STAN Talks in LA: Key Takeaways on Angel Investing and Startups

STAN Talks in LA brought together over 80 angel investors, entrepreneurs, and industry experts to explore the latest trends, opportunities, and challenges in the world of startups. Together we discussed the importance of angel investment in times of crisis, explored the impact of angel investing in Armenian startups and its boost effect on the economy, and heard an insightful keynote on the immense potential of deep tech startups.

We’re thankful to everyone who took the time to attend and lend their voice. We built new connections, shared knowledge, and embraced the spirit of collaboration that defines our vibrant community.

For those who didn’t have the chance to join us, we’re sharing some key takeaways from the keynote and panel discussions below. We hope that these insights will help motivate and inform founders and angels alike.

Key takeaways from the keynote by Sri Rao

The Power of Pioneering: Why Early Stage Deep Tech Matters

Deep tech is a cultural shift and game-changing phenomenon that will have greater impact than anything prior with the potential to completely transform industries and create entirely new ones in sectors like healthcare, industry, space tech, and quantum technology. Over more than two decades of the internet humanity accumulated an incredible amount of open and readily available data. New technology makes research cheaper due to the accessibility of computing power and the increasing efficiency with which we can infer.

Risk taking is risky unless it’s informed. There are enough investors who have been through multiple generations of technology endeavors to know how to invest in deep tech startups and disrupt industries and the way we live and work.

Collaboration is key. Collaboration among academia, government research, industry, and venture capital is vital for the success of early-stage deep tech ventures. With academia contributing cutting-edge research, government research offering funding and support, an industry providing practical experience and market insights, and venture capital supplying the necessary investment, these partnerships create a powerful ecosystem that propels innovative ideas into the market.

After the keynote by Sri Rao, we enjoyed an engaging panel discussion moderated by Ellina Abovian on why it’s the right time to invest in early-stage Armenian startups.

Key takeaways from the panel discussion
"Why should you invest in Armenian startups in times of global crisis?"

Times of crisis are the best times to invest. If you have capital, invest in startups. There is a high chance of losing the investment. But on the other hand, the possibility of a winning bet is also high. This is especially relevant for periods of economic crisis as, right in those times, technologies are undergoing critical changes, this creates opportunities for innovators to make disruptive changes.

Armenian startup ecosystem grows. Armenian startups demonstrate steady growth year on year. More young entrepreneurs emerge and design ideas that have huge potential to scale globally. The Armenian government is open to the community and supports the movement with a number of incentives. Many IT companies suffered due to currency fluctuations, and shortly after that situation, the government introduced measures to pay back some of the taxes paid by IT companies to soften the negative impact of currency fluctuations on the industry.

The Armenian world is interconnected. Armenia is a small country, and it’s realistic to approach key decision makers through your network. It is impossible to imagine meeting the president of the country in the USA. But it is in Armenia. Armenia has a strong diaspora and bridging Armenian startups with the diaspora can result in easier access to the global economy.

Don’t kill the baby. Running a startup is extremely complex, especially for first-time founders. In the early stages of startup development many things are not clear and many hypotheses still need to be verified. So, if you are an angel investor you should first of all consider the team and invest in its potential. Once you’ve found a team you are comfortable with investing in – just invest and don’t kill them with tons of questions.

Angel investment is fun. It is a special feeling to see that your support helped a team of talented young people innovate and change the world for the better. It is easy to start an angel investor journey as it doesn’t require huge investments and background knowledge. On the other hand, if you have a passion to become a venture capitalist, angel investment is a good first step to engage in the high-tech industry and learn how the processes work.

Special thanks to our speakers:

Sri Rao, Venture Partner at Union Labs

Al Eisaian, CEO of Cognaize and Co-founder of IntelinAir

Cynthia Tusan, CFA, Founder, and CEO of Strategic Global Advisors

Avetis Antaplyan, Founder and CEO of HIRECLOUT

Vahag Karayan, Co-founder and CEO of BrandLens Inc

Ellina Abovian, Emmy Award-nominated journalist and reporter at KTLA5, for generously agreeing to moderate the panel.

Check out these pictures from the event and relive the experience with us!
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