Entrepreneur, Explorer, Angel.

Sometimes all at Once.

20TH November 2017

Angel Investor - Business Tricks - Creative problem Solving - Entrepreneur - Family Office - Good Story - Leadership - Parenting - Portfolio - Timely - Uncategorized

Vaux Founder Profile- Theresa Claire of “Mixed Emotions”

Today, I couldn’t be happier to feature Theresa Claire, Founder of the Mixed Emotions Game. In her first pitch to me, even on the first slide, she told me all the reasons I should not get involved… I’m a solo entrepreneur- and Mom! I’m not the first mover. I don’t have a PhD. to my name. I need a side hustle to make this all work. To which I responded; so what. I tested the game with my kids, their friends, their parents, their teachers… and it totally rocked! Which is not the first reaction you would expect when discussing the subject of card games that teach kids emotional awareness. But here we are, launching a Kickstarter less than a month later and crushing it on social media. Because it […]

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25TH October 2017

Good Story - Open Angler - Timely - Uncategorized

Founder Profiles: Alicia Aloe of Open Angler

  (Charleston, SC) Here’s another profile of one of the talented CEO’s I get to work with regularly, Alicia Aloe from Open Angler. Open Angler is the fastest growing platform for fisherman, captains, and marinas to easily book boat time. Think Open table for fishing trips… or as I like to say, it makes better fish tales easier to tell. Anyways, I love Alicia’s tenacity and ability to focus, which really comes through in this interview. Question One: An Entrepreneurs DNA Miles: Alicia, tell me about your entrepreneurial DNA. How did you, growing up, become influenced to someday want to start running a business? Alicia: I think that it’s the only experience that I could ever imagine for myself. I don’t know if this was born or bred into, but I definitely came from two hard-working […]

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11TH August 2017

Angel Investor - Creative problem Solving - Entrepreneur - Family Office - Platforms - Portfolio - The Way - Timeless - Uncategorized

Vaux Founder Profiles: Brandon DuFour of SHRPR

(Watertown, CT) Today I am talking with Brandon DuFour of SHRPR, fka Next Street, a tech platform for in-person learning driven by personal improvement and curiosity. He also invented the verb “decal-ing”… This is part of an ongoing series of rambling interviews loosely with Founders in the Vaux portfolio structured as five questions. Don’t miss Lilly B. from Fashion Snoops and Tom O’Reilly of Aptaris. Question #1; The Entrepreneur’s DNA Miles: So Brandon, I’m really interested in how you grew up as a kid in your formative years, and what DNA you had in your family or in your neighborhood that contributed to you wanting to be an entrepreneur. Brandon:  So it’s in my blood and in my DNA on both sides of my family. So on my father’s side, […]

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07TH August 2017

Angel Investor - AppTaris - Creative problem Solving - Family Office - Good Story - Leadership - Legends and tales - Portfolio - Timeless - Timely

Founder Profile #3 – Tom O’Reilly of Aptaris

(Tampa, FL) My sit-down with Lilly from Fashion Snoops was so much fun I decided to continue with more; it’s one of the most rewarding parts of my work because I believe the talent is in there, somewhere, and it’s just my job to ask questions that bring it to the surface. In the case of Tom O’Reilly, we have an epic story of a scrappy entrepreneur just figuring out how to literally rebuild an airplane while he was flying it. Literally, another story of “Hold my beer, I got this”. So how did it happen? Well, he stuck to the values he learned as a little boy; use the tools of the day to stay in close contact with your customers. Here are Tom’s 5 Questions Question #1; Where’s the DNA from? Miles: Tom, […]

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23TH June 2017

Creative problem Solving - Entrepreneur - Fashion Snoops - Timely - Uncategorized

Founder Profiles- Lilly B.- Fashion Snoops

As an angel/operator (new nomenclature, old practice) I (happily) spend a LOT of my time mentoring CEO’s in the Vaux portfolio; it is truly one of the most rewarding parts of my work. I often say the talent is in there, somewhere, and it’s just my job to ask questions that bring it to the surface. With Lilly Berelovich, the talent doesn’t hide much. I sat down with her recently to talk about the mega-trend in our industry, a/k/a “the retail apocalypse”. Because even as creative destruction wreaks havoc, it builds new leaders. Fashion Snoops is emerging as one of them. Here’s a great video of Lilly to explain all that, and here are my five questions for Lilly: Question #1: Is the educated consumer is now the scary-educated consumer? Miles: […]

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16TH May 2017

Creative problem Solving - Fashion Snoops - Timely - Uncategorized

Opportunity and the Retail Apocalypse

Alexa- I need to reorder my shirts. Make it so. No more chilling words could be spoken to an outdated- one might say outmoded- industry. It might as well be a eulogy to Fashion Avenue. Vaya con Dios, Garmentos. You had flair. There have been nine retail bankruptcies in 2017—as many as all of 2016. J.C. Penney, RadioShack, Macy’s, and Sears have each announced more than 100 store closures. Sports Authority has liquidated, and Payless has filed for bankruptcy. Last week, several apparel companies’ stocks hit new multi-year lows, including Lululemon, Urban Outfitters, and American Eagle, and Ralph Lauren announced that it is closing its flagship Polo store on Fifth Avenue, one of the several brands to abandon that iconic thoroughfare. From what I see, it happened in five subtle steps. Here […]

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09TH May 2017

Cuba - culture - Fashion Snoops - Geopolitical - Grand Central Tech - Havana Culture - Incubator - Innovadores - Innovadores Foundation - Interns - Timely - Uncategorized

Three Big Indicators Cuba will Ignite soon… (and that’s a good thing)

I’ve just returned from hosting another delegation of entrepreneurs and investors in Havana, and this trip was particularly enlightening. On previous trips, I’ve lamented the fact that things seemed to move slowly, while one of my co-founders John often reminds me “this is fassssst”. In any event, we’ve held a view that Cuba is 2-5 years from kicking in to growth mode, and one of those years has passed. We also hold the view that once it begins, it will be too late to catch some of the big opportunities as it will move very fast. (The Innovadores/ Family Office Association White Paper has more on the actual opportunities themselves.) So, what indicators does one look for? At an embassy briefing, I heard the first time about Control and Change. Cuba […]

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13TH January 2017

Angel Investor - culture - Entrepreneur - Fashion Snoops - Food - Leadership - Mobile - Race to the Bottom - Timely - Uncategorized

Looking out, at the world.

“Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Airman’s Odyssey Exupery has long been one of my favorite authors, and this is one of my favorite quotes. Amazingly, it took me a pair of Spectacles by the soon-to-be-public Snap, Inc. to reconnect with the thought. I think this is a tremendously exciting product, arriving at a moment we actually need a bit of a reset on perspective. Here’s the why: our look-at-me world is a race to the bottom. And the race to the bottom feeds upon the instant gratification that has taken hold of our world. No-one is really to blame. It’s just that hit of Dopamine that has become so addictive in segments of our society: […]

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05TH January 2017

Entrepreneur - Leadership - Operative - Platforms - Portfolio - Timeless

Man plans. And God laughs.

[Public Excerpt] In the decade I have been dedicated to building Vaux as a platform, I’ve come to appreciate those words – man plans, god laughs- and more each day. I’ve seen over 5,000 opportunities in the past five years, and said no to 4,987 of them rather quickly. Those that stirred my heart and soul were ones I truly believed in, and I made great plans. The Deal Gods, of course, laughed at those plans, every time. It’s humbling. And that’s why I follow and preach the diversity program with angel investing; cherry picking the “best” only adds risk on top of risk. The way to get a good deal or two in this process is to start with ten… which are filtered from a few thousand. Ask me for a password to the five […]

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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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