Pitching Angel Investors At CU


Last year I was invited to pitch HappyFreebie at an angel event organized by Dave Cass, a career connections counselor for MBA students at Leeds. It was a low key event with a couple angel investors in attendance. Let me just point out that not every school has career counselors that organize events for students to pitch to investors. Just one of the reasons why CU is so cool.

Anyways, I had a great time and got some good feedback. I liked the event so much that when I became the GEA president, I decided to hold the first annual GEA Angel Pitch.

Fast forward about a year and we’re right in the middle of making it happen. I was a bit worried about the event because we have a two sided market: angels who want polished teams to be there and teams who want active angels to be there. Luckily, this is Boulder and we have had great support from both sides.

Overall, we had 15 student teams apply for 8 spots, not bad for the first event. We vetted the teams yesterday and chose the winners today, not without much debate. What wasn’t debated was the quality of all the teams. Some of the teams were further along and have more diverse skill sets, but that is nothing that the others can’t get with time.

Our vetting session pared the teams with 3 judges for 10 minute one-on-one meetings. Our goal was to find the teams that were the best according to this criteria: (1) do they have traction, (2) can the team execute, (3) is it a big market, (4) is it a good idea, (5) is the business model clear.

If you know anything about me, you probably know that I loved every minute of that 3 hour session. I loved meeting the entrepreneurs, I love the puzzle of uncertainty and opportunity that each startup represents, and I love digging in to uncover the hidden value or lack thereof. It is like a game that I am getting really good at thanks to the last 2 years at CU and to my experience so far.

Not only have we had a great showing from student startups, but the local angel investors have rallied around this event. We now have 10 angel investors that have confirmed they’ll be there.

The format of this meeting is going to be unlike any other and I hope it will be particularly valuable for students. I wanted to design the meeting so that each of the teams get the maximum amount of feedback in the shortest amount of time. So, the teams will get 5 minutes to pitch their business and two clarifying questions. After all the teams have pitched, we’re going to break out for one-on-one speed feedback sessions with each of the angels.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

About The Author

Ben currently works as a senior developer and technical business consultant outside of Boulder, Colorado.

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About Buink

Buink Web Development is a development shop founded in 2009 by Ben Buie. For years, Ben built and modified web assets for clients in Utah. In 2011, he moved the company to Colorado and in 2015 he started taking on new clients full-time.

Buink’s Core Values:

  • Cost effective technology (with business strategy in mind)
  • Eloquent, maintainable code
  • Responsive and transparent communication

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Dave G.
Dave G.
14:05 13 Aug 23
Buink is a great place to work, as well as a great place to have quality software written. I originally contracted Buink for some web development, and it worked out so well we began working together on many different projects. Definitely an honest transparent company that needs to be considered for... your software needs.read more
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Dru M.
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Ben’s a super responsive, thoughtful, sharp and all around great guy to work with. Excellent with his trade. I’d recommend him to anyone. Thanks Ben!
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Ben and team are incredible to work with. They are reliable and proficient. I'd highly recommend hiring them for web development work. SethVOLTAGE
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It was a pleasure to work with Ben and his team. It is rare to find such attention to high standards of coding and devops.
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Tom S.
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I reached out to Buink after finding Ben’s name in a local developer/consultant listing in 2017, and I have to say, it has been an absolute pleasure to work with Buink. Ben consistently understands not just the development task laid in front of him but the business application behind the task. I’ve... never felt more comfortable with a development team than I do with Buink. I truly feel Ben and his team are integral partners in the success of my business.read more
Marilyn F.
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I could not recommend Buink Web Development more highly. Ben and his team have recently developed a budgeting app for me (both web and IOS). I have had the opportunity of working with them for over a year and I am extremely happy with the results.I would say that the biggest plus for me is that I... trust Ben completely. From the very first, Ben has helped me make decisions that were in the best interest of my company. I have never felt like he is taking advantage of me. Ben does his best to keep the whole process very open and upfront. I have really appreciated that.I tell people all the time that I love my developers. And I do. I'm very happy that I chose to use Buink to develop my apps. It was the best business decision I could have made.If you are looking for someone to develop a website or app, I strongly suggest choosing Buink Web Development. They are fantastic!Marilyn Ference, President, Defend Your Money, LLCread more
James Landon B.
James Landon B.
01:33 28 Aug 18
Great company to help with all your web design needs!
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