ODE TO OAF: A Personal Tribute to Jason Calacanis, Tyler Crowley & the Angelsby Scott Edward Walker on May 19th, 2010
In the spirit of entrepreneurship (and fun), I wrote the following poem about my experience at last night’s Open Angel Forum.
Six startups pitching angels and not one had to pay.
The inaugural OAF LA in January was hosted at the beautiful home of Matt,
Down by the pool in the heated gazebo we all comfortably sat.
This time it was being hosted at the headquarters of Mahalo,
When I arrived I shook some hands and then quickly smelled the barbecuing beef,
So I had myself a juicy burger – with onions, tomatoes and a fresh lettuce leaf.
There was lots of positive energy in the room and lots of ice-cold beer,
I was again one of the sponsors – and I was indeed proud to be here.
The history of Open Angel Forum is pretty fuckin’ sweet,
Congrats to Jason and his team for pulling-off quite a feat.
It all started when Jason was interviewing a guest on his weekly show TWiST,
And when he learned that Keiretsu was charging startups for pitching, boy was he pissed!
So he wrote a scathing blog in which he called this practice “predatory” and “low-class,”
If not, he guaranteed he’d build a better competitor and would even bet the Tesla keys.
Needless to say, Keiretsu never complied and Open Angel Forum was born,
So now entrepreneurs can pitch super angels for the same price as watching porn.
Whose work ethic is unparalleled, and whose TWiST insights are so fine.
He’s the man who makes OAF happen – so let’s all give Tyler a cheer.
I chatted with Matt about the new 3.0 release, and he seemed like a super, humble guy,
He founded several companies as an entrepreneur, but became an investor as he got older.
And if David wants to hit some tennis balls, I’m happy to just stand in the corner.
I said hello to super angel Matt Coffin, who again was the first OAF LA host,
The founder of LowerMyBills, Matt certainly has reason to boast.
He sold his company to Experian in 2005 for “almost 400” mill,
Having launched six years earlier, after receiving a “crazy” cell phone bill.
Missing this time, unfortunately, was “The Godfather of Silicon Valley” Ron,
Who, as Ben Horowitz explained, “is always on the job and the network is always on.”
In 2009, he was named #6 in Forbes Magazine’s top deal-makers “Midas List,”
And with his incredible deal-sheet and experience, I’d love to hear him on TWiST.
Also missing was my friend Mark Suster, whom I was looking forward to see,
He’s also crushing it with Jason on his new ThisWeekIn Venture Capital show,
And if you’re an entrepreneur looking for funding, you gotta love GRP’s dough.
Each of the startups was quite impressive giving its five-minute pitch,
But if I had to choose the best one, I really would not know which.
Turbo 140 is a new beta site where “posting a gig is fast, simple, and easy,”
You let people know what you’re looking for in 140 characters or less,
And if the company can work out its pricing issues, it could be a grand success.
MeeGenius was co-founded by David Chung Park, who flew out to LA from New York,
And in terms of enthusiasm and energy, Jen definitely gets my vote.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades – t’was time to bid farewell,
To Jason, Tyler and the angels – the very word is like a bell.
And as I drove home and reflected in the clear, starry night,
For a brief moment in time, everything was right.
Tags: angels, David Cohen, Jason Calacanis, Keiretsu, Mahalo, Mark Suster, Matt Coffin, Matt Mullenweg, Mixergy, OAF, OAF LA, Open Angel Forum, startups, TechCrunch, TechStars, ThisWeekIn, twist, twitter, Tyler Crowley, wordpress