Angel Kings Ross Blankenship is a Clown
Angel Kings my ass. Ross Blankenship is a clown. Old Ross, claims to have cut his teeth in the DC startup scene. I’ve been doing startups since 1978. Over that time I’ve worked with a few of the great entrepreneurs and tech visionaries in this town. No legitimate startup veteran even knows this clown. Let me tell you, Ross Blankenship is not an entrepreneur, nor is he a tech visionary, nor has he ever been a thing in DC of any consequence to anyone but his mom. The cockroaches in DC built better businesses than Blankenship.
He’s not an Angel Investor or an Angel King. He’s a clown, who used to work out of Washington DC. Unlike DC’s special brand of two-bit hustling clowns, like Paul Singh, a man who was laughed out of town… Angel Kings Founder, Ross Blankenship was yawned out of town. Nobody in DC paid any attention to this inconsequential fool. Nobody noticed he was gone. I first started getting tips about Blankenship when I listed him as a probable Pretangel (see post).
I can’t warn people away from him strongly enough. Ross Blankenship is a clown. He won’t invest in your company, he can’t teach you how to raise money, he can’t help you raise money. In fact, working with this bozo disqualifies you from being taken seriously by serious people and one tipster told me, Ross, intentionally damaged the tipster’s company.
Let’s check out his LinkedIn Bio
Ross Blankenship is a leader in the technology world who has been able to teach and inspire others to succeed: Ross Blankenship is also known as the “The Investing King” through his YouTube videos and articles published on the topics of startups, investing, and venture capital. Ross Blankenship serves on the board of directors and advises successful startups, pre-IPOs, and even publicly-traded companies.
In regards to teaching if you can’t do Teach… so maybe he can teach. On the topic of board seats… Really? Tell us Ross baby, what boards do you sit on… even publicly-traded boards? Inquiring minds want to know? Ross Blankenship is a clown.
Member of Board:
Ross Blankenship advises top biotechnology, cybersecurity, and e-commerce companies through their fundraising process. Blankenship also serves on the board of several pre-IPO startups. Ross Blankenship has successfully raised capital for startups and been featured in TechCrunch, Mashable and U.S. News and World Report magazine.
On AngelList, Blankenship is only listed as a board member of one company, Vail Networks. Vail Networks is a 2 person web development firm run by…. wait for it, Ross Blankenship. According to Crunchbase, Ross Blankenship is on one board and that’s on the board of his own company, Angel Kings. It says a lot about Ross Blankenship’s judge of character that he chooses a clown like Ross Blankenship to be the sole board member of Ross Blankenship-owned companies.
- Featured in TechCrunch? True… kind-of. It depends on your definition of featured. Does pay to play qualify as featured? A search of TechCrunch results in one measly article. That article was written in 2012 announcing that Ross’s crappy, went nowhere, failed-fast company, paid the $2,000 fee to present at Tech Crunch Disrupt. Basically, you give TechCrunch money to participate in their event and they write about you. I guess that qualifies as being featured in TechCrunch. – Ross Blankenship is a Clown
- Featured in Mashable? Really? Where? A search of Mashable finds no goofy Ross Blankenship. – Ross Blankenship is a clown
- Featured in US News and World Report? A search of USNEWS finds no Angel Kings King, no Ross. Nope! – Ross Blankenship is a clown
7x Bestselling Author on Startups and Entrepreneurship:
I’d bet you he’s not even the best selling author among members of his family.
Author of most recent bestseller “Kings Over Aces”, “The Investing King”, and more than 360+ published articles on topics from startup finances, investing, venture capital and private equity.
Yes, of course, because every bestseller, written in 2015, has 4 total reviews on Amazon. For his “Kings Over Aces” tome, he received three, five-star reviews. One written by Ross, another by his mom, and last by his Grandma. Oh and then there’s the real review awarding the book with 1 star and I quote, “The first 20 pages are an advertisement for his “Angel Group” and the rest is recycled startup folklore garbage lifted from the web. Take a big pass and a hard look at Top Test Prep on Glassdoor and BBB.”
Let’s get some context about this best selling author’s book that received 4 Amazon Reviews.
There is a woman, who is considered a self-promoting joke in most circles in DC. She calls herself a successful founder (which is actually a fact), and now calls herself a business coach which is a fact as well. Yet most people laugh when she speaks and she speaks all the time. She’s not just a self-proclaimed “best selling” author, she’s a highly successful unintentional comedian. Her book has 47 reviews… and only one of them is negative. Now if you check the reviews of an actual bestseller by an actual expert and thought leader, Simon Sinek, his book Start with Why, has over 2,000 reviews. Heck if I wrote a crappy book, which by the way I’m almost done with my crappy book, so look for it, I can guarantee I’d be able to drum up at least 100 reviews. I can also guarantee it won’t be an actual bestseller and I’ll advertise it as a mediocre-selling-flop.
Okay, so in terms of Ross Blankenship, best selling authoring thing is a total line of Bullshit.
Let’s check out his next fib.
Investor in “America’s Top Startups”
What exactly, besides nothing does Investor in “America’s Top Startups” mean? Well, have you ever seen the show, “America’s Top Model?” It doesn’t mean that. It doesn’t mean anything.
By the way, at one time, I was the #1 Angel Investor in the US! I didn’t even crown myself with that honor. It was awarded to me by Tech Cocktail and it is true, and yet it’s still a bullshit title (See the Ranking Here and see why it happened Here). So yes, I gamed the system but a third party did name me the #1 Angel Investor in America back in 2012. Interesting, Top Investor according to the Kind of Angels, Ross Blankenship was not listed in the tech cocktail poll, nor has he ever been mentioned by any non-Blankenship authored document to be a top investor. But this nobody named Ross Blankenship named himself a best selling author and an investor in America’s Top Startups. Guess what? Old Ross Blankenship is a clown!
Blankenship is not listed in Gust.com as an investor. Neither is Angel Kings… another strike against Mr. King of the Angels.
He claims that he invested in these companies. Let’s check them out.
- AdHawk – Not listed as an investor in Crunchbase or Angel List and a google search of AdHawk and Ross Blankenship yields zero. I call Bullshit on Ross.
- Authy (acquired by Twilio) – Not listed as an investor in Crunchbase or Angel List and a google search of AdHawk and Ross Blankenship yields zero. I call Bullshit on Ross.
- Bollyshake – There is no evidence that Bollyshake ever received any investment money nor is there any evidence that Ross invested in them. Bollyshake is listed on Angel List and not on Crunchbase.
- Buffer – Buffer has a long list of Real Top Angel Investors and non of them have a name like Ross Blankenship or Angel Kings.
- CafeX – Hooray!!!! Angel Kings is listed as an investor on Angel List!
- Checkr – Nope… no proof on Angelist or Crunchbase or the Google machine.
- Codementor – Ross is listed! Hooray! That’s two!
- Compology – The only evidence anywhere that Ross Blankenship is an investor in Compology is stuff written by Ross Blankenship
- Dil Mil – Ross is listed in this company which according to Angel List raised 3.7 million in 2 rounds from 63 people.
- Experiment – This company reportedly raised $1.2 million from 30 investors of which none are named Ross and no royalty… no queens, princesses or kings listed anywhere as investors.
- Hackernoon.com – Not listed but who wouldn’t want to invest in a company with this as a logo? I guess they used all the money Mr. Angel King gave them to pay a graphic designer.
- Headout – No listing in this company with a company that reports it raised, $1.8 million from 36 investors.
Checking out twelve of his claimed investments is a good sample. It seems that he has invested in a few of them but no evidence in most of the others. Here’s the others he lists:
- Managed by Q (Google Ventures)
- Maxwell Health
- Notable Labs
- Wheelys Cafe
- True & Co (Acquired by PVH)
- Planetary Resources (Google-backed VC).
In addition to being the sole proprietor of the “Legendary” Angel Kings (What lazy branding. Check out this post on branding or choosing a company name), Mr. Blankenship is also the owner and CTO of a two-person web site development company called Vail Networks. Not the kind of high-growth, revenue-producing thing in which you’d find a king of investors wasting his time chasing nickels… but of Course Ross isn’t the King of the Angels, he’s the King of Clowns… Ross Blankenship is a Clown.
Prior to running Angel Kings and Vail, Ross founded a company in DC called StudyHall. StudyHall was a shitty idea, wrapped in poor execution run by a know-nothing cockwaffle. While StudyHall doesn’t show up on Blankenship’s LinkedIn page you can see this listing from Gust back in 2014, when the company was trying to raise money and failed. This guy who can’t raise money, charges people to “raise money” for them and fails… as miserably as StudyHall failed.
To quote Crunchbase:
StudyHall was a successful education platform that had more than 3 million student signups and users engaged in an online learning platform.
StudyHall is where students go to study, share and connect with classmates. Our platform makes studying social in a new way – here students are provided with valuable tools for note-taking, homework and real-time project collaboration.
Unlike traditional learning management systems (LMS) such as Blackboard, StudyHall is taking the populist approach to online education and creating a tool that is built only for students. In the platform, students will have access to an academically charged environment that only students can access. StudyHall gives students what they should have had a long time ago: a sophisticated online instrument that enables them to collaborate with trusted peers, without worrying about the noise of other networks, professors and privacy issues.
Successful? StudyHall and Ross must have defined successful as going out of business in two years, due to lack of revenue, lack of investors, lack of interest and lack of a bankable idea.
So, you looking to hire someone to help you raise money? Ross probably isn’t that guy. Don’t take my word for it. Other’s feel the same way. For instance, one of my Tipster’s (thanks Tipster, you know who you are) sent me the following:
I was just scanning posts on LinkedIn and saw yet another egregious bunch of lies by Ross Blankenship that took about 3 clicks to discredit:
Vail Networks has 2 employees according to LinkedIn:
The only guy other than Ross is a fake profile for the company and not an employee (meaning it is a 1 person company):
BUT, on the Vail Networks website:
It implies it is an Inc 5000 company, BUT it is nowhere to be found on the Inc 5000
Separately, the very same Ross Blankenship is an education consultant as shown in this recent Washingtonian article where he is quoted 4 times
Here he is quoted in his Angel Kings persona:
Here he is a Denver guy:
Here are all the companies connected to his 800 number:
If I had another 30 minutes I could likely find more evidence of lies and malfeasance, but that is your strong suit so this is my New Year’s gift to you.
Additionally when I wrote a post on Pretangels and included the Angel King, as a Pretangel I received the following comments.
- February 2, 2018: I received a phone call regarding Angel Kings. They contracted with Blankenship to help them raise money and it became quickly evident that he had no contacts in the industry, no clue how to raise money. The company called a few weeks later and reported that after the company terminated services with Self-proclaimed, “Angel King,” Ross Blankenship started interfering with employees and the company’s business.
Ross Blankenship is a clown… a toxic clown. Proceed with him at your own risk.
Update – April 5, 2019: Hmmm, I wonder why old Ross baby was rejected when he applied for the Zcash Foundation, Governance Panel… baaaaad Juu Juu. Bad Governance. https://www.zfnd.org/governance/
Disclaimer: I volunteer my time and am an independent contractor for many organizations. The Views on my blog post are my own and do not represent the views of any of the organizations with whom I dedicate my time. That includes my clients in my coaching practice, the members of my Driven Forward ThinkTank, the University of Maryland. Mach37, The Founders Institute. These views also do not reflect the opinions for any organization that I was formerly associated with including, James Monroe Elementary School, where I graduated with distinction from 6th grade, Lexitron which I left in 1982, Montgomery Youth Hockey or Vistage an organization was grateful to be a part of and of which I happily parted ways in 2014.