Application Deadline is April 9th to Present at May 1st Angel Capital Expo in Silicon Valley


Keiretsu Forum, the world’s largest private equity angel investment network, will hold its 18th bi-annual Angel Capital Expo on Thursday, May 1st, 2014 from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Microsoft, 1065 La Avenida Street in Mountain View, California.

Angel Capital Expo is the premier gathering of angel investors and entrepreneurs seeking funding capital to grow their businesses. On May 1st more than 300 of the Bay Area’s most active and respected angel investors will attend the Expo.

“Our Angel Capital Expo provides a unique opportunity for collective collaboration in the world of angel investing,” said Randy Williams, Founder and CEO of Keiretsu Forum. “We are proud to play a seminal role in the growth of start-up businesses and job creation at a local, national and international level.”

Angel Capital Expo will feature a dozen presentations from early stage companies in technology, life sciences, consumer products, real estate, financial services, social ventures, and other segments with high growth potential. All presenters will be pre-screened by a select committee of Keiretsu Forum members. Each entrepreneur will make a 15-minute presentation and will be available for additional discussion and due diligence at their exhibitor booth throughout the day. Following the presentations, the attendees will vote and award the top three presenting companies the “Most Valued Company” award.

Apply to Present
Companies interested in presenting at the May 1st, 2014 Angel Capital Expo should contact Jenny Pater, Associate for Entrepreneur Services, at or call +1 (415) 573-0752. On-line application is available at Application deadline is April 9th.

Register to Attend
Hosted by Keiretsu Forum, the Angel Capital Expo is the premier gathering of the angel capital community. Invitation to attend is extended only to accredited investors. On-line registration is available at Early bird until April 24th is $95; $295 thereafter. For more information, contact Sonja Markova, Managing Director, at or call +1 (415) 573-0751.

Discover the Advantages of an Angel Network


Investing in private equity opportunities often means you’re ”doing it alone” - but you’re not alone when you leverage the power of an angel investing network. It provides access to a rigorous investment evaluation process, which means members benefit from the experience, expertise, and due diligence of an organized and efficient approach to private equity investing.

During this 45-minute webinar presented by Randy Williams, Founder & CEO of Keiretsu Forum, you’ll discover all the benefits of working with an angel investing network including deal sourcing, due diligence, deal screening, valuation and deal terms, and you’ll discover why being part of a team can help you leverage and negotiate an overall deal that makes sense for the risk being taken.

Webinar: The Power of Angel Investing Networks 

When: Thursday, April 3, 2014

Time: 1:00pm PDT / 4:00pm EDT

For more information about how to log in and participate, simply register now. You’ll receive an email confirmation with all the details.


A Relationship Manager with PENSCO, Christopher has spent the last 4 years using his broad expertise to help high net worth clients, advisors, and asset sponsors accomplish their private equity investing goals using self-directed IRAs. As a former Financial Advisor and prior member of the PENSCO asset review team, he gained experience with a wide variety of investment types, from private corporate stock to hedge funds, LLPs to LLCs, and more.


PENSCO Trust Company has been helping investors use their retirement account funds to invest in real estate, private equity and other non-exchange traded assets since 1989. As the industry’s premier self-directed IRA custodian, we know exactly what it takes to buy, hold and sell alternative assets in retirement accounts. As the trusted custodian of over $10 Billion in assets, PENSCO works with over 50,000 clients across the U.S.


Keiretsu Forum was founded in 2000 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Keiretsu Forum has grown to become the World’s largest angel investor network with 29 chapters on three continents and 1,100 accredited investor members. Keiretsu Forum members provide early stage capital in the range of $250k-2 million in high quality, diverse investment opportunities and collaborate in the due-diligence, but make their own individual investment decisions. Through the collaborative Keiretsu Forum chapter network, companies have numerous opportunities to raise capital and receive resources as their companies grow. For more information, visit

American Airlines Business Extra Program Keiretsu Forum Deal Screening Sweepstakes (“Sweepstakes”)

American Airlines Keiretsu Forum


2. TO ENTER:  Enroll in Business Extra between April 18, 2014 and April 28, 2014 using the promo code KFORUM or email your Business Extra account number by April 28, 2014 at 6pm PST to receive one (1) entry into the Sweepstakes.  Once submitted, all entries become the exclusive property of the Sponsor and will not be acknowledged nor will they be returned.  Limit one (1) entry per person.  You do not need to be present to win.

3. PRIZE DETAILS.  One (1) winning Company will receive ten thousand (10,000) Business Extra Program points (ARV: $2,487.50).  Receipt, use and redemption of points are subject to the terms and conditions at  Winning Company is responsible for any applicable fees, federal, state and local taxes, and any other unspecified expenses associated with acceptance or use of the prize, including any travel related thereto.

4. ELIGIBILITYSweepstakes open to corporations, companies, limited partnerships or limited liability partnerships or equivalent legal entities (hereinafter “Company”) recognized under applicable law, registered and in good standing in the 50 United States at the time of entry and at the time the prize is awarded to a company that has presented at the Keiretsu Forum Deal Screening in the past three years and who has either enrolled in Business Extra using the KFORUM promo code between April 18, 2014 and April 28, 2014 or emailed their valid Business Extra account number to before April 28, 2014 at 6:00 pm PST.  Individuals may be authorized to enter on behalf of their Company; however, a Company selected will receive a prize; no individual will receive a prize. Companies that have a corporate sales agreement, discount or other agreement with American Airlines or American Eagle Airlines are not eligible to participate.  Employees and agents of Sponsor, and its parent and affiliates, agencies, distributors, wholesalers and retailers, and members of such employees’ immediate families and individuals living in the same household with such employees, are not eligible to win.  Void where prohibited or otherwise restricted by law.

5. DRAWING AND AWARDING OF PRIZES. On May 1, 2014, a random drawing will be conducted from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor.  Except where prohibited, acceptance of a prize constitutes Company’s consent to use of its name and/or logo without further compensation for advertising, promotional and publicity purposes by Sponsor.  By accepting prize, winning Company acknowledges compliance with these official rules.  Sponsor reserves the right to determine whether or not the laws of the jurisdiction of the country where a potential winning Company is located permits the awarding of the prize under these rules without what Sponsor in its sole discretion believes to be a detrimental effect upon Sponsor.  In the event Sponsor makes such determination, it may deny making an award to such potential winning Company and thereafter award the prize in question to another eligible Company selected through random drawing.  The Sponsor’s decisions will be final in all matters relating to this Sweepstakes. The potential winning Company will be notified by email the week following the prize drawing. The an employee of the potential winning Company will be required to sign an affidavit of eligibility (which affirms that he/she has complied with these rules) as well as a liability release, and where legal, a publicity release, each of which, if issued, must be completed, signed and returned within fourteen (14) days from date of issuance, or the prize may be forfeited and awarded to an alternate winning Company.  If winning Company does not have a Business Extra account, Sponsor will create a Business Extra account on behalf of the Company for the purposes of awarding the prize.  Prize will be credited to Business Extra account within approximately four weeks after the verification of the winner(s). If any prize, prize notification or attempted notification is returned as undeliverable, or prize winning Company fails to meet eligibility requirements, the prize may be forfeited and may be awarded to an alternate winning Company from all remaining eligible entries.

Prize is non-transferable.  No cash redemption or prize substitution allowed by winner.  Sponsor reserves the right to substitute prize of equal or greater value if advertised prize becomes unavailable.

6. AMERICAN AIRLINES BUSINESS EXTRA POINTS.  Business Extrasm points can be redeemed for over 40 award options, including flight awards and upgrades on American Airlines or its “Airline Associates” (American Eagle, or the American Connection® carrier), Admirals Club® memberships, day passes and conference room rentals, and AAdvantage® Gold status and other awards available at For flight awards, Winners are responsible for the full cost of transportation to and from their departure and arrival city. Winners are responsible for any and all applicable fees, service charges, surcharges or passenger facility charges and all insurance costs, federal, state, local and foreign taxes, if any, gratuities, meals, incidentals and any other unspecified expenses associated with acceptance or use of the Prize. Some of these taxes, fees and other amounts may be due upon booking/ticketing the Business Extrasm award travel. American may amend, in its discretion, the Business Extrasm Program Rules and program awards at any time without notice. This means that the accumulation of points does not entitle Members to any vested rights for points, program awards, or other program benefits. In accumulating points or program awards, Members may not rely upon the continued availability of points or any program award, and Members may not be able to obtain all offered program awards for all destinations or on all flights. Any program award may be withdrawn or subject to increased point requirements or new restrictions at any time. American may, among other things, (i) withdraw, limit, modify, or cancel any points or program awards; (ii) change program benefits, conditions of participation, rules for earning, redeeming, retaining, or forfeiting credit, or rules for the use of program awards; or (iii) add travel embargo dates, limit the number of seats available for award travel (including without limitation allocating no seats on certain flights) or otherwise restrict the continued availability of program awards or special offers. American may make any one or more of these changes at any time even though the changes may affect the Member’s or Member Traveler’s ability to use points or program awards that have already accumulated. American reserves the right to end the program with thirty days’ notice. For full Business Extrasm program terms and conditions, see

7. ODDS.  Odds of winning depend upon the number of eligible entries received.

8. USE OF DATA.  Sponsor will be collecting personal data about participants, in accordance with its privacy policy.  Please review the Sponsor’s privacy policy at By participating in the Sweepstakes, entrants hereby agree to Sponsor’s collection and usage of their personal information and acknowledge that they have read and accepted Sponsor’s privacy policy.

9. TAXES.  Any valuation of the prizes stated above is based on available information provided to the Sponsor. The value of the prizes will be taxable to winners as income. All federal, state and local taxes and any other costs and expenses associated with the acceptance and/or use of prizes not specifically provided for in these official rules are solely the winning Company’s responsibility.  Winning Company is solely responsible for reporting and paying any and all applicable taxes.  Winning Company may be issued applicable tax forms, as required under IRS rules and a copy of said form will be sent to the IRS.  You must contact your own tax advisor for any questions concerning taxes.

10. OTHER CONDITIONS.  Subject to all federal, state and local laws and regulations.  Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to modify or suspend this Sweepstakes or any portion hereof, or to disqualify any individual/Company implicated in any of the following actions, if for any reason: (a) infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, actions by entrants, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes which, in Sponsor’s sole opinion, corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, (b) the Sweepstakes or any website associated therewith (or any portion thereof) becomes corrupted or does not allow the proper processing of entries per these rules, or (c) the Sweepstakes is otherwise not capable of running as planned by Sponsor.  In the event of modification or suspension, Sponsor shall award the prize to winning Company to be selected in a random drawing from among the remaining uncorrupted eligible entries.  By entering, individuals and companies agree to release and hold harmless Sponsor and each of its parent Company, subsidiaries, affiliates, divisions, advertising and promotional agencies, wholesalers and retailers, and each of the foregoing entities’ employees, officers, directors, shareholders and agents (collectively the “Released Parties”), from and against any and all claims, actions and/or liability for any injuries or death, loss or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with participation in and/or entry into the Sweepstakes or acceptance or use of any prize or participation in any Sweepstakes-related travel or other activity and for any claims based on publicity rights, defamation, invasion of privacy.  The Released Parties are not responsible or liable for any incorrect or inaccurate entry information, and assume no responsibility for (i) any error, omission, interruption, defect or delay in operation or transmission at any website, (ii) failure of any entry to be received by Sponsor(s) due to technical problems, human error or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, (iii) communications line, hardware and/or software failures, (iv) damage to any computer (software or hardware) resulting from participation in the Sweepstakes, (v) theft or destruction of, tampering with, unauthorized access to, or alteration of entries and/or entry information, or (vi) entries which are late, lost, stolen, damaged, illegible, unintelligible and/or postage due (or any combination thereof).  By entering, entrants agree to comply with these rules.  Any individual or Company who attempts to tamper with this Sweepstakes in any way shall be disqualified.

11. DISPUTES. Individuals and companies agrees that: (i) any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Sweepstakes or any prizes awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas  or the appropriate Texas State Court located in Fort Worth, Texas; (ii) any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering the Sweepstakes but in no event attorneys’ fees; and (iii) under no circumstances will individuals or companies be permitted to obtain awards for and individuals and companies hereby waive all rights to claim punitive, incidental and consequential damages and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses, and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased. SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, SO THE ABOVE MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.  All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these official rules, or the rights and obligations of individuals and companies and Sponsor in connection with the Sweepstakes, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of Texas, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the State of Texas or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of Texas.

12. WINNER.  To obtain the name of the winning Company, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: 4255 Amon Carter Blvd, MD 4407 Attention: Business Extra Program Sweepstakes, Fort Worth, TX 76155.  Requests must be received by May 31, 2014.

13. SPONSOR.  American Airlines, Inc., 4333 Amon Carter Blvd., Ft. Worth, Texas 76155

AmericanAirlines, AAdvantage, Admirals Club, American Eagle, American Connection and Business Extra are trademarks of American Airlines, Inc.

Keiretsu Forum and PENSCO Announce Partnership to Allow Angel Investors Ability to Invest in Private Equity using Retirement Account Funds


Keiretsu Forum, the world’s largest private equity angel investment network and PENSCO Trust Company, a leading alternative asset custodian announce today a partnership that will allow Keiretsu Forum’s angel investor members access to PENSCO’s custodial services to invest in private equity deals using retirement funds.

“We look forward to working with PENSCO to continue to add value to our angel investor members,” said Randy Williams, Founder & CEO of Keiretsu Forum. “I believe our members are looking for this kind of opportunity to use their retirement dollars to fund startups they believe in, and PENSCO, as a leader in the self-directed IRA business, is ready to serve this growing market.”

“Many investors are unaware that they can use money from self-directed IRAs to invest in private equity, private stock and real estate,” said Kelly Rodriques, CEO of PENSCO. “We think this partnership with Keiretsu will give more angel investors the ability to pursue their passion for investing in emerging businesses while diversifying their retirement funds beyond the typical stock market investments.”

Private equity includes investments in privately held companies and private equity funds, as well as hedge funds, Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) and Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs).

According to PENSCO, private equity is the fastest-growing investment held by its clients in self-directed IRAs, followed by real estate, unsecured notes, secured notes and precious metals.

Keiretsu Forum and PENSCO will hold an educational webinar on Thursday, April 3, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. PDT on demystifying the angel investment process. Accredited investors interested in attending the webinar can register on this link.

About Keiretsu Forum*

Keiretsu Forum was founded in 2000 by Randy Williams in the San Francisco Bay Area. With 29 chapters and over 1,100 accredited investor members, Keiretsu Forum is the world’s largest invite-only angel investor network. Keiretsu Forum members provide early stage capital in the range of $250k – 2 million in high quality, diverse investment opportunities and collaborate in the due-diligence, but make their own individual investment decisions. Through the Keiretsu Forum, more than $400 million of capital has been invested into technology, consumer products, Internet, healthcare, life sciences and real estate companies. For more information, visit

About PENSCO**

PENSCO Trust Company has been helping investors use their retirement account funds to invest in real estate, private equity and other non-exchange traded assets since 1989.  As the industry’s premier self-directed IRA custodian, we know exactly what it takes to buy, hold and sell alternative assets in retirement accounts. As the trusted custodian of over $10 Billion in assets, PENSCO works with over 50,000 clients across the U.S. To learn more visit or call (866) 818-4472.

*Keiretsu Forum is a facilitator bringing together investors and early stage companies offering generally high-risk investments. Keiretsu Forum is not affiliated with the presenting companies and does not endorse, invest in, assist with investment in or recommend any of the companies (or the securities of such companies) that may seek funding through Keiretsu Forum members, and receives no success fees or other compensation for any funding that may occur (although Keiretsu Forum members and/or volunteers may have an economic interest or affiliation with presenting companies which Keiretsu Forum requires they disclose). Accordingly, any information or representations given or made by any presenting companies must not be relied upon as having been reviewed for accuracy or authorized by Keiretsu Forum. Any offers to, or investments made, by a member of Keiretsu Forum will be to or in his, her or its individual capacity and not on behalf of Keiretsu Forum. Consequently, investors must conduct their own due diligence in connection with any investment in companies, including but not limited to legal, tax and investment advice.

**PENSCO Trust Company performs the duties of an independent retirement custodian, and, as such, does not provide investment advice, sell investments or offer any tax or legal advice. Potential clients are advised to perform their own due diligence in choosing an attorney, tax advisor, or any investment opportunity. Alternative investments are not FDIC insured and are subject to risk, including loss of principal.

Keiretsu Forum Contact
Sonja Markova
Managing Director
PENSCO Contact
Sarah Gormley
Neibart Group


Keiretsu Forum Northwest Announces $21.2 Million in Funding for 35 Companies in 2013 – Adds 75 New Members in the Northwest


Keiretsu Forum, the world’s largest investment community of private equity (angel) investors, today announced that $21.2 million was raised by 35 promising companies in 2013 through Keiretsu Forum Northwest, now encompassing Seattle, Kirkland, Portland, Boise, Spokane and Vancouver BC chapters.   Of the 35 funded companies, 24 are from the Northwest region, including OtoMetrix Medical Technologies, Shadow  Networks, Fairway America Fund VI and Exponential Entertainment.  Investments in 9 of the companies were follow-on rounds and 26 were new investments.

Technology companies received 49% of the funding, life sciences received 23%, real estate funds received 24% and consumer/retail received the remaining 4%.  Keiretsu Forum Northwest now has facilitated over $132 million in funding for 215 companies since founding the first Northwest chapter in the fall of 2005. The organization has also seen membership growth with 75 new members added in northwest chapters during 2013.

“It was a strong year for our group in 2013. We had great deal flow from our chapters in the mid-Atlantic as well as the Bay Area, enthusiastic new members and good funding rounds,” said Nathan McDonald, President of Keiretsu Forum Northwest. “The combined value of excellent deal flow, collaboration in conducting due diligence, and our social events, has drawn smart, talented and successful members to our organization.”

Keiretsu Forum members enjoy the benefit of collectively screening investments and sharing expertise when evaluating various opportunities, ultimately allowing each member to make their own investment decisions.  In addition, by efficiently syndicating the companies receiving the most interest from investors in each of its chapters, Keiretsu Forum members receive access to high-quality deal flow from around the country and even the world.

A complete list of companies that raised funds via Keiretsu Forum Northwest in 2013 is below.

Alder Fund
Avnew Health
Exponential Entertainment
Minetta Brook
NorthShore Bio
OtoMetrix Medical Technologies
Pyattt/Broadmark Fund
Royal Bluff Orchards
Tether Technologies
Vega Performance Marketing
Vibrant Games

British Columbia
Paradigm Environmental
Stealth Networks (ZanttZ)

Fairway America Fund VI
Indow Windows
Portland Seed Fund

EV Connect

Guardian 8

New York


Immunomic Therapeutics
Molecular Detection

About Keiretsu Forum

Keiretsu Forum was founded in 2000 by Randy Williams in the San Francisco Bay Area. With over 1,400 investor members throughout 29 chapters on 3 continents, Keiretsu Forum is the world’s largest angel investor network. Keiretsu Forum membership is comprised of angel investors, venture capitalists, corporate/institutional investors and serial entrepreneurs that provide early-stage capital in the range of $250,000 – $2 million to high-quality diverse investment opportunities. Keiretsu Forum is not a fund and does not invest as an LLC. Keiretsu Forum members collaborate in the due diligence but make individual investment decisions. For more information, please visit or

# # #

For more information, media and bloggers only, please contact:

Nathan McDonald


When Angels Listen, Ideas Get Their Wings

Randy Williams

Swimming in the waters of “a generous shark tank,” nine Saint Mary’s students pitched their best ideas at the Center for Regional Economy‘s Third Annual Business Idea Competition this March. In front of a full—and  occasionally boisterous—crowd in the Soda Center, undergraduates and graduates alike presented to a panel of judges with a wealth of industry knowledge and valuable connections. Among the panelists was Randy Williams, the founder and CEO of the angel investor network Keiretsu Forum, which has partnered with Saint Mary’s to host the competition each of the last three years.

gerald cabreraThe big winner of the night was MBA student Gerald Cabrera, who took home both graduate and audience prizes on the strength of his impassioned pitch for his company, Advance Energy Solutions. Cabrera’s team has developed a solar sleeve that attaches to light poles, cutting down on the energy required to light city streets, thus saving cities and municipalities money. Additional services such as Wi-Fi subscriptions, VOIP telecommunications, street surveillance, and exporting power back to public utility providers are also possible with Advance Energy Solutions’ technology. Cabrera received a score of 45 (out of potential 50) and was the only competitor to receive a perfect 10 from one of the judges.

bus idea compCompetitors were given two minutes to pitch their ideas, followed by four minutes of questions from the panel, and then a four-minute period for direct feedback. Ideas were judged on the spot using a 1-10 scoring system.

“I was a little nervous,” said Hiroji Fukui, an MBA student whose company Series ABC matches institutional investors and companies seeking non-seed growth capital. “The competition is tough and the panel asked a lot of good questions. It was difficult, but it’s supposed to be. The competition was a great challenge.”

Students competed in three different categories—undergraduate, graduate, and an audience prize of the entire field. The undergraduate prize consisted of $2,000, three hours of legal counsel and an opportunity to present their idea at the upcoming Angel Capital Expo. Similarly, first place in the graduate competition would net the winner $3,000, three hours of partner time with Hanson Bridgett and a spot in the Angel Capital Expo. Both the undergraduate and graduate prizes were sponsored by Northwestern Mutual of Walnut Creek and Pleasanton. The winner of the audience vision prize was awarded $1,000 made possible by the Stull Family Professorship in Entrepreneurship.

The truncated elevator pitches had to convey the basics of the business, and the competitors had to field a myriad of questions that came from the panel. From

how will you protect your company from liability? to do you have a working prototype? students had to defend their ideas and address the types of concerns that venture capitalists or angel investors might have in a formal meeting.

“This competition is really valuable,” said MBA student Ashleigh Bernardo, whose company DwellIt aims to be the Carfax of real estate. “It’s a way to use my education in a practical way. Plus it’s a great way to get experience presenting.”

Taking home the undergraduate prize was Travis Cockcroft for Quickdoctors, a company designed to maximize revenue for doctor’s offices by utilizing mobile services to book appointments. The panel was impressed that Quickdoctors identified a need and that Cockcroft was already working with a customer to launch his vision.

judges“We also bet on jockeys,” Williams added in his feedback for Cockcroft. “You were poised and the information was well presented. These things matter when making a pitch.”

Before the merriment and congratulations that followed, the crowd was addressed by Professor Berna Aksu, director for the Center for Regional Economy, and Northwestern Mutual’s managing director Wayne Hill. Said Hill, “If you have a great idea and you are persistent, you will get funding.”

“The future is in ideas,” he added. “This competition is proof of that.”

“Saint Mary’s was recently named one of the 40 colleges that change lives,” said Aksu. “Programs like this Competition are the kind of opportunities, we believe, that can effect that kind of transformational change.”

Keiretsu Forum Angels Expand to San Sebastián, Spain

San Sebastian Launch 2014_03

The agreement signed between Fomento de San Sebastián-Donostia Sustapena Group, OTEIC and Keiretsu Forum Spain will allow holding 3 Keiretsu Forum meetings annually in the city of San Sebastián for the scope of the Basque Country.

Pictured on the left: Joshua D. Mirena delegate for Sports and Economic Development of the City of San Sebastián, Miquel Costa President of Keiretsu Forum Spain, Euken Sesé Manager of Fomento de San Sebastián and Iñaki Izurrategui of OTEIC presented the proposal at a press conference held at the San Sebastián City Hall.

The three organizing institutions are:

Screenshot 03.04.2014 to 03.01.38 them


Keiretsu Forum Angels Expand Into Waterloo

Canadian Flag

Keiretsu Forum, the largest angel investor network in the world will launch its third Canadian chapter in Waterloo, Ontario on March 5th2014. This is yet another confirmation that the ultra-entrepreneurial spirit of the Toronto-Waterloo corridor continues to charm the world business community.

With its headquarters in San Francisco, Keiretsu Forum established its second Canadian chapter in Toronto exactly one year ago in March 2013. With the addition of Waterloo, the network will have 1400+ accredited investor members in 28 cities across three continents.

“With countless services focused on seed stage companies, Canada is arguably the best place to start a business in the world.” said Ozan Isinak, President of Keiretsu Forum Central Canada. “However, we seem to hit a wall at the growth stage. These growth stage companies need access to global distribution channels, strategic partners, growth capital and leadership which will enable them to become competitive global players.” This is where Keiretsu Forums’ value and power lies. Its global reach allows entrepreneurs syndicated access to vital growth stage capital and to distribution channels that otherwise would be exceptionally difficult to attain.

Keiretsu Forum members receive access to high quality deal flow from around the world by enjoying the benefits of collectively screening and syndicating those companies receiving the most interest from investors in each chapter.

“With the Toronto-Waterloo corridor in operation, we hope to identify the best Canadian companies and provide them the opportunity to become successful on the global stage. This is exactly what Canada needs in order to secure its future as a competitive country.” said Isinak in a recent interview.

For more information, please go to:


For more information, media and bloggers only, please contact:

Keiretsu Forum Central Canada
Ozan Isinak, President
+1 416 732 1346

Portfolio News: Oakland real estate investment group Waypoint lists shares

Starwood Waypoint_2014_0203

Oakland’s Waypoint Real Estate Group, a pioneer of buying foreclosed homes and turning them into rentals, on Monday became the latest contender in the crowded “corporate landlord” category to list shares on Wall Street.

“We consider ourselves a technology company disguised as a real estate company,” said Waypoint co-founder Doug Brien, a former 49er who will serve as co-CEO of the new entity, Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust. “We built our business rapidly by leveraging technology to take advantage of a dynamic market opportunity.”

That opportunity was the housing downturn, which caused millions of homes nationwide to go into foreclosure. Waypoint’s custom software helped it identify homes to buy at a discount, and then create efficiencies of scale to manage their rehab and rentals, Brien said.

With banks selling foreclosures at steep discounts, deep-pocketed Wall Street players backed by hedge funds and private equity have spent $20 billion over the past two years to scoop up some 200,000 such homes nationwide and rent them out, according to industry watchers. Rental income from the homes provides a higher return than many other asset classes.

Monday’s release is actually a spin-off, not an initial public offering. Under an IPO, a company seeks to raise money by selling shares to the public. In this case, Starwood Waypoint is issuing shares of itself to existing investors in Starwood Property Trust, a public company affiliated with real estate mogul Barry Sternlicht‘s Starwood Capital Group. Waypoint merged with an affiliate of Starwood Capital Group in October.”

Sternlicht will serve as chairman of the new entity, which is a real estate investment trust, or REIT. It trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker SWAY.

The new company has plenty of financial firepower, Brien said.

“We have a $500 million (line of) credit closing shortly and $100 million of cash, so we have plenty of dry powder,” he said.

Starwood Waypoint is the second-biggest public institutional-landlord REIT after American Homes 4 Rent, but is dwarfed by Blackstone Group’s still private Invitation Homes, which has about 40,000 homes, four times Starwood Waypoint’s portfolio, Brien said.

That portfolio includes about 5,000 homes primarily in Florida and Texas acquired by Starwood. Waypoint had acquired about 5,000 homes, including many in Contra Costa and Solano counties, and will continue to manage those for the 11 funds that backed them.

The rise of Wall Street rental empires has stirred fears from consumer advocates about a new class of slum landlords and possibly a new housing bubble.

“Certainly the cohort of large Wall Street investors is growing, but relative to the 14.4 million U.S. single-family homes, it’s a drop in the bucket,” Brien said.

Waypoint prides itself on tenant relations, he said, which includes a system in which renters who pay on time and keep their houses well maintained can earn points to spend on cruises, lower rent or home upgrades.

Institutional landlords have found a tepid reception on Wall Street. Some newly public REITs, including Silver Bay Realty Trust Corp. and American Residential Properties, trade below their offering prices.

SWAY shares closed Monday at $30, up 2.56 percent on a day when many stocks tumbled.

Waypoint originally filed for its own IPO last year but withdrew it after “the REIT market fell off a cliff in June right as (Federal Reserve Chairman Ben) Bernanke was talking about tapering,” or reducing its purchases of long-term securities, Brien said.

Although housing prices are rising, reducing the chance to find bargains, Waypoint said plenty of buying opportunities remain.

“There are still 8 million-plus homes in some stage of delinquency,” Brien said.

Starwood also has about 1,500 nonperforming loans.

Gary Beasley, another Waypoint founder and co-CEO of the new spin-off, said buying mortgages in arrears presents a new opportunity for either foreclosing and turning them into rentals, or working with homeowners on loan modifications to make the payments affordable.

“We anticipate spending $2 billion in the next two years, with maybe 40 percent to buy (nonperforming) loans and the balance being homes, averaging about $150,000 each,” he said.

Carolyn Said is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: Twitter: @csaid

Link to Source: 

Announcing 3rd Emerging Entrepreneurs (E2) Pitch Contest on Wednesday, February 5, 2014

E2 Pitch Collage

JFK University’s Institute of Entrepreneurial Leadership, in cooperation with the Keiretsu Forum, Inner City Advisors and Chevron, has launched a new competition for entrepreneurs in the Bay Area: The E2 Pitch Contest. This event will connect emerging entrepreneurs with resources, feedback and mentoring from angel investors and community leaders. Participants pre-selected by the IEL will have 2 minutes to pitch their business idea to a panel of judges.

Wednesday, February 5 – Emerging Entrepreneurs (E2) Pitch Contest
4:30pm – 7:30pm, East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, 339 11th St, Richmond, CA 94801
Register to attend; Bay Area investors and entrepreneurs are invited to attend. Registration is free, but you need to register to confirm your attendance.

Block 1 (Judges – Raul Deju, Jen Schneidermann, Brad Winegar, and Andrea Bailey): – Disrupting how we sign documents moving forward.

PAX Pure – Closing water loops: Low-temperature desalination, done nature’s way.

Radiant Wrap – Radiant Wrap is an alternative designer gown made for Breast Cancer patients to wear during radiation treatment.

Solfice Research, Inc. – Solfice is a company that specializes in remote sensing systems for locomotive train movements to prevent collisions and derailments.

Block 2 (Judges – Lisa Oshima, Dan Miller, Tim Russell, and Vaneese Johnson):

Pubtap, Inc. – Pubtap is an intelligent utility that enhances live social experiences and drives an effective hyper-local mobile advertising solution.

Doc’s of the Bay – Doc’s is a food truck and catering company run like a startup, serving events in the tech, wine, and wedding industries of the Bay Area.

DEFINEQA, Inc. – Develop ultrasound-enabled micro-laboratories powered by simple batteries to serve the $50 billion in vitro diagnostic market. – Crowd source rating and buyer service for specific B2B industries, of which the Learning-HR industry is the first implementation.