Thursday, March 16, 2006
Interview with Brock Blake, CEO of FundingUniverse
Brock Blake is CEO of FundingUniverse, an Orem, Utah-based firm that is creating a network of web sites focused on connecting entrepreneurs and angels. We spoke with Brock to get an idea on what the company is doing, and how it hopes to serve the market.
Techrockies: Thanks for the interview. What is the idea behind FundingUniverse.com, and what do you offer to angel investors and entrepreneurs?
Brock Blake: FundingUniverse.com was created to match entrepreneurs with angel investors - plain and simple. There are still thousands of angel investors out there who would like to be involved in the investment community, but they don't know where to find dealflow. Likewise, there are millions of entrepreneurs who want to grow or start their companies, but they are caught in between the start-up and venture capital phases of growth. We help bridge the gap for both groups by: providing an online matching service, hosting regular speedpitching events, and educating entrepreneurs and investors on how to be better at what they do.
Techrockies: How has the reception been so far to your services?
BB: In less than a year's time we have registered over 6,000 entrepreneurs and 875+ angel investors. In the first two weeks of existence, our podcast has been downloaded over 2,000 times, and we have given away thousands of free business plans. It's only getting better.
Techrockies: How does FundingUniverse.com compare to what an angel investment group or syndicate would do, and what's your value add to those groups?
BB: We don't compete with angel groups. On the contrary, FundingUniverse.com is designed to put entrepreneurs in touch with angel groups. For instance, here in Utah, every major angel group uses FundingUtah.com as a source of new dealflow and to track their current dealflow. When you submit your business plan to FundingUtah.com, you may also submit it to one of angel groups (the Utah Angels, Top of Utah Angels, Olympus Angels), as well as hundreds of other Utah angel investors.
Techrockies: I see that you've started to expand to other parts of the country. What areas have you expanded your efforts to so far?
BB: FundingUniverse.com is now the hub site for 51 state-specific websites like Funding-Florida.com, FundingNewYork.com, and many others. So to answer your question, we have expanded our efforts across the country. For instance, we are in the process of linking together angel groups in the Southeast allowing them to network with one another, sharing and collaborating on certain deals.
Techrockies: How is FundingUniverse.com backed, and what's the background of the founders?
BB: FundingUniverse.com is backed by angel investors, of course! The company was founded by Paul Allen (ProvoLabs), David Bradford (Partner, Greenberg Traurig), and Trent Miskin (CTO, FundingUniverse.com). Paul and David are successful entrepreneurs and angel investors who have a real passion for helping entrepreneurs, and Trent is the programming genius who invented all of the unique features FundingUniverse.com websites offer.