VC conference gives way to angels

October 8, 2004

By hammersmith

The Arizona Venture Capital Conference is gone, but there will be something new in its place: the Arizona Angel Investment Conference.

Scheduled for a half-day on Dec. 1 at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort, the conference is viewed by industry leaders as a response to the changing needs of local entrepreneurs. Early-stage “angel” funding is increasingly in greater demand than later-stage venture capital (VC), which has diminished in the Valley since the conference’s inception 12 years ago.

“The real need in this market from entrepreneurs is angel investors,” Quinn Williams told the Business Journal. Williams, an attorney at Greenberg Traurig, was one of the founders of the original AVCC conference. “I think this change responds to what the community needs,” he added.

The conference has changed not only in focus but in length, going from nearly three days of activities and presentations last year to only a half-day this December.

According to the Business Journal, applications to present at the conference will be accepted until Oct.13. Eight companies will give each pitch five-minute presentations to potential investors, who will then give them feedback.

Keynote speaker John Scully, former chief executive of Apple Computers and PepsiCo Inc., will wrap up the day’s events at dinner.

Williams told the Business Journal that a slew of other VC conferences in the West provide ample opportunity for Arizona companies to seek out additional, later-stage financial support.

The upcoming angel investment conference seeks to couple potential seed investors with the types of early-stage start-ups that are in desperate need of funding. In 2002, such companies were identified in Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap as a distinguishing feature of Arizona’s growing bioindustry landscape. The Governor’s Council for Innovation and Technology also noted the need for increased early-stage funding in its 2003 recommendations.

For more information:

Venture conference shifts focus to angels,” Business Journal, 10/04/2004

Arizona Angel Investment Conference