What is the most common mistake that you see young entrepreneurs make?
Lack of balance – remember this is a Goldilocks game. Some think too little of the potential of their idea, or the ability to grow a light bulb moment into a company of consequence. Others, charged up by dreams of glory, get out over their skis a bit and sink too much money and time into elements of the startup that may feed their ego rather than feed the next phase of development of the company.
What is the best piece of business advice that you were ever given?
What does it take for you to get excited about an investment?
I love Oklahoma. I want to see entrepreneurs fuel a startup state rather than a sooner state. Our thesis is simple: ideas that make a positive impact on the world and make people go “Dang! Why didn’t I think of that”! My old MBA professors would cringe I am sure, but sometimes making investments is a bit like art. It’s sometimes hard to describe preferences, but I know what I like when I see it.
What was your first investment?
My first real investment ever was in a house which I lived in before Jodi and I were married. We still own it to this day as a rental property. I think I may never sell it as a reminder of where we started. It is just as meaningful to me as my first SeedStep investment, which was in Moleculera Labs.
What do you enjoy about angel investing?
I grew up poor on the South side of Oklahoma City for most of my childhood, but I went on to have many wonderful experiences and opportunities. Most of those opportunities I can trace not to my family’s name or personal wealth (there wasn’t much value in either), but to individuals who helped open a door for me. Angel investing is just like that – as investors we open a door to Oklahoma entrepreneurs to enter a market and for consumers to live a better life as a result. Who couldn’t love this!?