Thursday, January 18, 2007


So I’m back from my presentation to a local Seattle angel group – and I am happy to find that I’ve accidentally left my space heater on in my basement so my coffee from this morning is not quite frozen all the way through.

The presentation was both more fun and exhausting than I'd anticipated. I was especially surprised by how great it was to meet the other presenters, who were so open and friendly and had all been around this block several times. The empathy we were feeling for each other far outweighed any competitive spirit that might have been spurred by the limited table space at the back of the room for our materials.
This was my first Julep presentation to a group. I was a little nervous at first, which is unusual for me because I love talking to an audience, where I don’t have to worry about niceties like letting anyone else get a word in edgewise.

But the five minutes before it was my turn, I found myself repeating, “It’s just a raccoon, it’s just a raccoon.”

This is what my two-year old daughter says to calm down my five-year old son during particularly nail-biting parts of thrillers like Sesame Street and Happy Feet. “It’s just a raccoon,” loosely means “it’s just a cartoon,” and/or “it’s just a costume.” In otherwords, don't sweat it.

Thinking of my daughter reminded me that I got up at 5:00 am this morning because my she came into our room needing to snuggle – which made me feel so confusingly simultaneously irritated and lucky that I lost all track of being nervous about my presentation.

I love talking about Julep, so that part was easy. People seemed to stay awake enough to laugh at the right spots and ask great questions. And it was terrific to have Karri, my Director of Education there. In some ways, it felt like the two of us sneaking in to see what this world was all about. She’s so smart and passionate. This was the first time I was seeing her in action talking to others, spreading the word.

But I’m learning that angel investing is not very transactional. Shockingly (perhaps only to me), not a single checkbook was whipped out. Eight people came over to take copies of our business plan, though, and now I guess I sit and wait, trying not to think about whether they will call. I’ve been told that about one in every four to five companies who present ultimately end up with investments from these presentations. (“They love me, they love me not, they love me not, they love me not, they love me not”).

So I’m back at my card table, typing up these thoughts, checking in with Paul and Mike, my amazing furniture designers and calling signage companies to get bids. Oh, the glamour of it all.