ODE TO OAF: A Personal Tribute to Jason Calacanis, Tyler Crowley & the Angels

by 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. 

T’was the second Open Angel Forum here in LA,

  Six startups pitching angels and not one had to pay.

Hot on the heels of the inaugural OAF events in NYC and SV,

  This event was destined for greatness, and I was excited it included me.


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,

  So I hopped in my car in Beverly Hills and drove west to 902 Colorado.


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,”

  And he pulled-out his AK-47 on TWiST #23 and, in effect, told Steve Bell to kiss his ass.

It’s an “MLM scheme” Jason “suspected” and gave Keiretsu 30 days to drop their fees,

  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.

Add it to Jason’s list: Silicon Alley Reporter, Weblogs, TechCrunch 50 and Mahalo,

  And I think we can all agree: his career is undoubtedly inspirational to follow.


Jason’s right-hand man is Tyler or should I say @SteepDecline,

  Whose work ethic is unparalleled, and whose TWiST insights are so fine.

In fact, “like wheelchairs at Disneyland” was voted his best insight of the year,

  He’s the man who makes OAF happen – so let’s all give Tyler a cheer.


The angels included Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder and CEO of WordPress,

  Which has 221,000,000 monthly uniques and is the ninth largest network in the U.S.

I chatted with Matt about the new 3.0 release, and he seemed like a super, humble guy,

  And to say he is one of “the most successful college drop-outs in history” is truly no lie.


Another angel was David Cohen, the CEO of TechStars in Boulder,

  He founded several companies as an entrepreneur, but became an investor as he got older.

I really enjoyed his interview on Mixergy with my friend Andrew Warner,

  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 the founder of Launchpad LA, blogger extraordinaire and a partner at GRP.

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.

Turbo140, MeeGenius and Kidzmet I definitely liked a lot,

  Belgrave Trust and FaceChipz were also good – and the other company’s name I forgot.


Turbo 140 is a new beta site where “posting a gig is fast, simple, and easy,”

  The issue, of course, as Matt mentioned to Jonathan, is whether requests will get sleazy.

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,

  I actually met David on Twitter, and I’m glad we finally had a chance to meet and talk.

Kidzmet was founded by Jen Lilienstein, who gave everyone a nice Kidzmet Tote,

  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.


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4 Responses to “ODE TO OAF: A Personal Tribute to Jason Calacanis, Tyler Crowley & the Angels”

  1. Turbo140 says:

    An #OAF without Scott would not be the same,
    Wearing a suit in LA, he thought we were lame.
    The demo went smooth, with a few seconds to spare,
    How do I like my kobe burger, I'll take it rare.

  2. Kidzmet says:

    Love it!

    Impressed by the Angels. What inspiration! What insights!
    My mind was spinning till well past midnight.

    But next time I'll hint to all my tech brothers…
    You're missing out by not inviting more mothers! 😉

    Just kidding. Thanks for including me in the forum. I learned a lot from the investors, sponsors and other founders. Looking forward to learning more from everyone I met Tuesday.


  3. LOL. Thanks Jen – pls stay in touch.