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John Sechrest

Seattle Angel Conference

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John runs the Seattle Angel Conference. It is an annual "fund" where newly minted angel investors are supposed to learn the angel investing process. John can be a gruff guy, but he means well. The trouble is the Fund itself. It is unpredictable, disorganized, and there is zero ability for the entrepreneur to know if they are a fit for the fund because there is not a consistent thesis. They run a pitch competition of all of the companies as their means to determine who to fund. They also require a $100 application fee. This means that a company can apply multiple years in a row with wildly different results. John does not manage this mess well, which is unfortunate for the companies paying to play. One on one John knows his stuff and is willing to make introductions, but when he convinces you to do the fund competition, it sours the impression, quite often. The fund may be good for new angels and it has value there, but now that they have opened it virtually to companies from all over, it has made it a bigger circus with less value to the Seattle local companies than before. Only the most connected companies stand a chance because a large part of the pitch competition is a popularity contest to get angels to support you.
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