May 17, 2006 (Mountain View and San Francisco, CA) — Over 100 women angel investors converged in San Francisco for the largest event ever held to educate women on angel investing – the First National Women's Angel Colloquium. "With only 20,000 women angels nationwide, this gathering is a significant event," commented keynote speaker, Audrey MacLean, adjunct professor at Stanford University and Forbes' Dealmaker with the Midas Touch. "I commend the Women's Technology Cluster for hosting the Colloquium."
Attracting attendees from as far as Chicago, the Colloquium was comprised of two separate full day sessions - one designed for novice angel investors and the other for experienced angel investors. Incorporating the Power of Angel Investing materials developed by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the attendees benefited from insights from 45 keynote speakers and faculty. The faculty included prominent angel investors, early stage VCs, and angel group leaders, such as Sue Preston, founder of the first women's angel group, Seraph Capital Forum; Shanda Bahles, General Partner, El Dorado Ventures and Forbes' Dealmaker with the Midas Touch; Dr. Ian Sobieski, Band of Angels; Dr. Ellen Levy, advisor to Draper Fisher Jurvetson; Carol Sands, founder, The Angels Forum; Cindy Padnos, Outlook Ventures; Allan May, founder, Life Science Angels; William Reichert, Garage Technology Ventures; Christine Herron, Omidyar Network; Amanda Reed, Palomar Ventures; Randy Williams, founder Keiretsu Forum; and Ken Elefant, Opus Capital. The day began with morning keynote Mike Underhill, Managing Director, Pacific Corporate Group LLC.
Keynote speaker Susan Wojcicki, a VP of Product Management for Google, commented on the value that angel investors contributed to Google early on in assisting with recruiting top quality people - an area in which Google has continued to excel. "Of the first 35 hires, 7 became VPs." Susan's affiliation with Google began in 1998 when she rented her garage to Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google's co- founders. She joined the company as soon as it moved out of her garage and into its headquarters.
Audrey MacLean closed the Colloquium by sharing her insights after many years of successful angel investing which included investing in over six companies that went public. "There are a lot of good ideas, but precious few good opportunities."
The WTC, together with the lead sponsors Fenwick & West LLP, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Charles Schwab, and U.S. Trust, created the event to inform women about angel investing and to enhance the skills of women angel investors.
The Women's Technology Cluster is a, San Francisco based, business accelerator committed to increasing the number of successful women-led companies in the life science, high technology and clean technology sectors. The WTC's portfolio has included more than 60 companies that have collectively raised over $60 million. In addition, over 65 companies participating in WTC's Annual Venture Conferences have raised close to $130 million since 2003. Fifty-six percent of the companies that presented at the latest Venture Conference in November 2005, have already received funding.
The WTC invites high-potential, early-stage companies with at least one woman in an executive or founding role to apply to join its portfolio or present at its Entrepreneur Venture Conference. Through a dedicated mentor community of over 150 proven CEOs, investors, and industry experts, the WTC provides extensive advisory services, coaching, and access to business and capital networks for its portfolio companies.
Established in 1972, Fenwick & West LLP is one of the nation's premier law firms providing comprehensive legal services to national and international high technology and life sciences clients. The firm was recently ranked by Dow Jones as the fourth most active U.S. law firm in helping IT clients raise venture capital and by MergerMarket as one of the top five U.S. law firms for technology sector M&A.