"That's right. Yeah you’ve to be solving a problem that’s got pain to it and that it's got enough pain that somebody's gonna pay for your solution."

- Diane Wolfenden

Diane outlines what she looks for in a start-up

Talk Takeaways

Diane sits down with Jeffrey as they went through her interesting background and her journey into angel investing. The interview started off with the how, who, and when Diane makes an investment,  touching on passionate CEOs, building a great startup team, finding out the best way to sort and organize DDs and how to take a startup through the next stage.

About

Diane Wolfenden is an active angel investor and a charter member of the Golden Triangle Angel Network (GTAN).  She sits on GTAN’s board and represents GTAN on the Executive Committee for Equation Angels. Formerly an investor advisor with RBC Dominion Securities, she now gives back as a community volunteer.  She is a former Chair of both the board of Governors of the Grand River Hospital Foundation and the Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce, and received the GTAN David Borges Community Builder of the Year Award in 2016.

The full #OPNAskAnAngel talk

Jeffery:
All right. Well Diane, welcome. Thank you very much for joining us today and maybe to kick things off, you can give us a little bit of a background of yourself kind of where you’ve come from, what you’ve been doing, and then we’ll jump right into the questions but just to give the audience a few more details about yourself outside of the fact that I’ve known you for a few years, I find you absolutely amazing when we’re doing screening meetings, a lot of great insights and it’s been super helpful. I’ve learned a lot so I’m excited to spend even more time with you to learn more today.

Diane:
Well thank you. Thank you for that JP. And I’ve enjoyed you know being with you in selection. Unfortunately right now, those are on hold, the face to face like everything is. But in terms of my background so it’s a bit varied. So I was born in England, grew up in Montreal and got my first job with Bell Canada. So worked in communications area for a couple years. From there when I joined CP Rail, actually Canadian Pacific, then the railway. So I worked in the railway for about ten years. Which was you know completely different right, you go from new technology to very old technology but a company in terms of how to manage its infrastructure was bringing in new technology. And then from there I went into the finance business. Actually I know I said I had a short stint in terms of government. I work for a city Mississauga, and then the province of Ontario for about five years combined. Which is another eye opener just in terms of how those organizations are managed and not using technology to great extent at that point but again bringing it in. And then the last 20 years 25 years was in the finance business. So it’s with the AFCO and then Dominion securities as an investment advisor and I transitioned out of that career a couple of years ago. So now I focus on giving back to the community, investing in startups and org and stuff like that.

Jeffery:
That’s amazing. I have so many questions around the railroad side because as a kid and as an adult it’s always fascinated me. I’ve taken trains all over the world. It’s a pretty incredible form of transportation, so I can just imagine the amazing stories of innovation and slow change but when they did it, it was probably massively impactful in that industry. So that’s pretty cool. So you mentioned a little bit about going from the Fintech space or finance space into startups, so what got you interested in startups and how did you come across the startup community?

Diane:
So it all went back to 2009 at the very first Golden Triangle Angel Network meeting. A common friend of ours Benton Liang said “hey Diane, I’ve been invited into this event, I have no idea what its about. TD’s a sponsor and you work for RBC but I think I can get you in. You could keep your connection to RBC kind of low-key.” And so we went. And it was at the Pines in Cambridge, and you know I still remember it. Lots of people were milling around, companies where they had displays, very similar the format as to what we see today. Three companies presented and nobody knew really want to make of it. It was just like who are these people? Why did they brought this together? Is this a scam? Is this legit.? Everybody’s was looking around and we had a good time. Rob Douglas was the emcee, good friend and he said well there’s gonna be another one next month and went back next month, and learned a little bit more, and got hooked. And if you really ask me why I invest in startups, it’s a really exciting asset class. You’ve got all this energy. You’ve got all these young people here who are committed to making a difference and they are so passionate about what they’re doing and you know not all of them are young but the majority are. And they’re passionate but they need support, right. They need financial support, mentoring, help in areas the business they don’t know just so you can help with business because they know their product. and it’s just such a great class tries to be in. And it balances out my portfolio and I tend to be a conservative investor in the other things that I do. and it’s a great way to give back. It’s a great way to give back to the community. But it’s a great way to also help build a local economy. And so I do it for all those reasons.

Jeffery:
Those are all fantastic reasons. I’m a big fan and do the same for those exact reasons. And I find that you have a really interesting story of how it all started and Benton he’s awesome, so it’s a really awesome that it ties in with Benton now bringing into the fold. And you know I guess when we were going through all of this and over the last 10 plus years that you’ve been investing in this different asset class. I love that you’ve kind of really designated this out. There are so many different asset classes that you can invest in and this being one of them, what’s your favorite part of it? What do you really love about now after spending all this time and what really drives you to keep coming back?

Diane:
I love two different aspects of it. So every month it’s like going on a date right with three companies and they’re all fresh, they’re all new, they’re all exciting, they all sound great, they’re all (sic) — You know the potential at that very first meeting or those first couple of meetings is huge, and it’s so it’s so — I love the excitement about that. But like dating right, the more you get to know the individual then maybe (inaudible 5:59 – 6:06). You know I just love that piece of it. The second piece I love that keeps me coming back as well is to be part of companies that I have invested in. To be ongoing support for them, to help them through their growth and the challenges they may have, the opportunities they may have. Well, I like the two pieces of it.

Jeffery:
Well that’s great. I like the analogy of the dating. You’re right, it’s three businesses coming in, it doesn’t matter who they are, what they’re about, as long as they can tell a great story and then you got to decide from there. Which door do you like the best and which one you should really dig into, and learn more of. And every time you go back, there’s just more information that come in and you just get a lot more excited about “I really do want to be part of this company” and then you mentioned you want to dive into that company. So that means you’re really interested in and that could be diving in from many different angles. So is there a philosophy that you have when you’re investing — is it I invest in five companies a year or is there a number or is there I have to make sure that they’re in different verticals, how do you figure out what you’re going to do each year?

Diane:
Okay. You know I take a look at the beginning of each year and ask myself as to how much I want to commit to this asset class. And in doing that I’m also taking a look at my existing companies, the ones that I already invested in and what’s the likelihood they’re going to need capital that year. You know my philosophy is, you support the ones you’ve already made a commitment to first. And then you take a look at what might what else might be out there. So that’s what I do. When i first started investing, I was all about IP. I wanted a company with really solid IP. And then pretty quickly I think in the first six to twelve months because I was working with some really great people, I was co-investing with some really great people, they totally turned my viewpoint and it’s all about the people now. So I’m investing in people. And so that’s what I look for. I look for really great founders or really great management team that to me is critical. Way more than an IP or having all the best product in the marketplace. Is it a team that can deliver? Is it a team that’s realistic about their capabilities particularly the founder, right? And you need in that round, you need an odd combination of super confidence so that creation can drive a business to success but you also need humility to the extent that they can take feedback and understand where the gaps might be and build a team that really is strong and (inaudible 08:53) and that’s what I look for.

Jeffery:
You know what I like about it is that you went in with one hypothesis of what you think was the best way to go, approach it, and then you changed over time. You allowed for the environment to give you some feedback, you learn from it, and then you changed over. And so you know what this isn’t gonna work if they don’t have a fantastic founder. When you kind of take an overview of a business and their idea, you know the idea probably plays a certain percentage of it, but really comes down to that owner and I always think that the owner for me has to be almost compulsive crazy about their business. They know anything and everything about it that you can’t trap them on anything. They just know everything and you’re like “that’s the person I want to get behind” because you know they’re gonna find every angle possible to make sure they’re successful and they’re tough finds but I do, 100%, think that is a big component and like you mentioned there’s humility, there’s a lot of different factors that really do build into that. So that’s some great way of looking at it for sure. Looking at your investments, is there a vertical that you like to focus on or do you have multiple verticals or every year you’re trying to populate — kind of I gotta find a healthcare this year versus next year — is there a new hot item coming out so I want to be in that sector? How do you kind of play inside of that space?

Diane:
Well again it goes back to the people right. But I want to be diversified. So within my portfolio I am diversified. I don’t want to be just in one vertical. I think that’s way too risky. So you know I was looking at my current portfolio right now, and you know I’ve EdTech, I’ve got FinTech, I’ve got SAS, I’ve got food tech, I’ve got a wide variety. What’s important to me is that I can understand the business. What I need to understand is why is this product or whatever it is of value, right? You can have products with all kinds of bells and whistles on them but the customers may not value those bells and whistles, might not have preferred to pay for it. So what’s important to me is to really understand the uniqueness of the product or why somebody is going to pay money for it.

Jeffery:
That’s a very valid point. I think sometimes we think and we get too enthralled in all these bells and whistles and you look at this chart and it says you know we’re in the best quadrant and we’ve got all of these features no one has any, and when you look back at it you say but all of those other businesses are making money. And they’re really good at one thing and you’re trying to do too many. So maybe there is a little bit of way of balancing this out and finding the little niche that’s gonna slot you in there to help correct the problem that’s bigger and I think that’s the value part. So completely agree with that. That’s awesome. So now you’ve kind of you found the company, they’ve pitched, I guess you’re fully dating right now, you’re going into the next stages, is there an overview that you look at from a deep dive perspective? Is there something that — you mentioned a lot of focus on the founder and on the team and how well they’re doing — is there something more broad that you look for in the DD? Like is there documentation or things that you require in order to get you over the line or does that not matter?

Diane:
When I take a look at the DD what’s really important to me is for the whether you call it business development plan, whether you call it the customer plan, is really how well does this team understand the customer. How are they reaching out to that customer. How they are staying in touch with that customer and how are they taking feedback from that customer and using it to form their business plan. You know I’ve seen individuals here — you talked about them being passionate or everything about their business— I’ve seen individuals like that. but they know it from their perspective they don’t know it from the customers perspective. And unless you’re talking to your customer, unless your customer is as excited about your product as you are, prepared to pay for that product then great you’ve got a great product but haven’t got a market. And so that’s what I really go heavy on is that linkage to the customer.

Jeffery:
That’s brilliant and 100% love the way you say that — what is their plan or do they have this MVP product and is it in the hands of an actual person, business using it and what is the feedback they’re giving. if you’ve got a the quarterback in there running and driving this product you definitely are gonna have better legs then I’ve just got this well built product. I get the space but I can’t find anybody to use the the solution I’ve created and you’re not gonna get anywhere if you don’t find that right away.

Diane:
That’s right. Yeah you’ve to be solving a problem that’s got pain to it and that it’s got enough pain that somebody’s gonna pay for your solution.

Jeffery:
I like that 100%. Now you’ve got a focus inside of the DD, you’re pulling this out, you’ve got the team, is there anything else that you really want to make sure that really fully rounds this whole process for you so that you can start to make that commitment?

Diane:
Yeah the other thing that really rounds the due diligence process for me is — is the team really realistic about how much money it needs to raise, right. Too often, I see a team that is too optimistic about how quickly they’re going to make sales, so there’s money coming so they only need to raise so and so right now. and you understand why they want to do that right. They don’t want to dilute, don’t want too much dilutions but you know the last thing you want is for them to get going and all of a sudden say look I got it I gotta raise money again. And the founder or CEO is distracted because he or she is out raising dollars when they should be you know foot to the floor, talking to customers, and making the sales or bringing in the right sales team. So that’s the other big thing I focus on is realism around the size of the raise and how long that’s gonna last and what its gonna do for them.

Jeffery:
When you’re pulling this type detail, does this puts you more in the mix with the founder? Are you really trying to, now at this stage, engage them more spend a bit more time with them, to kind of figure out, how they see this because a lot of the times we see startups coming in asking for 200 or 500 or million and it might not be realistic to get them, they might say oh this is gonna take me 18 months to use but really it’s probably an eighth month runway. Is this a point where you’ll then start to engage more with that founder?

Diane:
it depends on my role in the due diligence team. I mean I don’t know invest on my own, I invest a part of a formal angel group. And so we divvy up who’s doing what so if that’s my role, that’s what I’ll do. Otherwise, we have the conversation amongst the whole team and then somebody will drive that forward. (Inaudible 16:17 – 16:19) — I might be the outlier.

Jeffery:
No. I’m not sure there’s an any outlying and that perspective. Certainly, it is needed information and this makes sense. That you know sometimes you don’t know, so if you don’t ask the right questions or have somebody sharing a little bit more that has the knowledge they’re not going to get that far. And you just mentioned that it’s part of a team, it’s part of a consortium, that you’re doing this part of GTAN or Equation, do you take lead on any of these investments or do you tend to, meaning through the group, will you take the lead or will you just kind of blend it in with everybody else that’s part of that team?

Diane:
Yeah in terms of being part of a team I tend to blend in and just be part of the team. Now if I need to put my hand up, I certainly do. And certainly, I’ve taking on lead roles in terms of doing some of the due diligence. I typically haven’t been the lead investor know and (inaudible 17:13), its just that I’ve typically haven’t done it so far.

Jeffery:
Most of the time leading can also mean leading sitting in the still being in the bus and making sure you’re able to have your voice heard, right. Leading doesn’t always have to be through finance or through the loudest spoken voice, it’s just taking the leadership on driving this to get a raise completed so there’s a lot of different pieces to that whole raise, so very good. So now you’ve kind of work your say yourself through this process, and now you get yourself right down to the next steps which is I gotta sign this paperwork is there anything here that you have preferred structure to that you say you know what I don’t like safes or I don’t want to do it this way or is it just open sky?

Diane:
Yeah in terms of my preferred structure for deals its not open sky. Preferred structure for a deal i’s not open sky. I think, like a lot of Angels, I don’t like safes. A successful deal has to be a win-win for the investors and the company. And in going in that on the basis of trust, mutual respect and mutual relationship So I find safe is situated towards the company. My preference is for common shares. I’d like to take an ownership piece in the company but you know I’ve done prefs, I’ve done convertibles, done my concern about convertibles is yes you know typically you convert into common. But there’s always the potential that somebody could push the company into we’re having to make a payment back so that concerns me. I want the company to have as much flexibility as it can because you know there’s gonna be hiccups, you know things are gonna happen that aren’t expected so I want my company to have flexibility, to be able to deal with those hiccups, and not be pushed into a situation which is uncomfortable.

Jeffery:
No that make sense. And you’re right, there’s a lot of ups and downs in a business. And again taking some coaching or mentorship along the lines of what is the best way. A lot of the times it’s legally driven, or it’s it’s driven by one person that may have a bit more knowledge in it and the founders sometimes don’t really understand all the moving pieces and then later on it can come back to burn everybody so it is a good thing to line that up — previously and make sure you have a good eye almost a template but at least something to work off that everybody’s comfortable with and meets the needs of both sides.

Diane:
That’s right, that’s exactly right.

Jeffery:
You mentioned this earlier on in the conversation which i think is great that when you’re looking at what you want to invest for the year, in you have companies that you’ve already made investments in so you’re preparing for companies that may need reinvestment so does this happen a lot? Do you have a percentage that you’ll always go back into or you’re 100% into every company that you’ve invested in once before?

Diane:
Okay so in terms of follow up investments I’m not always 100% in. But typically I’m at the table. Other than the investment when I get earlier in this year I think every company that I’ve invested so far I’ve gone in multiple times. You know you’ve made a commitment to that company, you want it to be successful. Ideally they’re raising money because they are being successful, right… And in the next flank or the next step in their growth strategy, even when its not, you’ve gotta get them through the hiccups. I’m always looking at that and making sure I’ve got some money available should that arise But that’s one of the things I do like to hear from my companies is where are you? What kind of runway do you have? how long does it when you likely need to need to raise again? Or what might come along that could affect that.

Jeffery:
Oh that’s great and it’s good to note too. I think a lot of startups when they’re going through the process they make their first raise and they go to their second, a lot of investors will ask the question are your existing investors coming back in again. I’ve seen it many of times where they’ll say no they’re not coming back in and the deal flow will start to fall apart because they think well if you’re not gonna go back in well why should I go in. There’s must be something wrong here and it’s not usually the case, a lot of investors tend to try and get money spread around and get into lots of different companies but really at the end today there has to be some base that allows you to continue to come back in, that does show well, and it does help. So I like that you plan this out every year because it’s huge, it is very helpful. The other side of it is because you’re working so closely with the team that’s investing in these companies you also look at ways to enhance that by putting in board seats or being part of the board?

Diane:
You know I am not currently a part of any board of any company. I’d certainly be open to that where I could add value. But as you know JP, it depends on how big an investment you’re making all or the syndicate is making, like not all board seats are be available and sometimes it is but often it isn’t. But certainly in terms of being an informal advisor to the company I am happy to play that role as well.

Jeffery:
I think that’s huge, and I think a lot of companies don’t think too much of this until they get further along. But it can really help out in the early stages even if it’s a small board so sometimes it’s good for them to ask the questions to see if they’re advisors or they’re investors would like to come on because we all need to roll up to something or someone because it gives us a driving force, it gives us somebody to push back on us and a lot of the times I think that as an entrepreneur we have this free-for-all and we forget that we have to be accountable somewhere and that accountability can be to a board, it can be to anything, but it helps, it really does help your your business and hitting your goals and your objectives.

Diane:
Absolutely new investors are already committed. Yeah they’re committed to you, and yeah they might ask some uncomfortable questions but that’s what that’s what they’re there for. If the questions are uncomfortable you better find out the answer because you don’t want to be counting uncomfortable questions being thrown at you.

Jeffery:
No I completely agree with that. Is there in the investments that you’re making, are there other things that you do with these companies outside of just being finance? It doesn’t always have to be money as an investment, obviously that’s the starting point, are there other things that you try to help these startups with throughout this process of growing their business?

Diane:
Absolutely I think once you’re invested, you know these early-stage companies the role of an angel always go beyond than just money, its to be there for them as well. And so we’ve talked about being an informal or formal mentors, making connections in terms of sales, you know I should open up my rolodex I guess is the old-fashioned term, but I open up my address book to see if I can make connections for people you know that’s company-specific. In a broader sense I’m still very active in the angel community from the board of GTAN, among the executive committee for equation angels, so I continue to work hard to make this whole ecosystem better and what’s good for the ecosystem is good for the companies

Jeffery:
No that’s great I’m a big fan of them as well. You’re right, it takes a lot of people to help build out this community to get more people interested, to get more people investing, and then all the things that they can do to help support all these different companies and they’re all gonna have different needs and wants at different times but the more people that can support around that, it’s going to help them grow. Base on the state of the markets right now have you seen any pullback or have you pulled back any, are you looking at it from as an opportunity right now, how are you kind of seeing the way the markets are shifted?

Diane:
That’s a really good question. You know I’m seeing it looks a little bit more caution, certainly a little bit more concern as we already spent some time on around my you know existing companies and they all likely to need funds. Because everybody believes I think it’s valid that it’s going to be harder to do big raises particularly depending on which sector they’re in. I’m certainly seeing a lot of interest in the med tech space. Around you know COVID19 testing, vaccines or anything that’s health, and that’s in that space to see it’s just huge interest and that’s just a front. I mean clearly we’re going to see manufacturing of PPEs and various yo know come back onshore so it’s a huge space but it’s also going to be a space with lots of competition as well. So I’m a bit cautious about it, I mean I see the opportunities but there’s lots of companies in that space right now.

Jeffery:
Yeah almost is that the opportunities are a little too hot, so everybody’s kind of flocking to it and then there’s an imbalance because you have so many companies shifting out of what they’re doing to go into this one space and then they don’t realize that this is short-term and you have to build longevity out of this and if you can’t find a model that fits for longevity then you’re gonna be out of it just as fast as you got into it. And so that’s scary as well right.

Diane:
Absolutely. Because there’s so many people coming in that’s going to be winners or losers and do you have what it takes to be a winner.

Jeffery:
And that’s a good point. Right now, just in the market itself you’ve had a lot of companies that have stepped aside, that have failed, other companies that have stepped up and done a great job of growing in this environment and I think there’s gonna be a lot of shift and change in the next three to six months if you will the doom and gloom is going through it now. But at the end of the day there’s always the outside, and what do you, is your company ready to get to that stage, and hopefully with yourselves and all the different angle groups they’re able to support those companies they have invested in to get them through those stages. When you’re looking at all the investments you’ve made and the 12 plus years or 12 years that you’ve been really focused in on early-stage companies, is there any advice or anything that you would look at that really you could pull from all these companies that have been successful or failed or have just grown to you know 10% a year whatever that might be. Is there something in there that you can pull out to say you know what, here’s one or three things that I would recommend every business really can do?

Diane:
Yeah. So in terms of the successful companies, a really successful company and I think it’s two things that have differentiate them, and we touched on these things earlier but it’s well worth repeating. The first is an unrelenting focus on the customer. Understanding what the customer needs, what has value to the customer, what the customer will pay for building out the product those needs. It’s not what you want, its what the customer wants and as part of that, you need to know in the competition as well. So making sure that you that might disrupt that relationship and stay ahead of that. So that is number one critical. The second thing is your runway, making sure you’ve always got plenty of runway making sure, you know you’re getting as much cashflow as possible or new choice and making sure that you’re raising money before you need to raise money, and never want to raise money in panic because you’re about to run out. You always want to raise money before you need it so it’s not too much of a distraction and so you can get the terms that you want to process it shows that somebody else might impose on. If you can do those two things you’re going to be in good shape.

Jeffery:
No that’s that’s a really good valid point. I think a lot of the times if we’re not close enough to the finance we don’t understand how the business is shaping and running. I’m a big fan of pushing the CEO to be really engaged in that side of their business, regardless if they understand it or not. You know there’s a lot of play on can your CEO be tech enabled or business enabled but a lot of the times you wear a million hats and the one hat you do have to wear always where is the finance side because you’re the one raising, you’re the one growing the business, you need to understand your burn rate and I found the hardest thing over years to shape and to share with a CEO is that you got to make tough calls and those tough calls are gonna be the hardest thing you’ll ever do in business but once you make them eventually you’ll start to realize that you know this is your business and you kind of have to do the things that are going to allow you to move it forward and sometimes you’ve got to make calls that aren’t the best but understanding your burn rate and understanding where your position now and where you’re going to be in six months allows you to then start planning. Ok if I got a raise it better start tomorrow because if I don’t we’re not going to be here in six months. And it’s sometimes hard for businesses to wrap their head around that. I think, we’re as a society, we’re probably too easygoing or too Canadian. And sometimes we need to really and get outside our own comfort zone and and the ones that do succeed are the ones that realize that and push it forward harder right.

Diane:
Absolutely the ones that succeed make the tough decisions right whether it’s around product, whether it’s around burn rate finances or it’s around people, right. You’ve got to have the right people on the team and sometimes that requires tough decisions as well.

Jeffery:
Successful people the ones that make the tough decisions I like that line. Very true 100%. Now what I really curious of is that through all your experience you must have some really good stories or some really exciting stories and I know this is kind of off of the cues of the things that we’re talking about but I’d love to get a story from you, just something that really sticks in your mind that you saw with an early stage company that has gone on to be successful or whatever that might be just one of those moment we were like man this is why I do this, its so exciting — this company acts — she acts and it was just amazing. Is there something that pops into mind when we’re chatting to that?

Diane:
I mean it’s — putting me on the spot before I had a chance to think about. This is a story that maybe not a well-known one. It’s a company that I invested and they were having lots of trouble finding the right vertical, right. They had a great product broad applicability but they were struggling with which vertical do we go after, who do we approach, and we approached you know a number and they would always get expressions of interest but wasn’t really driving a lot of business and finally they nailed it. Finally they found the vertical where it was just the right time they needed this technology, they were excited about it, they were going to pay for it, they were telling all the customers (inaudible 33:14)— were referring them like crazy it was working. And I think that was such a wonderful aha like we’ve got it now, we’ve got it, we’ve got a vertical, we’re driving forward. And when you see that happen it’s just wonderful. But it you know, it goes back to I was really talking about, know your customer right. Focus on the customer, keep on going after that right customer. And that was just a wonderful, wonderful moment when they said yeah we’re making sales and people want us to come in. We don’t have to call them they’re calling us.

Jeffery:
Oh that is the best part when they’re calling you and you don’t have to call them. In that it shows that you’ve built a funnel and you’ve got people interested in what you’ve solved. And you’re right that’s exciting to hear when that does occur and we’ve seen it with so many companies where they’re getting sales — it’s just trickling along but you know that there’s something there and you’re like well maybe try this vertical and then they’re all trying all these different things and then boom one sticks and the excitement level goes up and you just kind of feel that they just zooming along like just making everything work. So that’s awesome to hear. So now I’m going to kind of get you to look into the crystal ball kind of thing for now and so if you were to look at the crystal ball and say in the next 12 months here’s where you see a lot happening in this vertical or in this area but then in the next three years this is where we’re gonna land. Is there something that you can kind of predict that might share — will go back of course in a couple years we’ll redo our interview and we’ll see where we net it out on this, but kind of looking for what you see next 12 months and then where you see it’s gonna be in the next three years. This kind of help startups figure out visually if I’m gonna start something I should really focus maybe in these areas.

Diane:
Yeah that’s a really interesting question because of course like the funders have been going crazy right now about how the world is going to change because of COVID19 all right. The only thing that’s accurate about that statement is the world is going to change because of COVID19 but we’re too close to it. We’re way too close to have any real sense of how things change, when I’ve been through big experiences before nobody’s made all these predictions, they’ve always turned out to be way off base because people don’t react the way you think you’re going to react. So one of the things I’ve been thinking about and I was in a call last night, it goes right now lockdown right can’t really do a lot, But he’s been talking to people and his new is that about say 75% of the population can’t wait to get back out there. They want to be face to face with people they want to be engaged, they want to be like — they’re tired of being stuck at home and doing things via zoom. Nothing wrong with zoom right but they just it’s not the same. So I think one big thing and don’t know how it’s gonna play out but I do think ironically I think a lot more is going online in terms of business but in terms of personal I think a lot more is coming face to face. People want to be out there engaging. And how you translate that into a business I’m not sure. But I do think SAS, softwares as service, cloud, all of that it’s gonna become more prevalent but locally face-to-face experiences it gonna be way more popular.

Jeffery:
I love that my brains going a mile a minute here. It’s almost like changing all the spaces that were for business and pushing that to the home and allowing everybody else to get out and enjoy life and find spaces and be more together out there and which they’re not doing so much now and we’re kind of living it right in the today where everybody’s trapped at home doing everything. But one thing that they’re not doing which is connecting with people, so I think you’re right there’s gonna be a lot of interest to figure out how to connect more and not through digital but more face-to-face and make it more meaningful. And allow for that to be the transaction of the day versus business transactions which what do you think about it business transactions can be done on video like we’re doing now. We can transact this way but then you can be way more personable and meeting each other and doing that are more personal so taking this reverse effect to it. I love it, I love it, I love it. Now we’ve got to figure out how to get everybody to think that way because business has always been conducted face-to-face and then personal stuff seems to be dwindling over the last decade because digital and business has taken your life over right.

Diane:
That’s right. But I mean really how many of your Facebook friends would be the ones that have to first reached out to you, right?

Jeffery:
Yeah now more people can make real life changes doing this. Yeah I like that so it doesn’t really give us a sector or an area to focus on it just says that there’s gonna be some good changes and we have to be able to embrace them but we also have to be open-minded to how those are gonna change and maybe that means reducing the amount of time we’re working and more time being social and being who we are then the reverse which is letting business lead us so it’s a lot to think about.

Diane:
Yeah (inaudible 38:38)

Jeffery:
But I’m so good at — how am I gonna have to go out and talk to a lot more people small talk. Sounds very crazy. I might have to work hard at it. But no, I love that! That’s good. So I guess we kind of went through this whole journey of starting off with how and who you’re looking for when you’re making that investment, into these passionate driven CEO, building great teams finding out the best way to sort and organize your DD and how you’re gonna get through to the the next stage which is helping these startups at every capacity and now we’ve kind of gone into the crystal ball is there any last thoughts or comments you want to throw out about what what you love not so much about — I guess it’s all comes down to the startup — but is there anything you want to share just to kind of anecdotal information you say you know what, here’s something great that I want to share so coz’ we’re open to everything. The great startups out there that are gonna learn from an awesome angel so any last words you want to share let’s do it now.

Diane:
All I can say is, you know being a CEO of a start-up is I think the best job in the world. I wish I was in rail when I was you know the right age to do that. And be relentless, be passionate, be persistent. Just go for it, go for it everyday and enjoy every single day even the hard days when you’re making hard decisions because you’re growing, your learning, and you’re doing something meaningful that’s all I’ve got to say.

Jeffery:
Well I’ve taken, as I show everybody, I’m taking lots of notes. I’m very old school in this sense but it allows for me to break through all this great information but I think the last line that really sums up the interview today or the discussion we’ve had fireside chat is ‘go for it’. If you’re a CEO just go for it. Make the choices, make the decisions, and look for people to interact with, find ways to ask questions, and solve problems, and get people behind you, but just go for it. I love it. Well Diane thank you very much for your time today I got to learn about you and I think this is fantastic and I’m excited for our next screening meetings whenever those get back on the grid again but I wish you a fantastic day and thanks again for your time.

Diane:
You’re welcome.

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