I met Russ Fradin at an Alpha event and he introduced me to his father, Roger Fradin, the Vice-chairman of Honeywell. At first his father simply gave me advice, but fast forward a couple of years and we (August Home Inc.) just announced a partnership with Honeywell. More than 19,000 security dealers nationwide are now able to offer the August Smart Lock to their customers, fully integrated with the Honeywell Total Control system.
- Jason Johnson, August Home, Founder & CEO
For my first Alpha event, I was invited to a small dinner of about 25 hardware entrepreneurs and investors at the Village Pub (which is very much not a pub… it's actually one of the finest restaurants in the SF Bay Area). During the networking hour, I introduced myself to a group of 3 who were standing around and in those 3 handshakes I met Jeff Clavier from SoftTech VC, Semil Shah from Haystack Fund, and John China, Head of Relationship Banking at Silicon Valley Bank. During dinner, I sat at a table with Eric Chin, who's one of the founders of Alpha and a Partner at Crosslink Capital. I ended up closing 2 of the 3 investors from that evening for just under $2M, and we're now banking with Silicon Valley Bank. So I guess you could say the dinner paid for itself (it was free… and sponsored by Microsoft). Since then, I've gone to every Alpha event I could get myself into, having attended 3 more over the past 6 months. The community of entrepreneurs and investors, and the quality of the interactions are unbeatable in my opinion.
-Nathan Schuett, PRENAV, Co-founder & CEO
The Hired founding team went to the first Alpha in late 2012, before we raised our seed round or even moved into our first real office. Conversations that started there ultimately lead to our seed round, with Crosslink (who we first connected with at Alpha) participating as the lead. Needless to say, this has had a massive impact on the company (which has now created half a billion dollars of enteprise value) and for the economy, as we've helped thousands of companies hire hard-to-find technical talent.
- Allan Grant, Hired, Co-founder
I met Ed Roman at the annual Alpha event last year in Monterey, and now he’s an investor in my business and an advisor to me as CEO of my company. He became an investor by leading an AngelList syndicate that put almost a million bucks into my business just a few days after I met him. It was mind blowing how fast and effective it was…and he’s been a kick ass advisor. I can give it more color to make it interesting but that’s the blurb to pass on to see if it’s interesting enough.
- Levi King, Nav, CEO
Nobody talks about it, but being a CEO is probably the loneliest job in the world. It's not only your vision and strategy that's driving your business forward, but your passion and unyielding, non-wavering drive to make your idea come to life. Investors, employees, husbands, wives, and kids count on you to be right, at least more often then wrong, and this is a huge burden to carry.
Very few people get this, but other CEOs do. It's gatherings like these Alpha events that help us find other CEOs and give us a forum to vent or ask for advice, and in so doing, make new friends. It's invaluable.
-Julie Uhrman, Jaunt, Head of Platform BD
I thought I was done with my initial round of seed funding for Fatherly when I attended the Alpha event in Monterrey back in the Fall of 2014. After a long debaucherous night on Saturday, I walked in to the conference room on Sunday morning about ten minutes before closing when I saw Charles Hudson and Stephanie Palmeri sitting behind a foldout table, fist-in-cheek with their elbows propped up against the plastic table top.
Stephanie asked me what I did and I started describing the vision for Fatherly. Stephanie slowly perked up. By the next day I had a call scheduled with Jeff and the whole SoftTech team. Days after that I had a term sheet and based on SoftTech's interest, we opened up the round to accommodate them. They've since become our lead investor and sit on our board, all because of a chance encounter at the very last 10-minutes of a long, and ultimately incredibly pivotal Alpha weekend.
- Mike Rothman, Fatherly, Co-founder & CEO
I was invited by Hunter Walk, one of our seed investors, to attend an Alpha dinner for FinTech CEOs in August, 2014. I ended up sitting next Jim Feuille, a General Partner @ Crosslink and early investor in Pandora. We hit it off and within two months Crosslink led our A round and Jim joined our board.
This financing provided us with the resources to accelerate our product development and significantly ramp-up our customer base. Chime is a mobile-first bank account that helps consumers lead healthier financial lives and automate their savings. We're currently featured as a top money management app by Apple in the App Store and we'll grow 10x this year.
- Chris Britt, Chime, CEO & Co-founder
I can honestly say it is one of the highest quality networking groups in the bay area. I met one of our advisors, an investor and a customer at these events.
- James Heller, Wrapify, CEO & Founder
Alpha events are great! Overall, I think the value is in serendipitous interactions with highly curated groups of people. Specific examples are the Alpha MarTech dinner (which I helped moderate) and the annual conference. In addition to the unplanned interactions, I think what's key about this sort of event is the focused/intense nature of the time. It forces you, as a CEO, to think about strategic issues, and get out of your daily routine, over a full day or two.
-Nadim Hossain, BrightFunnel, CEO
The dinner I attended a few months ago on team building was one of the best such events I've been to in a while as it was substantive, informative and fun. It was more than a "meet-and-greet" or mixer and instead got in-depth on a topic and we heard from a variety of people at the dinner. I've been in touch with several people from the dinner since then.
- Steven Lurie, Team Builder Ventures, Founder