Sep 24

AngelGate, Economics, & Torchy’s Tacos: a Solution for All of Us

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Apparently, the so-called “Super Angels” (does this come with a cape and a ring?) in Silicon Valley were trying to figure out how to reduce the valuations of startups as well as the power of YCombinator. I’m not going to comment on this. Why? Because I don’t really know any of these people. It’s between them. It’s just that simple.

Were they trying to figure out how to lower the price of startups or reduce the power of YCombinator? Was it malicious? I have no clue. What I do know is there is a simple solution to solving both of these problems that, collusion or not, would benefit everyone.

Hey guys, maybe you should step outside the Valley every once in a while.

I have no beef with the Valley at all. This is just simple economics. When there is a bigger pool of startups to invest in, the price of them goes down. There are countless talented developers, DBAs, UX and web designers, and web marketers here in Austin who could really shine with a little guidance from you. There are a considerable amount of cities like Austin as well. I guarantee you, the cost of running a startup in most of these cities is significantly less than it would be in San Francisco. The pool isn’t small–your scope should get big.

I can’t speak for other cities, but the University of Texas at Austin features very strong business and computer science departments, and graduates A LOT of talented people. Many people are here not because we don’t think we can make it in the Valley, but because like me, we have families in the area. Oh, and the tacos here are amazing.

Strong examples of startups here include Spiceworks,, OtherInbox, InfoChimps, WPEngine, Zenoss, SolarWinds, Riptano, Keepstream, gowalla and countless others.

So come talk to me at TechCrunch Disrupt if you are a Super or even Not-So-Super Angel Investor and interested in Austin. Email me at michelle(at) if you want to set up a meeting. I’m eager to learn as much as I can and help in any way possible.

Oh, and maybe you should at least check out Hitler’s idea. He can be a bit of a loose cannon when people don’t pay attention to him, and I heard it was actually pretty good.

  • Tom Parish

    Brilliant post Michelle and the remake of the Hitler piece was soooo good. Even if you know German it’s still a HOOT to read the text that was pulled together for it.
    Arrington is going to need bomb shelter I suppose now.

    Anyway YES let’s get more angel investing going on Austin Texas and get something positive going. Nice going on taking the high road in all this west coast mess.

  • Anonymous

    There are good and bad YCombinator startups, and good and bad non-YCombinator startups. Being in the Valley is nice because of the connections, but it’s not the end all be all for a tech company.

  • Anonymous

    There are good and bad YCombinator startups, and good and bad non-YCombinator startups. Being in the Valley is nice because of the connections, but it’s not the end all be all for a tech company.

  • karmajunkie


  • Jason Cohen

    No comment on AngelGate, for the same reason as you, but awesome video. :-)

    I hope you do get some bites at Disrupt, although to be fair a lot of investors don’t like investing outside the local area but for good reason — it’s hard to be effective at either communication or contacts when separated by distance.

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