Origin Story: In a couple sentences, how would you describe your path to becoming an investor?
I'm a former operator, having run a couple of successful businesses. One of them grew from zero to north of a billion dollars in annual revenues - and I didn't have a problem that I thought was both a pressing need and would lead to the same sort of impact. Angel investing gives me the ability to work with founders who I think are trying to have that same large impact, and at the same time, I get the intellectual stimulation of approaching new challenges in varied industries.
Investment Approach: What are the key factors you consider when evaluating a founding team?
Experience and expertise.
What's your style and approach when it comes to working with founders post-investment? What are the characteristics of founders you've worked well with?
It's an iterative approach. I'm available as much as a founder would like me to be available. Founders are busy people and random questions from investors can be disruptive. So I tend to let founders guide me in what type of relationship they want. It is worth mentioning that I love getting detailed updates - the more detail I get, the more detail I give. These are the founders I like most.
If I'm coming to pitch to you or your firm, what's the one piece of advice you'd give me?
Be prepared! Know your business and market better than anyone else and explain how you succeed. I shouldn't be able to stump you with a question or insight.
As an angel investor, how many deals do you aim to do each year?
6 to 12
How would you describe your own personal mission and values, and how do they impact the way you invest?
It's considerably easier to invest into the S&P 500 and doubtful if the returns are any better in venture as an average investor (and my guess is I'm no better than average at best). I'm an angel investor because I'm an impact investor, looking to invest in companies that will have a large and positive impact. Are you building a unicorn? Good. Decacorn? Better.
What do you like best about investing in NYC, and what’s your outlook on the future of NYC tech?
It's come a long way. I picked my head up from 15 years of operating experience and an entire venture ecosystem had grown from nothing. While covid will have a short term impact on NYC tech, I expect a prosperous long term future.