I make about 5 new startup investments per year ranging in size from $25,000 – $150,000. Frequently I am in the first round of equity financing a startup receives, and in many cases then play a role in helping the company get connected to other sources of capital.
In building a portfolio, I tend to look more closely at startups in industries I have some knowledge and experience in, as well as some relationships that might help. Representative categories include:
- Tech enabled business-to-business services (particularly involving human capital management and/or business process outsourcing)
- Software as a Service
- Mobile Apps & Wearable Technology
- Clean Tech
The number of companies I’m involved with preclude me from being hands on with every one. In those that I do become active, I am also more likely to participate in follow on financing rounds.
My startup investments are frequently in Upstate NY, New York metro or Silicon Valley.
If I invest outside of my categories or geographies it is usually because of strong personal contact that led me to significant exposure to the entrepreneur and management team.
At every step of the evaluation process, my number one filter in assessing an investment is the amount of confidence I have in the entrepreneur being able to persevere over the long and unpredictable journey involved in building a company.
Getting my attention
I’m not good at browsing unsolicited summaries or pitches – so this is not recommended as a path to get an evaluation or response.
Best way to get my attention is to have someone who knows me introduce and recommend you. You might also run into me me at an event. I have a wide range of activities and touch a lot of people – just look through my personal site for info on where I hang out.
This is also a test of someone aspiring to be the kind of outward looking founder I like to work with. If you can’t figure out how to connect with me through one of my existing activities or friends, than you’ll be challenged in convincing me you have what it takes to be the kind of entrepreneur I typically invest in.