Entrepreneur, Explorer, Angel.

Sometimes all at Once.

09TH May 2017

Cuba - Geopolitical - Havana Culture - Incubator - Innovadores - Innovadores Foundation - Uncategorized - Venture Capital - Vision

Innovadores and Family Office Association White Paper on Investing in Cuba

I’m proud to say that, two short years after Family Office Association put us together, John, Jono and I produced this sweeping historical overview and going-forward plan for investing in Cuba, which we called “Ready Set Go: Cuba!” . Anyone headed to Havana to discover business opportunities should read it. Those are Innovadores Interns Raynel Gonzalez (GCT Intern Class 2016) and Gabriel Garcia (GCT Intern Class 2015) on the cover. Enjoy the read, and hope to see you in Havana soon! Download the report here.      

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25TH December 2016

Angel investing - Creative problem Solving - Entrepreneur - Family Office - Grand Central Tech - Leadership - Mobile - Timeless - Timely - Uncategorized - Venture Capital - Vision

Learn, or give it up to the robots

That pretty much sums up most of the 2017 resolutions I have been seeing from my friends and business relationships. Except for my Buddy Mark, who wants me to do 81 reps of different calisthenics before January 31. In 1998, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85 % of all photo paper worldwide.  Within just a few years, their business model disappeared and they went bankrupt.  What happened to Kodak will happen in a lot of industries in the next 10 years and, most people won’t see it coming. Did you think in 1998 that 3 years later you would never take pictures on film again? If you think of a niche you want to go in, ask yourself: “in the future, do you think we will have that?” and if […]

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20TH November 2014

Choate - Entrepreneur - Grand Central Tech - Leadership - Social - Timely - Venture Capital - Vision

Jesse Fink tonight at Start Up Choate

Tonight we host Jesse Fink, former COO of Priceline and Founder of Mission Point Capital, for the latest edition of our series of fireside chats. Jesse needs no introduction; his career arc was part of a plan, but by his own admission that “happened faster than expected”. This will be our first event in our “home away from Wallingford”, the super start-up nexus known as Grand Central Tech run by Chalie Bonello and Matt Harrigan. Matter of fact, because of the overflow, it has been moved from the 2nd floor incubator up to the 16th floor co-work space called “Grow Grand Central Tech”, where companies land after completing their times on 2. We’ve just sent one of our Vaux portfolio companies, Bell Family, upstairs. In the 18 months since inception, […]

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19TH May 2014

Business Tricks - Choate - culture - Entrepreneur - Family Office - Leadership - Mojiva - Timeless - Trust Cloud - Uncategorized - Venture Capital

Next Stop: Grand Central

My Mom used to answer the phone at our house : GRAND CENTRAL !@#$%^ STATION. It was nuts with activity; cats sleeping with dogs, kids not sleeping at all, random neighbors, dangerous art projects, three legged bunnies, ninja turtles- with real num-chucks, 1,000 ping pong balls, 60 foot tree swings, snakes in sleeping bags and ill-advised science experiments. It was an incubator of sorts, but all she was able to raise was a bunch of crazy kids and a few Estes Rockets (with pet mice aboard no doubt). The fact that four of us survived to adulthood was testament to her unique no-helicopter policies ( I am not sure how many she started with). To cry about anything short of a compound fracture was simply bad form. Cuts without stitches […]

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10TH July 2013

Angel investing - Timely - Uncategorized - Venture Capital

Angel investing for Family Offices: What if you knew ‘Zuck… back then.

After a few years of hanging around (and learning a lot), Angelo Robles from Family Office Association asked me to host a panel on angel investing. It was based on the Angel investing White-paper I wrote about for the FOA awhile back- still relevant btw! Here’ s a brief summary on who is on the panel, and how to participate. Our first question will certainly be… So here a brash college kid in front of you, a geek savant with zero social skills. Peddling a social network… Do you touch it? And just say you fronted the money; how many ways do you get a screwed along the way? Done right, angel is a beautiful thing. But every success you hear about has a dozen (or more) orphaned peers. <Note […]

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07TH May 2013

Angel investing - Business Tricks - Creative problem Solving - Food - Leadership - Leftovers - Mojiva - Operative - Timeless - Trust Cloud - Venture Capital

An Entrepreneur’s Diet: Ramen & PBJ

Being an entrepreneur is a lumpy business at best. And while I’ve written extensively about the mortality rate (95%), I’ve never written about how hard it is along the way for those 5% destined for greatness. It ain’t easy, and it ain’t easy on everyone. This is a basket of Ramen Noodles and Peanut Butter, presented on my Birthday by a very appropriate, thoughtful entrepreneur I backed; Xin Chung. Xin certainly has the moral authority to present the gift: he was liberated from Saigon as a child, spent time in an internment camp, and grew up in Valdez Alaska before settling into SoCal and pursuing his dreams as an entrepreneur. He is now Founder and CEO of TrustCloud which has emerged from a “walk in the wilderness” with 10k passionate users and a growing […]

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17TH March 2013

Adventure - Creative problem Solving - culture - Entrepreneur - Geopolitical - Mobile - Mojiva - Timely - Trust Cloud - Venture Capital

SWSX: Live in the Future, Build What’s Missing.

I hadn’t been to Austin for SX for awhile, and the differences are palpable. Each of these observations deserve a post on their own (blog tonnage warning), but here’s the brief from the plane 1: These kids won’t lap their Parents, but they’re over it UT Spring break notwithstanding, SXSW trends pretty young but not tragically hip. I’d call it self-sufficiently hip. Perhaps its a stack of student debts, lack of faith in future entitlements, or a crap job market but most everyone here lives and breathes self-reliance. Kinda reminds me of KFAC in some ways. No, they likely won’t end up better off than their parents but they have founds ways- ingenious ways – to have a share in interesting events, luxuries and experiences. It is the walking personification […]

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13TH March 2013

Adventure - Business Tricks - Creative problem Solving - Entrepreneur - Good Story - Leadership - Mobile - Mojiva - Timely - Venture Capital - Vision

Yahoo offers a Billion: WWYD?

Yes, Marissa Mayer is out there honing her strategy for a next move, and lots of buzz is around Mobile Ad-Tech. I’m quite keen to those developments, because of my activity in the space… you might say. But before her time, Yahoo made an offer that prompted one of the best “What Would you Do” conversations of our generation. I caught the gist of it at during Peter Thiel’s talk at SXSW, but Inc. does a better job of describing it here: …Facebook was just two years old. It was a college site with roughly eight or nine million people on it. And, though it was making $30 million in revenue, it was not profitable. “And we received an acquisition offer from Yahoo for $1 billion,” Thiel said.    “Both Briar […]

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07TH January 2013

Business Tricks - Creative problem Solving - Entrepreneur - Geopolitical - Leadership - Mobile - Portfolio - Timeless - Timely - Uncategorized - Venture Capital - Vision

Discover. Develop. Deliver.

Despite focusing most of my writing efforts on my blog, and keeping up with the world via my twitter the year-end letter to Vaux angels is a tradition well worth continuing. I’ve cribbed the best of it here…  Discover. Develop. Deliver. These three words are scrawled across everything I do for Vaux. They are three parts of my personal mission to success as entrepreneur and angel investor, which I had the honor of mapping out in a 2012 white paper for the Family Office Association  “Angel Investing for the Family Office” . I took a hard look at the process of building a foundation on the long journey from inception to exit, and nowadays I plan my week based on these categories. I color code each meeting in my outlook. They might as well be scrawled on […]

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13TH April 2012

Angel investing - Creative problem Solving - Timeless - Trust Cloud - Uncategorized - Venture Capital

Money for Something: my criteria for investing in sharing

I am asked a lot about my investment criteria, but lately many of the questions have focussed on my criteria in the sharing economy. This is pretty amazing, because less than a year ago, I could not have told anyone what the sharing economy was. Now sharing is something I do love, as I abhor waste and adore ways to get more out of any asset. Ask my wife. In the past year, a movement has surfaced that is global (big) , reflective of our economic state (sucks), green (uses our planets assets more effectively), driven by a connected group (mobile powered millennial), and highly disruptive to a bunch of  old models of doing business. It is alternatively called the Sharing Economy and Collaborative Consumption, depending on who you ask. […]

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