Mind to Market

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

CTEK Angels Live 2007

Time once again for the annual CTEK Angels Live! event, where the public is invited to observe entrepreneurs pitch and field questions from a panel of angel investors. And, most importantly, listen in on comments and criticisms from the angels after the entrepreneurs have left the room. For anyone involved in pitching to investors, this is an invaluable learning experience. This is the second year for this event and it appears popular enough to make it a regular event.

Three companies presented yesterday, all software based although quite different in their business models:

Myplacemat.com is a travel site specifically for frequent flyers. They aim to become the "amazon for travel" aggregating many travel related products in one site. They offer a frequent flyer points management system where a traveler can view the balances from all of their rewards programs in one display. Myplacemat intends to gather information on this valuable target market of frequent fliers and sell it to the travel industry.

Next up was Villij a recent graduate of TechStars and a cutting edge Web 2.0 company. Although the Web 2.0 community is alive and well in Boulder, this company is a bit of a stretch for CTEK. Villij is building a recommendation engine, they feel that the current state of art search, ala Google, will be replaced by a technology that leverages information on the individual performing the search to provide more targeted search results.

Last but not least was AWhere a business version of Google maps. The pitch was made by AWhere's president, and former director of CTEK's Boulder Venture Center, Jim Pollock. AWhere's technology combines a geographical information system with a company's business intelligence to present results on maps so that information can be quickly interpreted. The product is a desktop application sold to enterprises.

CTEK Angels is an angel investor network, pooling their resources to improve deal flow and screening, but each investor acts on their own. Each investor has his or her own criteria for investing based on their business background and comfort zone. This leads to some pretty lively discussions after the pitches where investors will express wildly divergent perceptions of the presenting companies.

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