive Tumblr, Facebook, and a hundred other services I’ve dabbled with.

When about.me appeared several years ago, I thought it was clever. I created an early about.me account and then promptly forgot about it after AOL acquired it. I was intrigued when Tony Conrad, the co-founder, acquired it back from AOL. I started paying attention to it again, especially since I was deep in the opposite side of the problem about.me addresses with our investment in FullContact.

I’ve known Tony for a long time and love working with him. I remember sitting in some theater in Chicago waiting to go on a panel at some startup event a few years ago and Tony literally grabbed my by the shoulders and said “you’ve got to meet this guy Bre Pettis.” That turned into our investment in Makerbot and another step along the path to me helping the machines take over.

When Tony reached out to me recently and said he was raising a round for about.me, I jumped on it. At first I thought he’d already raised too much money for us to be interested, but when I realized he still had a lot of it in the bank, I got comfortable with going deep. It was an easy call – Tony is amazing, the numbers are amazing, the product is amazing, and he’s completely obsessed with it. As am I.

If you don’t have an about.me account, go sign up and give it a spin. And get ready for some really awesome things, coming very soon.

Build something great with me