L.A. Startup Club, Offering Counsel and Commiseration for the Silicon Beach Set
When Alex Capecelatro, founder of a social network called At the Pool, apologizes repeatedly for criticizing Favortree's investment pitch deck, Krimmel shows she doesn't want sugarcoating. "If you say [sorry] one more time, I'm gonna smack you in the face," she says, and everyone laughs.
Capecelatro is a whiz kid who dropped out of high school to advise NASA on aerogels (seriously) and, at 25, serves as an adviser at StartupUCLA, but when his turn comes he admits his enthusiasm for building the local tech scene hasn't led to the type of fundraising his company needs.
"L.A. is just, you know ... nothing is really kicking for us," he says.
"For anyone," Krimmel adds. And therein lies the rub. The burgeoning Angeleno startup community boasts innovation, enthusiasm and the official support of the mayor's office, but the majority of venture capitalists and angel investors remain in New York or San Francisco.
"In L.A., there's no money," Krimmel says sadly.
"But if there is, we'll find it!" Hengeveld adds.
As the three-hour-plus meeting winds down, the group excitedly discusses performing their full investment pitches for each other, tweeting about each other's successes and trading tips on financial modeling. Just as everyone is about to get up to go, Hengeveld announces a good omen.
"By the way, guys, my fortune cookie says, 'Wealth awaits you very soon.'"
The group responds with a chorus of whoops and cheers, and they all go home hoping this prophecy will come true.