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TiE Angel Panel: 'If You’re An Entrepreneur, You’re A Great Person'

The VC panel at the TiE Entrepreneurial Summit over the weekend was followed immediately by the angel investing panel – which had a distinctly lighter tone and featured some of Georgia’s most recognized names: Suresh Ramamurthi of BC Capital; Sig Mosley of Imlay Investments; Mike Eckhart of Atlanta Technology Angels; and Bob Franklin of the Global Angel Investor Network (GAIN) – all moderated by Ashish Mistry from BLH Ventures.

One of the more interesting stats quoted by the panel came from Suresh Ramamurthi: Before the economic downturn, angels invested in about 23% of the deals they saw but that number has dropped to 10% in today’s world. In comparison, VCs invest in less than 1% of the deals they see. The panel shared many thoughts on the pressures facing angels: 1) the VCs have gone up market, leaving the angels to do more Series B and C deals; and 2) the economic conditions have thrown uncertainty into the customer’s buying process.

Mike Eckhart has a relatively simple strategy for dealing with this increased risk: “I won’t invest in a first-time entrepreneur in this market … You may not want to hear that, but that’s how I’m looking at things.”

Enjoy the video below:

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0 # local guy 2010-07-22 12:51
and if you bothered to ask the several dozen start-ups there, you'd hear that not one of the angels or vc's bothered to walk around the start-up booth area and not one sat and watched their pitches. I was sincerely embarrassed for both TiE and the entrepreneurs that hoped to at least have a chance at a handshake pitch. There is nothing worse than seeing 20 companies be handed a microphone with an empty audience.
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