Live Storyboarding: Kelly Kingman of Kingman Ink joined Upstate Capital to capture the investor conversation on March 1 in the Hudson Valley.

Upstate Capital put the focus on startups and angel investors at SUNY New Paltz on March 1.

Over 100 members of the business and entrepreneurial communities from across New York State joined together to hear a conversation on building an entrepreneurial ecosystem, including lessons learned and best practices from experienced investors, and joined in for a regular Hudson Valley Startup Fund investor meeting.

The event began with a showcase of startups in the Hudson Valley and beyond. Representatives from seven innovative startups gave demonstrations, offered samples and gained exposure for their ventures. Companies included StateBook International, Burbio, Repairogen, Telelingo, Enduraphin, A.N.R. Medical Supply and Salt Point Meadery.

Chip Parmele and Rami Katz had a conversation with moderator Johnny LeHane about their lessons learned as experienced investors. With a room full of new angel investors and entrepreneurs, the discussion was based on the dynamics at work in deciding to take on private capital.

Their conversation focused on what good investments look like. Chip shared the four characteristics that make the difference between an investable company and one that will most likely fall flat: leadership, open-mindedness, resiliency, and integrity.  Communication is key to the investor relationship, and finding a means of communication that works at the beginning is essential. Rami said that the best way to attract funding is to pull up your bootstraps and do the work. Gain access to customers and make sales, because sales are a magnet for money. If a company can show potential funding sources they are willing to be creative and collaborative to drive sales, the company will be more investable. 

After the program, the Hudson Valley Startup Fund hosted their monthly investment meeting, and invited event attendees to stay for the meeting. ViaHero, a trip planning service that connects travelers with locals to plan personalized trip itineraries to Cuba, Iceland, and Japan, pitched to guests and HVSF investors. 

Then, guests were invited to watch the normally closed-door meeting, where the investors discussed the company’s investment potential.  The company was successful in advancing to the next step of due diligence with HVSF!

In a follow-up survey, one attendee wrote that the event was “a great way to make high-value connections”, and another thought the panel was most intriguing because of its focus on “real life investments”.  This event was a valuable experience for anyone raising capital or getting involved with angel investing. 

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