“Angel investment decisions are basically made with your GUT . . .
and then it takes GUTS to keep going through all the setbacks and the pivots.”

  • Why do angels invest at all?
  • What makes a great Angel?
  • What do VCs want in Angels?
  • Is there such a thing as “too much money”?
  • How does the Cap Table affect future rounds?
  • Cramdowns, Restarts and Survival


John Petote, CIO Solutions

Mike Pfau, Reicker, Pfau, Pyle & McRoy LLP

John Greathouse, Rincon Venture Partners

André de Fusco, Cynvenio Biosystems

Event Details:

When:  Wednesday, February 15, 2017, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Where: Cabrillo Pavilion Arts Center, 1118 E. Cabrillo Blvd., Santa Barbara, CA 93103


About the Panelists

John Petote is a well-known Angel who has invested in more than 75 start-up and early stage companies, VC funds and real estate partnerships, primarily in the Central Coast.  His investments include Information technology; Internet marketing; Shared economy; Biotech; Medical devices; Consumer goods; and Financial institutions.

John is the Founder of CIO Solutions and currently serves as the company’s Chairman. He has served on the Boards of many early stage ventures. He also serves on the Boards of several non-profit organizations on the Central Coast, including the MIT Enterprise Forum of the Central Coast.

Mike Pfau of Reicker, Pfau, Pyle & McRoy LLP has served as outside counsel to dozens of high technology businesses, representing them in formation, capital raises, commercial agreements, strategic negotiations, mergers and acquisitions and initial public offerings.

Mike has extensive experience with private offerings to angel investors, venture firms and strategic partners in the Central Coast, throughout the United States, and internationally.

John Greathouse is a Partner in Rincon Venture Partners, one of three early stage venture firms on the Central Coast. Rincon has raised approximately $100 million and has generated investment returns in the top quartile of professional VC firms.

John has held a number of senior executive positions with successful startups which generated in excess of $350M of shareholder value, including two IPOs and multi-hundred million dollar acquisitions. In 2012, John received UCSB’s prestigious Venky Award in recognition of his multi-decade impact on the Central Coast’s entrepreneurial community. John is a regular contributor to Forbes and The Wall Street Journal where his articles have generated millions of views.

André de Fusco is the CEO of Cynvenio Biosystems, a successful biotech company founded by UCSB professors in the early 2000s. André has 28 years experience in high tech development and financing, starting his career as a software programmer working to develop the first commercial email system. He has multi-industry experience in both public companies and venture-backed start-ups.

Prior to Cynvenio André was CEO of Sabeus Photonics, and earlier served as CEO of several different companies: Neven Vision, ACT Networks, and Maxcom Corp. He also held several executive positions with Nortel Networks in Europe and earlier with Oivetti. André has experienced the various phases of growth and the stone-wall challenges that young companies face, and has overcome many financing challenges in leading his companies to success.



This program will be moderated by Bob Johnson.

Bob Johnson was active in private equity at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and managed DLJ’s venture capital arm, Sprout Capital Group in the 1970s; co-founded Angenics, a biotech diagnostics company in the 1980s; formed Founders Capital Partners, an angel investment group in Boston in the 1990s; and moved to Santa Barbara in 1999 where he continued this angel investment activity. He has experienced all phases and both sides of the entrepreneurial “pipeline”.


Event Registration:



  • 5:00 – 6:00 Networking Hour, Check-in & Registration for Walk-ins
  • 6:00 – 7:30 Discussion
  • 7:30 – 8:00 Q&A

Registration includes appetizers and refreshments.

If you miss the early-bird registration, not to worry! We welcome walk-in guests to register at the registration table in the lobby of the venue.

Online event registration for Seed Funding powered by Eventbrite
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