Band members Heather Crawford and Ron Weissman participated on the February 16th PitchForce panel to offer feedback, mentoring, and guidance to the presenting startups. PitchForce is a monthly fundraising event for startups in software, social, mobile, big data, consumer web, finance/payments, clean tech, biotech or MedTech sectors. Congratulations to Centriq Home, a platform for the smarter home, for winning the panel vote. We look forward to learning more about the company.

ACA Western Regional Angel Forum

Band members Manthi Nguyen and Ron Weissman participated in the Angel Capital Association (ACA) Western Regional Angel Forum on Thursday, February 9th at UCI Irvine, hosted by Tech Coast Angels, and included representatives of angel groups from Seattle through Texas. It offered an excellent opportunity to connect with fellow investors from the Western states and discuss the latest trends in angel investing. Ron Weissman, who served on the organizing committee, participated in the panel on “Trends in Deal Terms: SAFE Notes, Priced Rounds, Corporate Structures - What is Your Model?” and chaired a session on “Best Practices for Board Members.” Manthi Nguyen served on panels on “New Syndication Insights: New Networks for Collective Closing” and “Universities and Angels: Matching Innovation and Capital for Growth”. Band of Angels was a charter member of ACA and we are looking forward to the upcoming annual 2017 ACA Summit from April 26th to 28th in San Francisco.

Software SiG - Artificial Intelligence

The Software SiG will meet on Wednesday, February 1st from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM at Carr & Ferrell (120 Constitution Dr, Menlo Park). Thanks to great recommendations from many members we now have 3 expert speakers and 5 presenting companies. Please join us for an overview of the state of the industry from Kartik Gada, Executive Director Woodside Capital, who will discuss the emergence of this multi-billion $ industry, including extensive M&A activity expected as big players engage in an AI arms race. David Yang, Band Member, Chairman of Abby and CEO of Findo.IO will help us understand the state of the technology – which has moved from rules based engines and algorithms to deep machine learning, NLP and true AI that seeks to match and eventually excel human cognitive skills. Hadley Reynolds, Cognitive Computing Analyst, NextEra, Former IDC, Former Delphi, will speak on Trends in Cognitive Computing. Several AI companies currently fundraising will pitch to the group.

Faraday Bicycles Acquired By Pon Holdings

Faraday Bicycles, a San Francisco-based lifestyle brand that manufactures lightweight e-bikes, was acquired by Pon Holdings as of January 1, 2017.

Faraday Bicycles was established in 2012 by Adam Vollmer, a former design engineer and started production in 2014. The brand has grown in two years’ time and is now being sold in more than 90 bicycle retail locations across 23 US states.

Faraday will retain its headquarters in San Francisco and will continue operations as an autonomous brand. Adam Vollmer will continue to act as the managing director, driving the expansion of Faraday Bicycles with his team.

Within the Pon group, Faraday Bicycles will be a subsidiary of the bicycle division Pon.Bike. The premium brand portfolio currently consists of more than 10 bicycle brands. The group has locations in the Netherlands, Germany, the U.S., Canada, China, Taiwan and Australia.

Pon, which is based in the Netherlands, is a global company with nearly 13,000 employees operating in 32 countries. It supplies high-end products and solutions, develops and manufactures bicycles and offers engineering solutions in several market segments.

Photo courtesy Faraday Bicycles; Article SGB Media

Launching New SiG - Digital Disruption

Thanks to the leadership of Band member Aron Bohlig, we are launching our newest SiG to focus on funding startups with internet enabled business models. The Digital Disruption SiG will meet monthly on the second Thursday and will have its organizational meeting January 12th at 11:00 AM at the Band’s office (750 Battery St, 7th Fl, San Francisco). Please email BandHQ@bandangels.com to join our newest SiG and apply here to nominate companies to present. Mark "Digital Disruption SiG" on the application. 

Photo courtesy RackSpace blog