Alongside Michael Arrington and TechCrunch, Jason Calacanis has done a great job with the TechCrunch 50 conference - a launchpad for 50 start-ups amid a collection of great roundtable sessions. I have attended each of the last two years and I consider it one of the most productive events of the year. Calacanis is expanding the effort with a new venture: the Open Angel Forum. Formally announced today, the first event will be held January 14th in Los Angeles (with other regions to follow):
The Open Angel Forum is designed to bring together bring together 15-20 high quality angel investors and five companies looking to raise capital. Unlike pay-to-play angel groups like Keiretsu Forum (which charges $6,000 to pitch their four San Francisco chapters!), the Open Angel Forum is free to startups and angel investors. The only people who pay to attend the event are a limited number of service providers (i.e. lawyers, recruiters, etc).
I'm inviting the angel investors I've developed personal relationships with over the years (many of whom have invested in Weblogs, Inc. or Mahalo.com). Think folks like Sky Dayton, Matt Coffin, Elon Musk, Kevin Rose, Ryan Scott, Mark Cuban, Fred Wilson and Ted Leonsis. I've also started angel investing as you probably know.
You can learn more at OpenAngelForum.com. Tied to this announcement, Jason stated his intent to invest as an angel in 5-10 startups a year:
"My first two investments are www.gdgt.com and www.challengepost.com. I'll be announcing two more angel investments in December. My goal is to do 5-10 a year."