SL #28: Angels in Atlanta

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Welcome to SL #28! Join us for a great chat with two of Atlanta’s most well known angel investors. Sig Mosley and Charlie Paparelli joined us for a intriguing deep dive into the angel environment in Atlanta. If you are seeking angel-level capital in Atlanta, you owe it to yourself to tune in and listen to their insights. We think you’ll find that angels come in different flavors – while Charlie and Sig both invest in early-stage companies, they each have a fairly unique approach. Wanna know what makes these guys tick? Tune in!

A lot of positive things are starting to happen here in the Southeast, so the bus stays in the garage while we talk about some more folks that seem to “get it”. Some great listener emails and a sprinkling of StartupLounge humor round out another great show. Enjoy!

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Shownotes and Interview Questions:

As usual, we had lots of related follow-up questions and side discussions, but here is a good sampling of the questions we asked on the show (Sig and Charlie both gave their thoughts on each question):

  • Give us your elevator pitch for Imlay Investments
  • Give us your elevator pitch for Paparelli Ventures
  • Tell us why you invest in early-stage companies?
  • What was the point at which you decided to make investments in early-stage companies?
  • When you receive an opportunity and you’re inclined to pursue it, what is your process for examining that opportunity?
  • On average, how long does it take to get you from that starting point to an agreement on an investment?
  • What is the best way to get an opportunity in front of you?
  • How many opportunities do you get exposed to a year and how many investments do you make?
  • Is the current economic outlook changing your investment behavior or desire?
  • What are the most important changes in the Atlanta investing environment in the last 15 years?
  • Do you collaborate with other early-stage investors and if so, how often and how closely?
  • When dealing with you guys, what’s one thing that’s an absolute no-no?
  • How involved are you day to day with your portfolio companies?
  • If you were to “sell” yourself to an entrepreneur to take you on as an investor, what do you think is your biggest selling point?
  • What is a piece of advice you would give to new early-stage investors?
  • If you could change something in the environment to make your jobs easier, what would that be?
  • If you were to give one piece of advice to entrepreneurs that might want to approach you for capital, what would that be?

Listener Emails Read and Answered on the Show:

Chase: I’m a high school student in Charlotte NC and I really enjoy listening to this podcast. I have a question for you guys. Which would you recommend to someone my age who is interested in being an entrepreneur at some point: working in a big company or joining a startup? I am trying to plot my career path and could use some guidance!

TechSquare: On one of your recent podcasts Mike made a reference to why it might be good to start a business in a down market (i.e. a recession). Can you elaborate on this?

Cevans: I just became aware of StartupLounge and I’m very pleased to see this type of online community right in my backyard. I look forward to interacting as a member. Here’s my question: Are serviced-based companies welcomed amongst VC circles or are product companies king? I do a fair amount of reading/research on start-up ventures and most of the activity, interest, involvement, etc. seems to focus on products. I’ve been an independent consultant/contractor for nearly 10 years and have done well individually, but have always seemed to struggle taking the next step with ideas or concepts for introducing a service to market. Are there any suggestions as to the approach I should take as a service provider? In a nutshell, my company’s focus is on providing new methodologies for data-protection and disaster recovery services for small/medium-sized businesses.

Marcus: I have a philosophical question for you guys. If you were starting up a new company and could draft one person that you know to join you in the venture, who would be your first round pick (and why)? Keep up the great work!

Guest Bios:

Sig Mosley: Sigmund Mosley, Jr. received his bachelor of business administration from Emory University in 1968. After beginning his career with Peat Marwick, he served as a Vice President with MSA Software, and helped grow the company from $2M in revenues to over $330M. Since 1990, he has served as the President of Imlay Investments, the most active early-stage technology investment firm in Atlanta. Sig has helped fund over 100 companies in Georgia, and is a member of the Georgia Technology Hall of Fame.

Charlie Paparelli: Mr. Paparelli is President and founder of Paparelli Ventures, a pre-formation investment company focused on entrepreneurs in the Atlanta technology market. PV has funded over 16 Atlanta startups in the last 15 years. Currently he is the managing partner of his two active investments, iPartners, LLC and Torad Engineering, LLC. Mr. Paparelli has over 30 years experience in the information technology industry serving as entrepreneur, executive, IT Services incubator founder and venture capitalist.


Enjoy! To play it, use the tools at the top of this post – you can play it via the embedded Flash player by pressing the big play button at the top, or download it to play on your computer or MP3 player.

Podsafe music used within this episode:

  • Neolith by Kevin MacLeod
  • Dead Nintendo by Possible Oscar
  • All the Money in the World by Hutch

Our format is a little out of the norm as far as podcasts go. We treat our efforts as a true “show” rather than a super-concise (limited) vehicle for delivery of information. Therefore, the podcasts can run a bit long (actually, it is largely driven by the guests and their responses.) While we try to have very substantive discussions, we also try to have a lot of fun along the way (and that tends to elongate the programming a wee bit.) :) Our theory is that if we are having fun during the show, hopefully, you will be having a little fun listening as well.

Here is the breakdown for the show, in case you want to hop around.

Segment Starts At:
Intro 00:00
Smalltalk and introductions: 02:20
Look Who Gets It! 05:25
Mailbag: 10:08
Comedy Break: 24:56
Main Discussion Topic 28:54
Wrap-up/Analysis 65:13

A special thanks to Charlie and Sig for coming in and hanging out with us!

We welcome your continued feedback as well! If you have an interest in appearing on the show, becoming a show sponsor (hint, hint), have some suggestions for topics, have feedback, or would just like to email us and tell us to “shove off”, we invite you to contact us.



3 Comments so far »

  1. Lydia said

    on August 18 2008 @ 9:58 pm

    Another great show! Where do you guys find the time for all of this lol? Thanks for all you do for our community!

  2. Marcel Crudele said

    on August 19 2008 @ 8:25 pm

    It’s great to hear insights from real investors. Hearing the commitment and personal intensity that is applied to these endeavors should be encouraging for anyone interested in seeking funding – as long as they are able to find the right, smart money. Thanks for the exposure!

    Marcel Crudele
    innerEcho – Atlanta, GA

  3. Mike said

    on August 20 2008 @ 8:49 pm

    We find the time thanks to a time machine invented at VentureLab. You’d be amazed at what you can accomplish in a 28-hour day. Thanks for the great feedback and keep listening! It keeps us going.

    – mike

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