Reporter with Silicon Hills News

Bryan Menell and Joe Milam of AngelSpan

Bryan Menell and Joe Milam of AngelSpan, photos by Susan Lahey

Bryan Menell hosted his longstanding, monthly, Austin Tech Happy Hour Thursday at the Dogwood, except this time he was wearing an AngelSpan t-shirt. The serial entrepreneur sold his most recent company, Mahana, to Crunchtime in 2015 and has been looking for opportunities since. At the February Austin Tech Happy Hour, he asked friend Joe Milam, who runs investor relations firm AngelSpan, how things were going. One conversation led to the next and this week Menell announced he was joining AngelSpan.

AngelSpan helps startup entrepreneurs with their communication, accountability and relationships with their investors including monthly and quarterly updates and time-sensitive bulletins. Milam, who formerly worked from Silicon Valley’s famous money street–Sand Hill Road–founded Legacy Capital Management, which specialized in investments from family offices—family run investment vehicles. Milam explained his long game to Menell: “I want to increase the velocity of investing activity from what I call legacy angels into important and meaningful entrepreneurial opportunities…. There’s a gap in information, there’s a gap in knowledge, there’s a gap in the mechanism to do that efficiently, that’s what I want to solve….”

Bryan Menell and Joe Milam with AngelSpan

Bryan Menell and Joe Milam with AngelSpan

Austin is not a hotbed for family office investments because most of the money locally is new money, Milam said. But money from multi-generational wealth in cities all over the globe is available for investment in Austin startups, especially because money goes farther in Austin than many other cities.

“I’ve always known I needed someone with operating and execution experience to build out the vision.”

Menell is that someone.

Menell said he has always cared about helping entrepreneurs, which makes AngelSpan a fit. But he was also interested as someone who has had several investments.

“When you raise money from people, hopefully you get smart money from people who are connected, they have relationship, industry experience. But entrepreneurs take the money and then don’t communicate with them. I would write a check and then a year later get ‘Hey I need more money.’ And I’d be saying ‘I didn’t even know you were still in business. I haven’t heard anything from you, you haven’t leveraged my expertise, why would I invest again?”

Menell will serve as COO of the company.