Fun with early stage companies in the 916

Today was the start of the 2007 Sacramento Region Venture Capital Conference. Phew…that’s a mouthful. It’s a great event, held in El Dorado Hills (very convenient for us here at Morgan/Dorado HQ), where early stage companies give their pitch to VCs and angels in front of an audience.

The first day of the conference is a workshop for entrepreneurs where they learn about things like valuations, marketing/PR etc. The first part was presented by Mark Zetter and Jim Schraith, and was chock full of amazing information that anyone interested in equity capital should check out. Mark is an active angel investor with the Sacramento Angels and Sierra Angels in addition to running Amplify, and Jim has incredible experience as an executive and a considerable record as an investor( he runs the EDH Tech Incubator and has a few recent successful ‘exits’ including Sierra Logic and MaxPreps).

The second portion of today’s workshop was a short presentation on marketing and PR for start-ups presented by Josh Morgan, wait…that’s me! In a nutshell, I gave five pieces of advice:
– know who your customers trust
– know what your goal for marketing is
– make it easy for people to write about you (both media and blogs)
– build marketing into the product cycle
– stay on message

Tomorrow, 28 companies will be presenting and I’ll try and catch as many of them as I can and put some synopses up here.

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