Picking Winners

with Ullas Naik

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Company Builders

Identifying an involved investor

Ullas Naik

Seed Investor, Streamlined Ventures, Very Early Specialist

Lessons Learned

The most well known angels aren't always the best at building companies.

Find someone who wants to help with recruiting, strategy, network, and finances.

A great angel is not only adept at picking companies, but she also knows how to grow a startup.


Lesson: Picking Winners with Ullas Naik

Step #10 Company Builders: Identifying an involved investor

We get involved not only in helping you build out the syndicate. In many cases, they might join your board. And then help you shape the company from a very early stage, in terms of what a very prominent company ought to look like. So they'll help. They'll work with the entrepreneur. They'll work on recruiting the rest of the management team. They'll work on strategy. They'll work on tactics. They'll work on financing strategy. And so, those are all critical elements of input for an entrepreneur. They may not always join the board and be that active, but often just their involvement results in at least some of those downstream benefits.

There's many. Folks like Mitch Kapor is really good. Bobby Yazdani is very good. There are many of them. I'm trying to think of who else. Max Levchin is very good. So these are some of the really well-known angel investors. Some of them are not all that well-known. I draw the distinction between people who are well-known on AngelList versus people who are really good angel investors. Because angel investors to me are, really good angel investors, are people who are company builders. Who are not only very adept at picking opportunities, but then helping entrepreneurs build their companies.

I don't know if there is a "go to" place that one could reference in order to find women in particular who are angel investors. But I think successful founders and successful entrepreneurs or successful folks at a company like Google, I think that's probably a good place to start. I know that there are many, many, many women who are in really prominent places in their career at many of these large brands who could be angel investors. But I haven't seen them as prominently showing up in angel syndicates in many of these companies.

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