With the ballot coming up to select the final two members of the Investment Pool Board on February 15-18, it is time to start generating a pipeline of start-ups for the board to review. We’re receiving some requests without advertising our interest yet, but we have a really powerful tool available to The Collective that other angel organisations lack – geographic scope.

We have just passed the 1,600 tokenholder mark and our tokenholders live on every continent on the planet. I have spoken to people in The Collective who are academics or are experienced investors. There are also a lot of smart people with no formal experience in identifying start-up opportunities. Initially, what we need to do is identify potential investments in our targeted categories, blockchain and artificial intelligence. I believe we all can add value to this search with a little common sense even if you do not have a formal background as a business angel.

Ongoing, we will compile and post a list of events, meetups and other resources so that members of the collective that want to get involved can work on the search. Also, because search engines tend to stream you towards information geographically close to you, I urge collective members to do ongoing web searches on their own to identify pitch events and other opportunities. Universities, innovation hubs, start-up support groups, big accountancies like KPMG sometimes sponsor events and Chambers of Commerce, like the excellent London event Gavin attended last week, may include the next blockchain or AI unicorn*. All we’ve got to do is find it.

But we don’t need to limit our search to pitch events. There are online start-up resources like angel.co that are good places to find possible opportunities as well.

I think this work is the really exciting part of what AICOIN will do. Watching Wintermute make money is great fun but walking into a start-up event knowing you represent a group that, in the first 100 days of its existence already amassed $1.5m in seed capital is just awesome.

If you do find an event you want to attend and you want to be reimbursed for the ticket, you must get approval in advance to reclaim the cost.

Here is a partial list of some upcoming events that may yield potential investments.

February 6
Time: 5PM – 9PM
City: Toronto, Canada
Global Innovation Pitch Competition
Where: MaRS Discovery District, 101 College Street, Auditorium, Toronto, M5G 1L7
(Not devoted to AI though they do focus on both blockchain and AI as categories)
Tickets in advance – $16.50

February 1
Time: 5:30 – 7:30 PM
City: Southampton, UK
AI and blockchain Opportunities and Challenges
Where: Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) Seminar Room, Mountbatten Building (53), Level 4
(Not specifically a pitch event but good for networking)
Tickets in advance – £32.45

March 1
Time: 9:00 – 18:30
City: Southampton, UK
VentureFest South 2018
This is a pitch event. Not specifically AI or blockchain but both figure prominently in their literature
Tickets in advance – £32.45

April 18-19
City: London, UK
AI Expo
Where: Olympia London
Free to view start-up showcase exhibits
Link: https://www.ai-expo.net/global/

Please feel free to email me with questions or comments.

*A Unicorn is the term used to describe the mega-companies that will disrupt entire industries. Companies like Uber, AirBNB, eBay, Google, Amazon are all considered Unicorns.