“A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.”  ~Henry Ford

I won the Willamette Angel Conference one year ago on Friday. I just did a feature story interview about what has happened since the win and how I would describe the experience.  As I considered the interview and how to describe my past experience I referred to the Angel Conference website, which lists the following goals for the organization:

To increase the amount of seed capital available in the Willamette Valley.

To highlight early-stage entrepreneurial ventures and provide them with possible  opportunities for funding.

To demonstrate our commitment to building a strong economy through supporting entrepreneurship in Oregon.

I told the reporter that based on all of these criteria for measuring their success, they have indeed fulfilled their mission with us.  All the monies that Good Clean Love was awarded have stayed in our community providing  for additional jobs and increased revenue for all of the local customers we serve.  Providing seed capital to make things grow here is one of the few viable avenues we have for growth in Oregon.

Winning the local angel conference put Good Clean Love on the map both locally and regionally. Not only have we been noticed by local press, but we have been picked up in several national publications as well. All of this attention has helped us lift our revenues 40% over last year and we are headed towards the best year we have ever had. Being recognized by some of the smartest investors in a community makes you viable and makes your dream that much closer to achieving.

Some people who invest in angel conferences do it because they expect to get a really fast and impressive return on their money.  Early stage investing follows the 80/20 rule- Over 80% of the companies funded fail.  In fact the 2nd runner up at last years conference that gathered almost as many votes as me has already gone out of business. I am proud to say that we  are still in the game, dealing with the set backs that life throws at us, but committed to finding solutions and believing in our future more than ever before.

All of our successes this year link back to winning an angel conference.  It made us eligible to enter a much larger conference and has made a discussion with a wide range of investors possible. I am grateful to be a winner at the Willamette Angel Conference.  It is the seed of success that we cultivate everyday.

I will post the feature piece next week…