The rapidly expanding Keiretsu Forum, the nation’s largest group of so-called “angel” and venture capital investors, is about to launch its newest chapter in the Mile High City.
The 6-year-old group, which now includes 12 chapters and more than 500 accredited investor members, has scheduled its first meeting March 27th at the offices of Exclusive Resorts in downtown Denver. Attendance is by invitation only. Interested parties should contact Steve Murchie at (Tel: 720-506-4454, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since its 2000 launch in San Francisco, the Keiretsu Forum has expanded into Los Angeles, San Diego, the Pacific Northwest and Boise, Idaho. In November it launched its first international chapter, in Beijing, China. Forum members have invested more than $100 million in 135 companies in technology, healthcare/life sciences, consumer products, real estate and other high growth industries.
Not to be mistaken for the apparently dormant Colorado Internet Kieretsu — a once-thriving organization of Colorado Internet entrepreneurs — the San Francisco-based Keiretsu Forum brings budding entrepreneurs together with potential investors at monthly meetings with the goal of providing early-stage funding for promising startups.
The Keiretsu Forum is far from alone these days. Other West Coast-based angel investing groups have emerged in recent years, including Silicon Valley Angels, Life Science Angels and the Band of Angels.
Last March, John Dilts, formerly the president of the Keiretsu Forum’s Los Angeles chapter, launched another new group, Maverick Angels. That Los Angeles-based group has since expanded into Silicon Valley.
So what does the proliferation of angel investing groups tell us? Is a new cooperative VC business model emerging? Or could it be that the world’s awash in excess capital looking potential investments? Should we be concerned that the VC industry is once again getting a bit frothy and over-enthusiastic?
I’d love to hear from a few early-stage entrepreneurs about whether things are getting easier for Colorado tech startups. Is there ample VC capital out there these days for quality business plans? Will the Kieretsu Forum’s arrival make a positive difference?