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Angel Invest Boston

Through the Angel Invest Boston Podcast we seek to learn more about the creation of world-changing startups. Boston’s unique concentration of academic talent and entrepreneurial culture offer bountiful opportunities for conversations with people who have funded and built innovative companies. By recounting engaging stories, angels and founders convey lessons they have learned. These narratives illustrate the rewards of helping founders commercialize transformative technologies. We hope you too will find our dialogues entertaining and instructive. I’m Sal Daher, host of the Angel Invest Boston Podcast. After immigrating to Boston as a child and attending Belmont High School, I studied engineering at MIT and Stanford. Decades of work in international finance followed. During that time, I invested in a handful of ventures founded by friends and acquaintances. Now, I’m a member of Walnut Ventures and MIT Angels and spend most of my time as an angel investor taking stakes in about a dozen startups per year.
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Angel Invest Boston
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Sep 13, 2017

Super angel Michael Mark and marketing wiz Kathryn Roy take questions on the topic of angel investing. This was recorded before a live audience at gorgeous Babson College, a university dedicated to teaching entrepreneurship. Sal, as usual, finds it hard to keep his opinions to himself!

Topics covered include:

  • Recorded on the Beautiful Campus of Babson College, Thanks to Margaret Jones & Nina Block
  • Michael Mark Mini Bio
  • Kathryn Roy Mini Bio
  • Michael Mark on What Angel Investing Is Not – Not the Best Way to Make a Lot of Money
  • Kathryn’s Thoughts on Making Money in Angel Investing
  • Question from Mark T.: What’s the Minimum Number of Startup Investments to Get a Good ROI?
  • Audience Question: What Are the Three or Four Things You Look for In a Startup?
  • Startup Founder Davey Bakhshi Asks a Question - Fundraising Pointers
  • Davey Bakhshi: Do you Invest in Founders from Other Countries?
  • Have a Real Sales Funnel for your Fundraising – Willy Loman Beats Einstein
  • Monthly Communication with Your Investors and Constituents
  • Lisa’s Question: What Would You Do Differently Today as a Founder Given the Changes?
  • Go to an Incubator
  • What Has Not Changed in Fundraising
  • Question from Listener Martin Aboitiz: What Startups Do You Regret Not Investing In?
  • “Another Train Leaving Every 15 Minutes.” – Michael Mark
  • Question from Kit, a Freshman at Babson: Can You Build Business without Raising Money?
  • Audience Question from Alan, an MBA Student at Babson: Notes vs. Priced Rounds?
  • Audience Question from Marcos, an MBA Student at Babson: How Long Does It Take to Build Trust?

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Aug 30, 2017

Ed Roberts started the scholarly study of startups. Learn from this brilliant academic pioneer and seasoned investor in Sohu.com and HubSpot about the keys to success in founding a tech company. Along the way you will be entertained and charmed by his most engaging narrative style.

He grew up in working-class Chelsea, Massachusetts. At Chelsea High, he received preparation that would allow him to explore the academic delights offered by MIT’s curriculum.

Four MIT degrees later he was on the faculty at MIT’s Sloan School of Management studying the impact of NASA’s research on the economy. From there it was a short hop to founding the study of tech startups. He also co-founded successful companies, including Meditech. His course on entrepreneurship incubated Beijing's Sohu.com and Boston's HubSpot. Ed Roberts was an early investor in both.

The oft-cited result that companies founded by MIT alums generate revenues equivalent to the 10th largest economy in the world is one of the products of his scholarship. He also delves into his work on the optimal composition of founding teams. Among the many topics covered in this bravura interview are:

  • Ed Roberts Bio
  • High School in Working-class Town of Chelsea Thoroughly Prepared Ed Roberts for Success at MIT
  • Sound Preparation from Chelsea High Allowed Ed Roberts to Explore the MIT Curriculum
  • Ed Roberts Meets Jay Forrester, Co-inventor of the Core Memory and Founder of System Dynamics
  • Research into Entrepreneurship Springs from NASA Project to Measure Impact of Its Technology
  • Ed Roberts Starts His First Company, Pugh-Roberts Associates
  • MIT Faculty Form Consulting Firms, MIT Grads Form Product Companies
  • Ed Roberts Founds Meditech
  • Engineers Debate the Need for a Marketing Person on the Meditech Team – Hired the Only Marketing Person They Knew
  • Sal Daher’s Pitch for Listeners to Give Back by Reviewing the Podcast on iTunes and Telling Others About It
  • The Most Significant Results from Ed Roberts’ Research
  • It’s Important Not to Keep Your Idea Secret but to Talk to Many People About It
  • Eric von Hippel & User Innovation
  • Ideas Are Overvalued – Person Who Has It Gets Too Much Credit – Pivots Are the Norm – Nobody Remembers All the Pivots – Example: Founders of HubSpot
  • Ed Roberts Invests in Founders, Not Ideas
  • Charles Zhang & the Founding of Sohu.com – Ed Roberts Was Surprised Charles Zhang Wanted to Return to China – Amazing Story!
  • “I’ve always focused on ground zero companies. I do not regard a ground zero company as a frightening and risky thing. I regard it as the place to be because that’s where the fun is, that’s where you can have impact and, to me, if you’ve passed my test, that you’re passionate, you’re dedicated, you’re trying to do something that seems worthwhile, you’re smart, you’re open. I’m going to be able to relate to you. Then, I don’t see it as a risky thing”.
  • Data on PhDs as Founders?
  • Why Are MIT Students & Alums So Likely to Invest in Startups?
  • 30% of MIT Alumni Go to Work for a Startup – Of Those 25% Go on to Found Their Own Company – Those Companies Outperform the Market
  • Second Companies Outperform First Companies; Third Outperform Second – Studies of Universities as Sources of Innovation – Chuck Easley Did Similar Study at Stanford

 

 

 

 

Aug 16, 2017

The collaboration of Ham Lord and Christopher Mirabile, two of Boston’s most consequential super angels, is widely admired. Its most visible fruit is the success of Launchpad Venture Group, which they manage together. In this revealing interview, they let us in on how this winning collaboration came to be and what keeps it productive as it approaches the end of its first decade.

Christopher Mirabile and Ham Lord are already familiar to our listeners.  Each has been interviewed individually on earlier episodes of the Angel Invest Boston Podcast. In the current episode, the two different personalities interact and give us a glimpse into what drives their working relationship.

Topics covered include:

  • Christopher & Ham’s Remarkable Collaboration
  • How They Connected
  • Division of Labor
  • Lucky to Have Jody Collier as Operations Manager
  • Complementary Skills & Creative Tension
  • What They Enjoy in Working Together
  • What Motivates Christopher and Ham
  • How Christopher & Ham Differ in their Investing
  • Gene Gregerson, an Engineer’s Engineer & Mobius Imaging – Astonishing Feat of Entrepreneurship
  • Blind Spots: How Having a Partner Helps Avoid Them
  • Integrity in the Founding Team is Essential – Due Diligence Screens Out Frauds
  • Geographic Focus Makes It Possible to Add Value
  • Dos & Don’ts for a Winning Collaboration
  • How Ham and Christopher Work Things Out When Problems Arise
  • Co-CEOs Raise a Red Flag but Can Work
  • Trends Christopher & Ham See
  • A Business Semyon Dukach Would Like!

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Aug 16, 2017

The collaboration of Ham Lord and Christopher Mirabile, two of Boston’s most consequential super angels, is widely admired. Its most visible fruit is the success of Launchpad Venture Group, which they manage together. In this revealing interview, they let us in on how this winning collaboration came to be and what keeps it productive as it approaches the end of its first decade.

Christopher Mirabile and Ham Lord are already familiar to our listeners.  Each has been interviewed individually on earlier episodes of the Angel Invest Boston Podcast. In the current episode, the two different personalities interact and give us a glimpse into what drives their working relationship.

Topics covered include:

  • Christopher & Ham’s Remarkable Collaboration
  • How They Connected
  • Division of Labor
  • Lucky to Have Jody Collier as Operations Manager
  • Complementary Skills & Creative Tension
  • What They Enjoy in Working Together
  • What Motivates Christopher and Ham
  • How Christopher & Ham Differ in their Investing
  • Gene Gregerson, an Engineer’s Engineer & Mobius Imaging – Astonishing Feat of Entrepreneurship
  • Blind Spots: How Having a Partner Helps Avoid Them
  • Integrity in the Founding Team is Essential – Due Diligence Screens Out Frauds
  • Geographic Focus Makes It Possible to Add Value
  • Dos & Don’ts for a Winning Collaboration
  • How Ham and Christopher Work Things Out When Problems Arise
  • Co-CEOs Raise a Red Flag but Can Work
  • Trends Christopher & Ham See
  • A Business Semyon Dukach Would Like!

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Aug 2, 2017

Writing software never seemed like work to young Ham Lord. In high school and then in college, coding is what got him rolling with his other courses; he loved it. This passion, and the happy coincidence of being at the right place (Brown University) at the right time (early 1980s) led to a brilliantly productive career in computing and entrepreneurship.

Ham’s early work in computer graphics would eventually lead to innovation in applying 3D imaging to the creation of new molecules. Later he helped build software with applications in medicine, oil & gas exploration and engineering analysis. He even did work that presaged today’s drone technology.

After 16 years as a software engineer and entrepreneur, Ham cashed in his chips and began a hugely consequential career as one of Boston’s super angel investors. He was the engine behind the relaunch of Launchpad, one of the country’s most respected angel groups. In a frank and accessible interview, Ham discusses the workings of this group, talks about companies that excite him and addresses current trends in the ambit of angel investing.

Topics covered include:

  • Ham Lord Bio
  • Ham Lord Discovers His Love of Computer Programming
  • How Ham Lord Connected with His First Job After Brown
  • Building a New Display for the F-14 Navy Jet
  • Why Ham Lord Founded His First Startup
  • AVS Rises from the Ashes of Stellar
  • Ham Lord’s Transition from Software Development to Marketing
  • After 16 Years Building Startups Ham Lord Takes a Sabbatical Year & Starts Investing
  • Ham Lord Discovers Angel Investing
  • Ham Lord Relaunches Launchpad
  • Ham Lord & Christopher Mirabile Get Together
  • What Does Ham Lord Look for in a Startup?
  • The Ones That Got Away
  • Ham Lord’s Favorite Pivot Story
  • Ham Lord & Cambridge Trust
  • Ham Lord Talks About Launchpads’ Early-stage Track, the Catalyst Program
  • Two Companies in the Machine Learning Space – Netra.io & Smartvid.io
  • Seraf-investors.com & Seraf Compass
  • Trends: Professionalization of Angel Investing & the Angel Capital Association

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Jul 19, 2017

The family of Wan Li Zhu did not see a future in China. His parents, persecuted by the one-party state, came to America when Wan Li was ten years old. China’s great loss became America’s brilliant gain.

Wan Li benefited from high-quality public education at Bronx High School of Science and went on to a perfect grade-point average at MIT. He studied under renowned quant wiz Andrew Lo and was poised for a career on Wall Street but was lured away by the prospect of hands-on responsibility for product features at Microsoft.

After a prodigiously successful stint, during which he was involved in building and marketing Dynamics CRM, MS’ fastest-growing product, he went to Harvard Business School. From HBS he was recruited by early-stage VC firm Fairhaven Capital.

The firm, known for its expertise in web security and digital advertising, now sees promise in various applications of artificial intelligence starting with self-driving technology. Wan Li is deeply engaged in bringing on the next generation of winning investments at Fairhaven Capital. Despite a busy professional life, Wan Li Zhu has found time to advise startups and to co-found MIT Angels in Boston. I learned a ton from my conversation with this wise, yet unassuming VC.

Here is a list of some of the topics broached:

  • Wan Li Zhu Bio
  • From Persecution in Communist China to Bronx High School of Science
  • Studied with MIT Professor Andrew Lo – Used Natural Language Processing to Assess Market Sentiment
  • Why Wan Li Zhu Went to Microsoft – Three Years at MS – Shipped Three Versions of the Product
  • Wan Li Zhu Connects with Fairhaven Capital through HBS Resume Book
  • Fairhaven Capital Is Thesis-driven – Attentive to Market Trends that Could Create Large Opportunities
  • How the Fairhaven Capital Portfolio Is Doing
  • What Wan Li Zhu Looks for in a Startup Investment
  • Experienced Founders Can Actually Time Markets
  • TVision Came Via MIT Angels – Measuring Engagement of TV Viewers
  • AirFox – Enabling Wireless Carriers to Offer More Affordable Data Plans
  • MIT Angels Company PathAI’s Deep Learning System Is Better at Detecting Tumor Cells than Human Pathologists
  • Latch – Enterprise-grade Keyless Access System for Apartment Buildings
  • The Investment Wan Li Zhu Regrets Not Making
  • Wise VC Wan Li Zhu Continues to Be Very Bullish on AI
Jul 5, 2017

Two brilliant scholarship kids became friends at Georgia Tech and went on to found a company that could change the world. This is the story of Matthew Stellmaker and Keith Hearon and of the good chemistry manifested in their friendship and in the creation of new polymers friendly to people and nature.

The idea came to Matthew when he was working at a large company that produces 50,000 tons of citrus waste per year. His friend Keith thought that he could do something interesting with the citrus rinds so Matthew got the company to fund the research into creating a use for this natural material.

These two young founders display remarkable self-knowledge and reveal discoveries in the art of founding companies that could help other founders, technical or not. It’s a valuable conversation that includes the following topics:

  • Keith Hearon Bio
  • Matthew Stellmaker Bio
  • Keith Hearon Views Himself as an Entrepreneur Who Uses Science to Commercialize Valuable Products – Inspired by Ken Gall, Founder & Inventor
  • How Keith & Mathew Became Friends
  • How to Find a Job in Architecture in a Down Market
  • Challenge of Langer Lab Further Energized Keith Hearon
  • How Poly6 Got Started
  • How Poly6 Zeroed in on its First Use Case
  • How Poly6 Zeroed in on its First Use Case
  • How Being Co-founders Changed Their Friendship
  • Should You Found a Company with Your Friend?
  • The Risks of Moonlighting
  • The Care & Feeding of Advisors – Busy People Generous with Their Time
  • Other Startups Matthew & Keith Admire

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Jun 21, 2017

Tivan Amour is reinventing how urban bikes are designed and sold. This is a tall order. The competition is ferocious. Wise counsel is justifiably skeptical of the possibility of success in this endeavor. Yet, Tivan is gaining traction with his approach. He may be defying the odds.

This young repeat founder bristles with energy but is also capable of contemplation. He is a growth hacker familiar with the Socratic Dialogue. He is hugely ambitious yet generous with the less fortunate.  It was great fun interviewing him and he taught me a bunch of things. Among these were the real value of Techstars to founders and some pointers on growing a customer base.

Here is a list of the topics covered:

  • Tivan Amour Bio
  • What Effect Did Working for AT&T While Still in College Have in Tivan’s Life?
  • Tivan as a Product Manager at Abercrombie & Fitch
  • Tivan Starts His First Company
  • Tivan Decides Boston Is Just Right for Him
  • What Tivan Learned from Volunteering at BUILD
  • How Tivan Structures His Day
  • Tivan’s First Company Pivots
  • Genesis of Fortified Bike – New Way to Market to Bike Shops – Cutting Out Distributors
  • Fortified Bike Goes into Techstars
  • The Real Value of Techstars to the Founder
  • Changing Co-founders
  • com Has Won Plaudits from Experts for Its Efficacy – Tivan’s Advice on Building a Website
Jun 7, 2017

Armon Sharei wants to train our immune system to fight cancer. We hear a lot of claims like this, however when a mega-pharmaceutical company like Roche inks a $500 million deal to work on it, we pay attention. At age 29, Armon convinced not only Roche but gimlet-eyed VCs to back him. How did he do this? How did he go from a boy living in Iran to being one of the stars of MIT’s storied Langer Lab?

Part of Armon’s secret is the ability to explain thickly complex ideas in accessible language that does not over simplify. He is that rarest of creatures, a scientist of the first rank that speaks lucidly and acts practically. I am grateful that Armon took time out from curing cancer to share his experiences with us in this inspiring interview.

If you are a scientist thinking of founding a company or an investor thinking of investing in a biotech startup you could learn a lot by listening to this interview with Armon Sharei (as well as the interview with biotech founder & investor Patrick Rivelli Patrick Rivelli Interview). Among the topics covered are:

  • Armon Sharei Bio
  • Childhood Spent in Iran & Dubai, Finished High School in Marin County
  • Why Armon Sharei Wanted to Be a Scientist
  • Why Leave Edenic Bay Area for Purgatorial Boston?
  • SQZ Technology Comes from Failed Attempt to Shoot Genetic Materials into Cells
  • How the Idea of Starting a Company Came About
  • “I think one of the main examples, which is kind of the subject we've been pursuing most deeply at the company in two different projects, is the idea of telling the immune system what to target in the context of cancer”.
  • SQZ Technology Excels at Getting Protein Fragments into Cells – Very Promising Method of Training Our Immune System to Fight Cancer
  • Sal Asks Listeners to Subscribe & Review on iTunes – Podcast Has Great Guests & Sound
  • Biotech Fundraising Is Hard – Armon Sharei’s Advice on Fundraising
  • Armon Sharei Finds a Lead Investor for His Angel Round
  • SQZ Biotech’s Pivot from Selling their Tech as a Tool to Looking for Therapies
  • “…over 70 or 80% of scientists want to put stuff into cells for some reason. I think aside from looking under a microscope there's nothing that they want to do more”.
  • Therapy Research Is Risky, But Tool Business Was Harder Than It Looked, Besides Armon Really Wanted to Do Science
  • The Board Was Essential in the Pivot from Being a Tool Company to Becoming a Therapy Company
  • How Does a 29 Year-old Negotiate a $500 Million Deal with a Major Corporation?
  • Hiring the Right People Is the Most Important Thing a Founder Does, Look for Cultural Fit
May 24, 2017

Still in his forties, David Chang seems to have a lifetime of achievement behind him. Six startup exits, stints with TripAdvisor, PayPal and Goldman Sachs as well as close connections in the world of VCs give David a most informed perspective on startups. In this candid and instructive interview, David highlights the dos and don’ts of tech startups in clear and engaging prose. He provides a wealth of suggestions on how to approach markets and technologies.

He immigrated to America from Taiwan as a child and grew up on Long Island. David Chang distinguished himself in computer science as an undergrad at Cornell. Later on he attended Harvard Business School after seven years on Wall Street.

Topics covered in this interview include:

  • David Chang Bio
  • Came to US from Taiwan with His Family at Age 3 – Grew Up on Long Island
  • Job Market Tight in 1992 – 38 Rejection Letters – 2 Job Offers – Wall Street vs. Silicon Valley
  • Applied to Harvard Business School Thrice - Third Time Lucky – Stays in Boston Working at a Small Startup
  • Dumb Luck Had Brought Him to a Phenomenal Company - edocs
  • Co-founds Mobicious – Just in Time for Financial Crisis
  • Quits Fulltime Stable Job – Decides to Start Company – Daughter Is Born – All in One Weekend!
  • Mobicious Sells for Pennies on the Dollar – Thought Would Never Work in Tech Again – Lands in Where, a Company into Location Awareness – David Beisel of NextView Ventures
  • Decision to Sell Where to PayPal
  • Genesis of Where Angel Fund
  • David Chang’s Biggest Failure as a Startup Operator – Lacked Focus on First Startup – Guardrail to Guardrail
  • The Role of Thrift in Startups
  • How David Chang Came to Make His First Angel Investment
  • Great Startups David Chang Passed On
  • Why Is David Chang Not a Full-time VC?
  • David Chang’s Advice to Startups Raising Money
  • Be Clear About What’s Your Basecamp and What’s Your Summit
  • What David Chang Looks for In a Founding Team
  • David Chang’s Favorite Pivot – TripAdvisor Stumbles upon the Idea of Doing Reviews
  • Startups David Chang Is Excited About
  • Nightmare Mistakes Founders Make
  • How Do Founders Decide to Raise Another Round or Shut Down? The Value of Knowing Your Place in the Market You Serve
May 10, 2017

It is rare that we hear reports from the frontiers of technology expressed so lucidly and accessibly by a real insider. This gem of an interview rewards the listener with Jay  Batson’s sensible and eloquently expressed explanations of the pitfalls of building products and companies. Jay recounts how angel investing taught him things he wishes he had known as a founder. He closes with wise words to recent college grads thinking of founding a startup.

Jay Batson started out as a land man helping oil and gas explorers secure drilling rights. Computerizing part of his work led to his first startup. This made him realize that he loved technology. He would eventually embody this passion for tech in the founding of two venture-backed companies which brought significant innovation by way of the open source movement.

Here are some of the topics included in this podcast:

  • Jay Batson Bio
  • Born to a Family of Entrepreneurs – Land Man Studying Law at Night – Tech Founder
  • Jay Batson Exits first Startup – Learns UNIX & C - Heads to Job with BBN in Boston – Massively Parallel Computing
  • Jay Batson Goes from Engineering to Product Management
  • At Forrester Research, Jay Batson Foresaw some of the Internet’s Potential
  • Desktop Internet Phone – Pingtel – SIP – Bits of Code We still Use Today
  • The Story of Acquia
  • Open Source Primer
  • Jay Batson Gets into Angel Investing
  • What Jay Batson Looks for In a Startup
  • What Jay Batson Has Learned from Being an Angel Investor
  • Technique Jay Batson Uses in Mentoring Startups
  • What Do Startups Most Frequently Not Do Well?
  • Jay Batson Relates the Story of Pingtel’s Pivot
  • Jay Batson’s Eloquent Statement of the Value of a Working Board of Directors
  • Jay Batson’s Advice to Recent College Grads Thinking of Founding a Company
Apr 26, 2017

Growing up in Northern Italy, Arrigo Bodda dreamed of becoming an architect. He chose instead to study law, a handy pre-requisite for a career in human resources in a country where staffing involves a lot of legal work. His corporate career neatly coincided with the emergence of the European Union, a phenomenon that deeply influenced his work and life. After much success in the executive suites of global enterprises, Arrigo now has the opportunity to pursue his passion for design and architecture as an angel investor with Walnut Venture Associates and as an entrepreneur.

In this lighthearted interview, Arrigo shares some of the valuable wisdom gained in navigating large multinational enterprises across cultures and across disciplines. He offers valuable suggestions for founders of startups seeking to do business with multinational companies. He also provides an appealing model of finding the right balance between following your passions and making concessions to reality.

Topics discussed in this podcast include:

  • Arrigo Bodda Bio
  • Living & Working in Europe vs. in the United States
  • The Secrets of Successful Cross-cultural Relations in the Workplace
  • How Arrigo Bodda found His Career Path – Deep Wisdom on Career Development from an HR Specialist
  • “The suggestion that I have for everyone that is listening now, and that they are thinking where I should make my first move, my recommendation is make your first move in a place where the people around you are better than you.”
  • European Union 2.0
  • Tips for Startups Navigating Huge Multinationals
  • The Value of an MBA from IMD
  • Starting a Company in Thailand
  • What Kind of Companies Arrigo Bodda Likes to Invest In
  • What Does Arrigo Bodda Look for in a Founding Team?
  • Don’t Invest in Startups Alone – Join a Group, It will Save you Money & Be More Fun than Investing Alone

 

 

Apr 12, 2017

Christopher Mirabile is an angel with a plan. This super angel wants to make angel investing more professional and methodical. He comes to this aspiration by way of being a consultant, a corporate lawyer and a CFO of a successful tech company. He is co-managing director of Launchpad Venture Group and sits on numerous boards. He has co-founded Seraf, a platform for tracking angel investments and helping angels become better informed. He is an engaging and thought-provoking interlocutor. Do not miss this energetic interview which includes the following topics:

  • Christopher Mirabile Bio
  • From English Major to Junior Management Consultant and, Eventually, a Corporate Lawyer
  • Law Firm to Tech Company, First as Chief Counsel, Ultimately as CFO Taking the Company Public
  • Turbulent IPO Leads to Decision to Become an Investor Rather Than an Operator
  • What Christopher Mirabile Looks for in a Startup
  • Christopher Mirabile’s Favorite Pivots: Pixability, Powerhouse Dynamics and Vela Systems
  • Christopher Mirabile’s Informative Columns and Posts
  • Boston Has the Best Ecosystem for Angel Investing: “I've seen a lot of angel investing, and, as far as I'm concerned, there's no city in the world I would rather invest in than Boston”.
  • The Angel Treaty – Angel Syndication – Collaborative Culture of Angel Investing
  • Christopher Mirabile on the Value of a Board to an Early-Stage Company
  • “I'm to the point now where if I run into a team that I otherwise like and I get any sense of hesitancy about building a board, that's a huge red flag for me”.

Episode Transcript with Subject Headings Available at:

Link to Angel Invest Boston Podcast Episode Pages

 

Mar 29, 2017

Peter Fasse has patents in his blood. He comes from a family of patent attorneys. He is a highly respected partner at Fish & Richardson, the storied Boston-based (now global) firm that represented Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison and the Wright Brothers. Peter’s work continues that tradition by representing some of the leading technological innovators of today. Peter also invests as an angel in technology companies. In this practical and accessible conversation he revealed valuable insights and resources for founders and investors in technology companies. He also relayed some interesting and instructive stories of intellectual property success and calamity.

Among the topics covered were:

  • Peter Fasse Bio
  • Young Cornell Grad in Textiles & Fabrics Becomes Patent Office Examiner
  • Peter Fasse’s Practice
  • In What Areas Is it Important to Have Patents and Why?
  • Software Patents, Why Have Them and Why Not?
  • Supreme Court Taking Harsh Views on Patents
  • Patent Attorney Horror Stories – Theft, Suicide, Rogue Wave, Bear Mauling & Hasty Firing
  • How Institutions Can Claim Intellectual Property of Employees
  • Freedom to Operate – Should Be a Big Concern for Tech Startup Founders & Investors
  • “There's a common misconception that if you have a patent on something, that it allows you to practice and commercialize that invention, but that's not true.”
  • Different Levels of Freedom to Operate Analysis
  • Two Extreme Freedom to Operate Cases & Outcomes
  • Strong IP Position a Vital Ingredient in Sale of Tech Startups
  • Mass Tech Transfer Center (MTTC) Is a Great Resource for Technology Startups
  • Transcytos & SQZ Biotech
  • Most Patents Are Not Commercially Viable, But Fish & Richardson Has a Special Package for Highly Promising Startups – Fish Steps
  • Unsolicited Client Testimonial for Peter Fasse!
  • Why Investing Through a Vehicle Rather than Directly Can Make Sense
  • Trade Secrets – Formula for Coca Cola
  • Trademarks – Frequently Overlooked
  • Trouble with Chinese Partners – Capital Controls & Theft of Intellectual Property

 

Mar 13, 2017

Gong Ke came to America at age 13 with little English. Yet, barely a decade later she had graduated in computer science from MIT and was working at one of America’s iconic startups. Later she started her own consumer company which achieved impressive growth. While doing all this she also married and had three children. Google and Harvard Business School followed. She now works full time at Trip Advisor while sharing her business building experience with others at Mass Challenge, the Wily Network and Tech Stars. This remarkably dynamic young woman narrated compelling stories to illustrate her hard-won lessons. She provided three sterling bits of advice to founders, delved into what makes immigrants so successful as entrepreneurs and presented an excellent example of strategic thought in her career planning.

Among the topics covered were:

  • Gong Ke Gouldstone Bio
  • Gong Ke Gouldstone at Akamai – 9/11 Happens – Danny Lewin Tragedy Inspires a Lot of People
  • Hard to Raise Money for Tech Startup due to NASDAQ Crash – Decides to Do Bubble Tea Startup
  • MIT Grad Selling Tea; Parents Are Horrified!
  • Learned a Lot Working Behind the Counter – Degrees Don’t Matter – Listening to the Customer Is What Matters
  • Gong Ke Gouldstone’s Startup Was Profitable on Day 1
  • Amy Chua, alias Tiger Mom, “Triple Package”
  • Gong Ke Gouldstone’s Advice to Founders – (1) Know Why You Are Doing It & (2) Don’t Be Afraid to Talk to Everyone About It
  • Motivation for Being a Founder – “Unleash Your Inner Company” by John Chisholm – Best Treatment of the Subject
  • Gong Ke Gouldstone Goes to Google to Learn What It’s Like to Work for a Big Company
  • Gong Ke Quits Google to Go to Harvard Business School
  • Gong Ke Goes to Her Current Position at Trip Advisor – The Other Side of the Table from Google
  • Is an MBA Necessary for Entrepreneurship?
  • Wily Network
  • Boston vs. Bay Area as a Place to Start a Company
  • Gong Ke Gouldstone’s Favorite Founders
Mar 1, 2017

Whenever I speak with Kathryn Roy I learn something. I learned a lot when I spent an hour talking to this remarkably incisive thinker. Kathryn has advised some of the most dynamic technology companies of our time including Lotus, Kronos, Phase Forward, IBM, Computer Associates, Avid and Constant Contact. The qualities that make her ideas prized in so many executive suites were in full display during this delightful interview.

Here are some quotes from our conversation.

  • “The hardest thing about marketing and messaging is figuring out what you're not going to say.”
  • Speaking about what she calls The Curse of Knowledge she says: “When you're steeped in a technical domain, you start talking to other people as if they have the exact same context in their heads.”
  • Speaking about what companies should put on their websites she says: “What's really important is to let the visitor see, at a glance, what could you do for me? What problem could you solve, and do you solve it for other companies like me?”
  • “I always tell the companies I work with: never brag about yourself. You can get a customer quote, and they can talk about you, but when you brag about yourself, it is totally discounted by prospects.”
  • “I think that's a challenge I see in a lot of companies, because you get marketing people and they want to work on fun things. They want to work on beautiful graphics. They want to have great events. The real benefit or the most important thing that you can do is understand the customer's needs, no matter how boring they are.”

 

Here are the topics covered during our interview:

 

  • Kathryn Roy Bio
  • From Math Major to Harvard MBA
  • Early Incarnation of Artificial Intelligence – Kathryn Roy’s First Experience in a Startup – Product in Search of Market – Classic Problem Described by Geoffrey Moore
  • Kathryn Roy Goes to a Dungeons & Dragons Company Next – Finds Her True Calling – Marketing & Behavioral Economics
  • Not Being Cut Out for Coding Did Not Discourage Kathryn Roy – She Knew Where She Could Better Use Her Acute Powers of Reasoning
  • Kathryn Roy Finds That There Is a Market for Her Kind of Thinking
  • Peace Corps & BBN Planet by Accident
  • By Teaching I Learn – Docendo Discimus – Kathryn Roy Decides to Learn More About Marketing by Teaching Marketing But Ends Up at BBN Planet Instead
  • Phase Forward – More Open Communication with Clients Bought Time to Succeed
  • One of Kathryn Roy’s Marketing Tricks: Give Away Something of Value to Customers Which Is Relatively Easy for You to Create – It Gets You Mindshare – Two Excellent Examples Given
  • Marketing People Want to Work on Fun Stuff – Graphics, Events, etc. – Should Focus Instead on Boring Things that Address Customer Needs
  • Kathryn Roy Finds a Natural Fit between Her Approach to Marketing & Consulting
  • Angel Invest Boston Brings You Outstanding Guests like Kathryn Roy, with Professional Sound Quality, at No Cost to You and with No Commercials – Give Back by Reviewing Us in iTunes & Spreading the Word
  • Kathryn Roy’s Three Bits of Advice for Founders
  • One – Make Sure You Have Critical Skill Within the Founding Team – Hard to Get Otherwise
  • Two – Narrow Your Focus to a Group of Buyers That Have Common Needs & Consider Each Other References
  • Three – Don’t Be Seduced by Fads
  • Founders Frequently Get Into Trouble by Not Recognizing the Differences between B2B and B2C Marketing – Taglines: Less Is More
  • “The hardest thing about marketing and messaging is figuring out what you're not going to say.”
  • How Kathryn Roy Became an Angel Investor
  • What Does Kathryn Roy Look for in a Founding Team?
  • Kathryn Roy’s Advice to Founders Hiring Marketing Teams
  • The Curse of Knowledge
  • Investors, Beware of Giving Advice in Areas beyond Your Expertise
  • Messaging Mistakes
  • If You Are a Company Under $100 Million in Value You Can’t Afford to Have People Remember More Than One Name for You
  • Kathryn Roy Talks about Pixability’s Pivots
  • Poly6 Narrow Its Focus
  • 3D Data
Feb 15, 2017

As an undergrad at Harvard, Ed Belove hung out with people at the campus radio station that liked to play with computers. This eventually led to a brilliant career that included building software products with the visionary Mitch Kapor at Lotus Development.

Ed co-founded a company that greatly expanded the Apple II’s ability to communicate. The company would eventually pivot to supplying the hardware for early Internet services such as CompuServe and AOL.

This successful trajectory allowed Ed to dedicate his time to building early-stage companies and doing philanthropic work. As a much sought-after angel investor, Ed puts his capital and energy to work on behalf of promising startups. If you are building a software startup, you would be well served to listen to the thoughts Ed expresses in this podcast.

During our conversation Ed Belove made mention of a document written by Alex Schiff, co-founder of Fetchnotes, a company he and I were very interested in. The link to the document can be found here: Link to Lessons Learned from Doing Fetchnotes

Here are some of the topics covered in our conversation:

  • Ed Belove Bio
  • Data General in the Early 1970’s Was a Hotbed of Entrepreneurship – Many Startups Came Out of Data General
  • Software As It Was Before It Ate the World
  • Data General Gave Away Software to Sell Hardware
  • Space War Video Game on PDP-10 Computers
  • “Soul of a New Machine” by Tracy Kidder
  • Now There Is a Huge Number of Software Building Blocks That Anybody Can Put Together – This Did Not Exist in the 1970s
  • Telex and TWX Emulation for the Apple II – Got Around Apple II’s Inability to Multitask
  • Ed Belove Went to Work Lotus Development – Mitch Kapor Was a Real Visionary
  • Ed Belove Runs into People Who Are Still Using Lotus Agenda
  • WorkFlowy!
  • Ed Belove, Lessons from Fetchnotes – Alex Horak & Alex Schiff
  • “Ease of use can't be overestimated”
  • Interchange Online – Put the First Major Paper Online, The Washington Post – Ziff Davis
  • AT&T Still Had a Monopoly Mindset despite Deregulation & Divestiture – No Hurry to Make Decisions in Fast-moving Market
  • “The Innovator’s Dilemma” by Clayton Christensen
  • “The Road Ahead” by Bill Gates, Nathan Myhrvold and Peter Rinearson
  • How Ed Belove Got into Angel Investing
  • Do Help Get the Word out About Angel Invest Boston by Leaving a Review on iTunes
  • What Ed Belove Looks for in a Startup
  • Knowing What You Don’t Know
  • CEOs Need to Have People to Talk to In & Out of the Startup – There Are Now Many More Resources than in the Past
  • CEO, Don’t “Manage” Your Board, Work with Your Board
  • CEO, Founder, Know Thyself
  • Shares, Notes and SAFEs, Oh My!
Feb 8, 2017

How does one go from cleaning chicken droppings in Iowa to being a videographer in Iran to heading one of America’s iconic technology companies? That question only addresses half of Frank Ferguson’s adventurous career; he would eventually co-found and build a remarkably successful business in one of the toughest markets, educational publishing.  I spent a bit over an hour in conversation with this idealistic yet intensely practical doer; I could have used another two hours!

In Episode 7 of the Angel Invest Boston Podcast we explored the ideas and traits that made Frank Ferguson a success on so many fronts.

My favorite observation from the conversation with Frank Fergusson neatly encapsulates his homespun recipe for success as an investor:

“You can get sucked in and fall in love with a lot of things, but then you have to ask, "Are these the guys who can actually make it happen?” What are the odds that these guys can keep together, not fight, get over it, be successful, run things correctly, not fall in love with their own things so much that they lose track of the financial realities of the business? Can they sell?”

Below is a listing of some of the topics covered.

  • Yes, That Bose Corporation!
  • Curriculum Associates, Which Frank Ferguson Built, Continues to Be Hugely Successful
  • Scraping Chicken Droppings in an Iowa Farm
  • From Iowa State University to Teheran Courtesy of Syracuse University & the US State Department
  • Frank Ferguson Thinks about Business School at MIT or Harvard Thanks to a Friendly Psychologist
  • With an MIT Sloan MBA in Hand, Frank Ferguson Goes to Work at Baird Atomic Near Harvard Square
  • Frank Ferguson Meets his Co-founders at Curriculum Associates Just as He Starts Work at the Bose Corporation
  • Frank Ferguson Invests $80,000 in Today’s Dollars in Curriculum Associates Circa 1959 - Money Saved through Frugal Living in Iran
  • How Frank Ferguson Connected with Amar Bose, Founder of the Bose Corporation
  • Frank Ferguson Invests in the Bose Corporation
  • Amar Bose Invites Frank Ferguson to Be President of the Bose Corporation in 1969
  • Frank Ferguson Moonlighted at Curriculum Associates while Running the Bose Corporation
  • Frank Ferguson Left the Bose Corporation When it Was Experiencing Growth of 70% per Year to Get Curriculum Associates off the Ground
  • Amar Bose, Brilliant but Difficult at Times
  • Frank Ferguson Succeeds in Educational Publishing, a Notoriously Tough Business, by Finding a Niche – Differentiated Instruction
  • Curriculum Associates Succeeds but Discord Arises Over the Purchase of a Water Cooler!
  • Competition Gets Rough in the World of Educational Publishing
  • Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready Succeeds by Measuring Progress of Individual Student to Help Teachers Better Support Students – Teacher Training a Pivotal Element of i-Ready’s Success
  • Before Teacher Training Was Required i-Ready Saw No Gains – With Teacher Training Student Gains Are Dramatic!
  • Ugly Truth – Fifth-grade Teacher Has Three to Five Year Grade Span in Her Classroom
  • Lev Vygotsky, Seneca The Younger & Andrew Bell of Madras College – “By Teaching We Learn”
  • “Talk to Me Baby – How You Can Support Young Children’s Language Development” by Betty Bardige
  • Visionary Entrepreneurs Need to Hire Grunts Who Are Really Good at Execution – Frank Ferguson Was the Grunt & Amar Bose Was the Visionary
  • How Amar Bose Hired the Smartest of the Smartest for the Bose Corporation
  • Family with 11 Children Uses the Madras Method Whereby the Elder Learn by Teaching the Younger
  • Sign Up at AngelInvestBoston.com to Hear About Upcoming Free, In-person Events – do Review Us on iTunes
  • Frank Ferguson, Practical & Involved Philanthropist – Lionheart Foundation – Robin Casarjian
  • Frank Ferguson Does Nothing in Half Measures – Elon Musk Would Approve
  • Frank Ferguson - Angel Investor in the Bose Corporation and Curriculum Associates – Participated in the Baird Atomic IPO
  • Hugh Stoddard, Father & Son, Piali De & Senscio Systems Senscio Systems Website
  • Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, “Thinking Fast & Slow”, “Nudge” by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler
  • Frank Ferguson Connects with Will Graylin, Invests in Loop Pay Now Samsung Pay
  • Will Graylin and ONvocal
  • Frank Ferguson’s Approach to Angel Investing – Invests Where He Finds the People and Technologies Compelling – Few Enough Companies So He Can Make a Real Difference
  • People Come up with Great Ideas, Great Markets but Sometimes Forget that there Is Friction in the World
  • Lessons from Iran for Angel Investors

Visit Angel Invest Boston Sign Up Form and sign up to be informed of upcoming free, in-person events. A text transcript of this interview is available in the Frank Ferguson page on the Angel Invest Boston Home Page.

Feb 1, 2017

Family considerations drove several of Patrick Rivelli’s career choices but did not prevent him from having brilliant triumphs. Success as a consultant was followed by success as an executive. This led him to found his first company and to fund another startup. The most eloquent evidence of his achievements was exiting two biotech startups in eleven years. If you are a seasoned biotech investor, I’m sure that grabbed your attention. Patrick was also instrumental in founding MIT Angels of the Bay Area and now leads the life science track at MIT Angels in Boston.

I learned a lot from this fun chat with Patrick. I hope it will be entertaining and instructive for you as well.

Note: When Sal talked about biotech booming circa 1996 he actually meant to say the internet. Biotech was still a backwater then.

Topics discussed include:

  • Patrick Rivelli’s Bio
  • Love Drives the Choice of Patrick’s First Job
  • Family & Luck Steer One’s Career
  • Consulting at Bain Leads to Private Equity
  • Bain Paid for Sloan MBA
  • Work at Bain Was Different After Patrick Graduated from Sloan
  • Patrick Gets Involved in the Life Sciences – Pharma Companies Had Medical Device Businesses Then
  • Biology Was a Backwater in the 1990s – Then Human Genome Was Sequenced by 2003
  • Consulting Was Taking a Toll on Patrick’s Family Life So He Took a Corporate Position
  • Patrick Goes to Work at a Medical Device Company in 1996 – First Internet Wave Just Starting Then
  • Netscape IPO & “The Nudist on the Late Shift”
  • Target Therapeutics Is Sold – Mass Firings Ensue
  • Patrick Has a Tough Period in His Career – Growth & More Self-knowledge
  • Patrick Gets Involved with a Startup for the First Time
  • Patrick Founds Smart Therapeutics
  • “…Nobody Wanted Medical Devices. Everybody Wanted Pets.com and Whatever.com”
  • “You Went from Nerd to Cool Dude”
  • Markets Always Overshoot
  • Boston vs. Bay Area
  • How Boston Has Changed Since the 1960s
  • Patrick Gets Into Angel Investing
  • Chestnut Medical Technologies Is Acquired in 2007
  • Patrick Gets MIT Angels Moving in the Bay Area
  • Boston Angel Ecosystem Is Highly Collaborative Despite Some Friction
  • Pivots
  • Investing in Biotech vs. Non-biotech Companies – Patrick’s Crucial Calculation – Very Instructive
Jan 25, 2017

As a venture capitalist Fred Bamber helped build such successful companies as Interleaf, Q1 Labs and Volt Server. Now working as an angel investor Fred is invested in such exciting companies as SQZ Biotech, Pixability, Streamroot and ViralGains. In his self-effacing and modest way, Fred reveals deep wisdom gained from 75 investments in his venture capital career. Here are some of the topics covered:

  • Fred Bamber Finds His Career Path
  • Avoiding the Military Draft Led Him to Work for His First Startup
  • Fred Bamber & Friend Found a Venture Fund – Consulting vs. Venture Capital
  • IPOs Then & Now
  • Investment in Interleaf Makes His First Fund a Success!
  • Two Ways of Connecting in the World of Venture Capital – Via Success & Via Failure
  • Several Losing Investments in Companies Seeking to Exploit the Piezoelectric Effect
  • Themes In Angel Investing – Investing in Brand New Fields i.e. White Spaces
  • ‘…Oracle has a huge go-to-market cost, and engineering is a tiny bit of it.’
  • Technology Causing Convergence of Consumer & Enterprise Businesses
  • Startups with Jeff Weiss - The Perils of Being Early – Early Augmented Reality (AR)
  • Rich Lane & Reflection Technology – Augmented Reality-like – Projecting Text into the Eye
  • Progress of Technology Is Painful – “Thread Across The Ocean” by John Steele Gordon
  • Michael Lewis & Drama in Business – Paul English & “A Truck Full of Money”
  • Paul English Finds His Inner Entrepreneur after Interleaf
  • Robert P. Smith & “Riches Among the Ruins” – Not Made for Working In Large Companies
  • VCs Should Be Humble
  • Fred Talks About His Investment in Volt Server
  • Uber & Washington, D.C. Cabs
  • Peter Thiel’s Critique of Entrepreneurship – “We Were Promised Flying Cars and We Got 140 Characters”
  • SQZ Biotech & Massachusetts Materials Technology
  • What Fred Looks For In a Startup – Technology, Coachability, Tenacity, Openess – VC vs Angel
  • Startups Should Report Frequently – Reports Should Tie In to Previous Reports i.e. Close the Loop
  • Angel Investor Should Be Father Confessor without the Ave Marias
  • Bettina Hein & Pixability – Example of Determination Combined with Openess
  • Beth Marcus’ Test For Listening
  • Fred Bamber’s Suggestion of the Perfect Number of Angel Investments in a Portfolio
  • Why Sal Daher Is Invested In About 42 Companies
  • The Role of a Board of Directors – Father Confessor
  • Fred’s Favorite Pivot – Q1 Labs (IBM)
  • Fred Also Likes Streamroot’s Pivots
  • Q1 Labs Pivot Runs Counter the Received Wisdom of Startups Needing a Narrow Focus to Succeed
  • “Crossing the Chasm” by Geoffrey A. Moore
  • “Why Knowledge Matters” by E.D. Hirsch, Jr.
Jan 18, 2017

Dr. Marcus has founded several startups including Exos and Zeemote. The technologies on which her companies are based tend to be widely adopted. Very few inventors can say that their invention is in the hands of ten million people. Beth has those bragging rights. She is a recognized expert in the hand-device interface and has provided strategic advice to leading firms in the space. She is also a highly sought-after advisor to startups with particular understanding of product design and fundraising for technology-based enterprises. Her thoughts can be found on Twitter @StartupDoc. Beth, is a graduate of MIT and Imperial College, London, and continues to be involved with both institutions. She is Entrepreneur In Residence at Imperial College London.

In this chatty and candid episode, Beth Marcus imparts some of the hard-earned lessons that can help an entrepreneur turn a defeat into victory. She recounts the story of the remarkable pivot she executed at Exos which led the company from a rout to a very attractive sale to Microsoft. She provides her views on IP strategy, boards of directors, venture capitalists and hiring.

Among the luminaries that play a role in the conversation are Bob Metcalfe, Ed Roberts and Pierluigi Zappacosta. 

Jan 11, 2017

Ben Littauer travelled an unlikely path from philosophy to communications technology. He brings to life the exciting turns in his careers as founder and angel investor.  In his light-hearted style, Ben provides a thoughtful tour of Boston’s angel scene in this episode that ranges over many topics including equity crowdfunding.  In particular, he explains what leads founders to make the worst fund-raising mistake of all. The philosopher’s clarity of thought and the engineer’s practicality are in evidence.

Sign up at https://www.AngelInvestBoston.com  if you want to be made aware of upcoming in-person events. Obviously, this is of particular interest if you are in Boston or environs.

You can also follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and on Twitter @AngelInvestBOS

Topics on this podcast:

Fundraising

Equity Crowdfunding

Angel Investing in New England

Cornell University

Harvard Law School

Baranof Software

Walnut Venture Associates, Boston Harbor Angels, Launchpad, Comparison & Contrast

The Capital Network

Mass Challenge

Connection between Coding & Philosophy

COBOL

BBN, Lotus, Lotus 123, Sun Microsystems

ARPANET

MS Excel

VisiCalc, Bob Frankston

Mitch Kapor

Symantec

UNIX

Oracle

Java

MS-DOS, Notework

LAN, Local Area Network, Ethernet, Bob Metcalfe

EMA, Electronic Messaging Association

Paul Graham, Y Combinator

Michael Mark

Babson College

Christopher Mirabile, Ham Lord

Angel Treaty

Boston vs. Silicon Valley

CIC, Cambridge Innovation Center

Kickstarter, Indiegogo

JOBS Act, Reg CF

WeFunder, Mike Norman

NetCapital, Troupe Jewelery, Kitsy Lane

Jan 11, 2017

Ralph Wagner recalls his journey of self-discovery that led from failure in engineering to incandescent success in marketing and sales. The man who could not do calculus or write code excelled at identifying and exploiting opportunities created by computer technology. In this interview one sees that Ralph’s captivating personality is firmly ballasted by good sense and common decency. It is made evident how his interest in people was vital to the success of his many ventures.

If you liked this episode subscribe in iTunes or Google Play so that new episodes will automatically appear in your player. You can find us by searching for Sal Daher or Angel Invest Boston. Do take the time to review us.

Sign up at Angel Invest Boston Signup  if you want to be made aware of upcoming in-person events. Obviously, this is of particular interest if you are in Boston or environs.

You can also follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and on Twitter @AngelInvestBOS

Topics we touched on:

Success after flunking calculus

IBM

Apple Computers

Kurzweil Learning Systems, Ray Kurzweil

Microsource

KeyFile, Jim Stenzel

Bob Moll, Moll Associates

Arthur D. Little

Meditech, Ed Roberts, Neil Pappalardo

Michael Mark, Interleaf

Steve Watson, Computerland

Visicalc, impact of the first spreadsheet software available on a personal computer

Rent-a-byte

Steve Gaal, TA Associates

Tony Helies

Walnut Venture Associates, Jim Massarelli, Data General

Julian Lange, Visicalc, Software Arts, Babson College

Microsoft Excel, Lotus 123

Eyal Shavit, Software Development Corporation, Underware, Brief, Barry Bycoff, Netegrity

Stefan Mehlhorn, Permessa, Collego, Loop Pay

Jay Singh, Dan Levin, Doron Gan, Tod Loofbourrow, ViralGains

Kendall Tucker, Polis, David Solomont

Jan 11, 2017

In our inaugural episode, angel investing prodigy Michael Marks tells fascinating stories that take us from the precocious founding of his first company to his being a highly-prized investor in hundreds of startups today. The narratives are interwoven with entertaining observations of subjects ranging from comedians to co-founders. Some of the most interesting pivots (radical changes of business plan) are elucidated. Michael’s dry wit and unassuming manner make his deep wisdom accessible to all of us.

If you liked this episode subscribe in iTunes or Google Play so that new episodes will automatically appear in your player. You can find us by searching for Sal Daher or Angel Invest Boston.

Sign up at AngelInvestBoston.com Sign Up  if you want to be made aware of upcoming in-person events. Obviously, this is of particular interest if you are in Boston or environs.

You can also follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and on Twitter @AngelInvestBOS

In this conversation we touched on:

The best pivots ever!

Need for focus

When to pivot

How frequently business plans work out

Hiring a CEO

Qualities of the founders

Role of luck in startups

I What a board of directors can do for the startup

How Michael got started in entrepreneurship

Pixability

Exos

Loop Pay

Bettina Hein

Beth Marcus

Will Graylin

Progress Software

Interleaf

Netegrity

Underware

Dec 4, 2016

This is a teaser of the full, hour-long episode which is still in production. The full episode will be published on January 11th, 2017.

Ben Littauer traveled an unlikely path from philosophy to communications technology. He brings to life the exciting turns in his careers as founder and angel investor.  In his light-hearted style, Ben provides a thoughtful tour of Boston’s angel scene in this episode that ranges over many topics including equity crowdfunding.  In particular, he explains what leads founders to make the worst fund-raising mistake of all. The philosopher’s clarity of thought and the engineer’s practicality are in evidence.

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