It’s that time once again to reflect on the prior year and make some resolutions for the next. In last year’s post, I suggested that you develop your own investment strategy, take a closer look at the convertible notes in your portfolio and add some interesting reads to your list. Here are a few of my suggested resolutions for 2016:
- Take a critical look back at portfolio companies that didn’t make it in 2015 and try to ascertain what really went wrong. As angels, we all are aware of the sobering stats on the failure rate of early stage companies. With the wisdom of hindsight, perhaps we may be able to avoid repeating at least some of the same investment mistakes going forward. As Albert Einstein said “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”
- Expand your access to quality dealflow. I am quite spoiled by being a member of three angel groups – Golden Seeds, New York Angels and the Wharton Alumni Angel Network– all of which provide me with access to great investment opportunities. As a member of each, it is also my responsibility to help source these investment opportunities which can then be shared with other members. Get involved in the ecosystem where you live. For New Yorkers, Founders Institute put together a great list of the Startup Resources in NYC. Also consider getting involved in the entrepreneurial activities/programs at your alma mater.
- Become a mentor to a young entrepreneur. There is nothing more invigorating than spending time with young entrepreneurs; their energy is infectious and their perspectives on the world force you to question your own views/opinions. One such young person for me has been Katlyn Grasso, who I had the pleasure of meeting at the Wharton Venture Award finals presentation in 2014. Katlyn is the Founder and CEO of GenHERation®, a female empowerment network for millennial girls. I have followed her incredible progress, provided advice and counsel when needed and have been able to celebrate her victories including winning the prestigious President’s Engagement Prize at the University of Pennsylvania. Her energy is truly contagious and I feel very privileged to be her mentor.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!