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:
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.
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.
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: