Entrepreneur-Angel Investor-Life Long Learner

"Business is a channel for us to actually make life better, make the world better by being sustainable by making sure that, first of all, I am aligned with my purpose."

- Carolena Enayati

Cari outlines what she looks for in a start-up

Talk Takeaways

Cari Enayati shares the role a business plays in society, the importance of unity, and the 3 P’s that can guide founders on how to build a sustainable business. She further shares the importance of defining your company’s purpose, MVPs, and a founder’s crucial role in getting funded.

About

When we do business, we are showcasing ourselves to the world. My passion is creating businesses that find sustainable ways of making our world better. At this point in my career, I have the pleasure of being able to support amazing companies lead by extraordinary, impact-driven leaders as they build products and services that will solve the problems we face today. I believe that we must look into the future to see what will be, and translate those future ideas into solutions for our present day.

The many labels I have are mom, wife, business partner, investor, entrepreneur, teacher, mentor, coach, and a Baha’i. I approach each day with an abundant mindset and see problems and obstacles as challenges that make us stronger and move us forward.

Cari Enayati is co-founder and CEO of Made Noble Corporation where impact-driven entrepreneurs and business owners are supported in creating sustainable solutions. Before starting Made Noble, she held positions as Director of Operations, University Professor, project manager, real estate broker/investor, and various management roles.

The full #OPNAskAnAngel talk

Jeffery:
Cari, welcome. Thank you very much for joining us today at Ask an Angel which we may change the name because we’ve been interviewing VCs and everybody investing in early stage companies. So who knows? Maybe it’s just gonna be ask a money person. I don’t know, but we’re looking at doing something there… But Cari, thank you very much for joining us today. Very excited. I could disclose that you’re actually part of our fund, and you’re just on a panel with us, which is even more amazing. So and you’re a full time working with startups all over the world. I think it’s brilliant. Kudos. But besides that, I want you to jump into your background what you guys have been up to what you’re doing now and then give us a breakdown of that. And then one thing about you that nobody would know that I think would be fascinating for us to hear about.

Cari:
Okay, well, I mean, I guess i’ll just start with our journey with investing in startups. My husband and I are business partners and life partners. And we have three kids – a six year old, 10 year old and 13 year olds. On the side, well, half of my time actually goes to homeschooling them as well. So I do this angel investing and I educate our too. So very important job. But really, we started with Angel investing through a path of entrepreneurship. We found both of us made our way through corporate America. My husband through biotech and I was kind of through management and operations and got my degree as an MBA and really understood, I would say, a generalist of business. And it got, you know, had many positions throughout corporate America. So I understand many of the parts of the company. And then we both decided that, you know, I I was tired as a manager and director of giving orders to people that I didn’t believe in. And that’s what moved us into entrepreneurship. And I didn’t want to fire people. I didn’t want to fire anymore. And I didn’t want to, you know, make people follow a rule that I didn’t believe in. And so we are very purpose oriented, and so that’s important to us, you know, knowing that we are doing what we believe and making sure that the people around us are benefitting from that as well. So we have also lived in China and we right now split between Panama and San Diego, California. So Panama City, Panama and San Diego and California. And and I would say that we’re just explorers of life. And even in my investing, I you know, many people focus on their expertise and instead what I like to focus on is more who’s making the world better in whatever industry they’re in. That’s kind of been I mean, I’ve kind of gone all over the place, but that’s really been our journey is learning through our own businesses that we’ve opened throughout our paths in life. And usually it’s a local business, like I started a small Montessori kindergarten in China and then in Panama we have a permaculture forest and farm — so very various. You know, basically finding a a community need or a niche and fulfilling it. And then we figured out well, we have some savings, let’s start investing. And that was about maybe 10 years ago we started really looking at that and and realize well, we can really help and be oven influence to other startups Because we just love that environment. So I guess that’s around about who I am and what we’ve been doing and what we’ve been up to.

Jeffery:
Brilliant. And one thing about you that nobody would know.

Cari:
Yeah. One thing about me that nobody would know. Oh, let’s see. Oh, wow. I kind of in an open book. But one thing most people don’t know… Maybe I was born in Sicily, in Messina, Sicily. My parents were just there for a little bit, so I’m not Italian. I’m from the US, and I absolutely let’s see… What is one thing I absolutely… I love… I love fermented foods.

Jeffery:
All right, I haven’t heard about that. People will remember that. They may remember the city part too because that’s fascinating. Even if it was a short stint. So does that mean you have full citizenship in Sicily?

Cari:
No, I never got that. So, unfortunately.

Jeffery:
I wonder if you could get that because you were born there. They were just like, no, you guys, are travelers, you’re not allowed to have it.

Cari:
I think there’s I think there is a way, but I just have never spent the energy. I should.

Jeffery:
well I do know that from my travels going through Europe that in that in that specific country, they do tend to like to allow people to come in. Even if you don’t have passports or don’t have anything, they’re pretty easy going there. Like come in. I do have a funny story from that. I was crossing the border going into Italy, and, I get to the from —, and I actually was traveling with the buddy. This time I don’t really travel with people when I’m backpacking away every year. But I was traveling with him and I walked up to the gate and the guys looks at me and I’m like, what the hell, man? He’s like (inaudible) so. I looked up and I was like, really? He’s like, yeah, just go, man. So I walked right in and I’m traveling around. I’m thinking in my head, I probably I’ve never had this happen before. Why this guy just let me in the country, so I didn’t think anything of it. But then when I went to the next country, I think it was Switzerland I go across and the guy looks at me. He’s like, where you coming? Oh, man. And he starts getting all mad. But what the hell? And I was like, what he’s like. Let me guess where you come from. And I’m like, it is like France. No, no, no. Italy was like, what? Like those guys, they let everybody in the country. They don’t tell anybody who comes in. He goes now it screws me up. And I’m like, What do you mean? He’s like, I can’t tell you that you were here because then the country will ask where you came in. He goes, it doesn’t work. So you go. So I’m like what it was like, Just go. So I go in and I walked past the gate. I’m like, this doesn’t sound right, man. Like now I’m in two countries and no one knows I’m here. So I knocked on the door. I’m like, Are you sure? And he’s like, yes, man, just go. So I went in, So basically I was traveling through Europe for I was, like, four weeks in, and no one even knew I was in Europe because I was not checked in. I was not on the computer system. Nothing. So it was pretty funny. So, uh, not sure how that fits in very well with your story. But either way, I know you were probably there a while ago, and, hey, man, I could go get my visa. No problem. Not just that you have.

Cari:
So thanks for the tip. Now I know.

Jeffery:
You’re in. So I one thing I did wanna — well, there’s a bunch of things I wanted to talk to, but one thing that one thing that really stands out in, which is what I really liked about you guys when I first met you, and it’s kind of carried through, and this goes right into your whole philosophy with startups. And that was that even when we first talked, it came across right away. You guys said we only want to invest in companies that are making the world a better place. And and maybe it wasn’t that exact term at the time. It was We wanna work with companies that are eco friendly, they’re making things, that are fixing, changing the world. And even today in that, you know, a couple months later, you guys, we’re still stuck without philosophy for 10 years, but obviously in the conversations we’re having. And when you mentioned that and you talk about the purpose oriented, can you give us a little bit more understanding of what brings this to mind? And what made you think you know what? It’s not about money anymore. It’s not about these other things. And what has that done for the types of companies you’re investing in? And what has that done with your relationship with the founders of those companies?

Cari:
Well, I mean it’s… I mean, obviously, it comes from who you are as a person, right? And what is important to you? What is important as a character? I’m a bahà’i by religion and the basic teaching is unity. So being raised of a high and knowing that unity is actually the essential element in everything and nothing can work without it on so with that base… Also understanding that, you know, I remember as a young adult, people would say something like, Oh, it’s business. Don’t take it personally. It’s you know, there’s no reason to feel bad. And it never resonated with me because it is – it’s personal! Like what we do, whether we’re working for a company and its our career or it’s, it’s just our job or whatever it is, or if we’re creating a product or service. It’s a creation of ourselves. And so for us, when you create a startup, are you create a venture or you you are a manager, what you are serving to the world or what you are giving is is you. And so we believe it’s super important that whatever you put out in the world is aligned with sustainability. And sustainability is not just a green planet. Many people have gotten used to that term with environmental movements and things. The sustainability is much bigger than that. its environmental, of course. That is, we can’t live on a planet that’s not taken care of. It’s also community. It’s making sure that the people around you or your business, your factory or the families of your employees, and your employees itself are all healthy and taken cared of in all the ways facets of life. An essential part of business is that it’s sustainable economically, and so we went through a phase of liking, not for profits and and really wanting to start a not for profit and and then really realized that many non for profits have their wonderful adventures and wonderful causes. But a lot of times there’s so much administrative cost that it’s not sustainable or can’t stay without asking for money or getting people to donate. And some are very successful at it and others aren’t. And so what we figured out right around the time where social impact and social entrepreneurship started to become, a word or a terminology was that really business is social entrepreneurship. Business is a channel for us to actually make life better, make the world better by being sustainable by making sure that, first of all, I am aligned with my purpose. And I am doing something that I truly believe in an impassioned it about and and know that what I give to the world is going to be important. And also then, knowing that whatever I’m doing, I’m not stepping on others and I’m not, you know, obviously there’s, you know, there’s always negotiation. There’s always, you know, agreements that have to be made, and some people don’t win negotiations. Some people don’t do that. But when you’re in a negotiation, you can’t just think of it as your own side. You have to make sure that you know the producer of your product. The manufacturer is making enough to continue. Otherwise you’re gonna have to find another manufacturer. And what’s that doing to you? Exactly total balance. And so that’s that’s basic understanding of that making life better. I mean, it sounds so you know, fluffy and happy, and I just want to make the world better. But it’s truly through business. I believe that’s that’s absolutely essential that business is the lifeblood of society, and without it and without it being sustainable, there is no way that we’re gonna make things better. So…

Jeffery:
You’re right, it is very fluffy. But it’s actually real. And I wholeheartedly agree with you on everything you just said. Like I if I don’t know if I had a like button, I just like, like, like, like, like! Because it’s so true that a lot of times people feel that they get the kicks out of grinding someone down to the cheapest point possible, but they don’t realize is that business has to be run efficiently and effectively. And I guess at any point in time, that’s their job to manage what they’re okay with delivering. But when it comes to start ups, over the 15 years that I’ve run companies, the biggest problem was that they would grind me down, and, I don’t know what it was, but it was probably a few years in, I started telling people that, you know, if you want to be successful in life, you need to draw a line and you need to create what that line is gonna be. And don’t cross the line because as soon as you cross that line, you throw away everything that you’ve built and crossing that line isn’t needed. I don’t care how dire you need to sail. Eventually, people will respect you for the value that you bring. And I think you really tied that in nicely with the sustainable side. And I think, I had to realization because of what you said. And the realization is that maybe you could define what sustainability means, because I don’t think people understand what that word is. It’s a coined phrase that everybody says, but I don’t think people actually know what sustainability means, and you were defining a little bit through your what you were telling me. But maybe you should define that first, because that’s what makes the difference in this whole conversation.

Cari:
Yeah, so sustainability is being sustainable in people. So sustainable with the people around you making sure that whatever people, whether it’s a community or your employees, are healthy and in good shape. Then you have economics. You have community, economics, environment, and, there’s one more I’m forgetting that — people know people planet and profit. That’s it. So that we’ve already thought this through many times, and the acronym I just forgot. But it was three piece. It was people, planet and profit. That’s the important part of sustainability. So it’s like a 3 pillar support system for sustainability.

Jeffery:
And that’s brilliant. And I think that defining that actually allows start ups or businesses to understand that being a non for profit, it still needs 3 Ps. You still have to be able to sustain yourself, and I think a lot of the times they don’t realize that. And I think, oh, I’m getting a tax break but I need to write off all this expense and I need to jack the expenses up and give high payrolls. But they don’t realize is that that’s not sustainable. There’s a breaking point in that system, and it’s the same thing is I can’t go over the hand out all the time looking for handouts when I’m not sustaining my level of business. And I love the fact that when you’re looking at a company you are looking at how they could be sustainable. How can they grow? How can they maintain margins? How can they maintain profitability? How can they maintain sanity? How can they keep their teams healthy? And this falls back really strongly on the way a lot of German based companies are structured and built. Japanese companies as well is their in that model of the world keiretsu where they support each as group. So one floats all boats kind of thing. They all help each other, investing each other and grow, and then in the German world they provide a lot of feedback into the into the employees. So the employees become owners and valued in the business. So these large decisions are would allow the business to grow and change. And really, at the end of the day, and I know that they tried to bring this into the U. S. And two other economies, but people fight back against it. But the Germans have actually one of the best right now, GDPs, surpluses, in the world ever. And they literally have made so much money off of their exports, that country’s air going to them, asking for money to say, Hey, wait, you guys are making too much. Can you figure out how to give some way? And the Germans were saying, well, yeah, I guess we could help here. But give me a break. We’ve established ourselves is making sure that we take care of our clients are people. Our families. And they have built a system around education around functions. It’s actually quite brilliant. It takes a lot of the stress out in order to sustain a business, but a state, a country as well. So there’s a lot of learnings there. I could talk for days on it. We won’t go into that, but I think what you’re talking about is massively important and very huge again on that sustainability. And I think that falls right well, burst into a startup and having them learn that from the beginning so that when they do go out and they start to learn how to work and managing those contracts and and signing deals that they’re gonna find a value and it’s not cutthroat or it’s not giving your shirt away just so that you can fit into business, it’s using the three Ps. It’s using that sustainability model to be able to set their goals and drive forward. So in saying that, do you work with these companies that you invest in in helping them deploy some of this great knowledge to them to help them move forward?

Cari:
Yes, so we invest in in different kinds of companies, obviously, and there’s different stages that we invest in. But when it’s a seed or when it’s specifically when it’s a company that were mainly the only investor or they’re just starting out and they’ve come to us with an idea with those, we usually have the most ability to affect them in this way because they’re at the beginning, right? And so we tend to take them through something like a 10 week period we have. We have some questions that we go through that, you know, find their massive, transformative purpose like what is actually their purpose. And how does this venture or this industry match that. And then, you know, really mentoring? Because one of the biggest things in investing in startups and you probably know this is that you’re investing in the founder, right? You’re investing in the people. And we look at investing in people in the companies, kind of like a marriage, especially when it’s us and them, and not necessarily this big. You know, ah trumps that’s going in and you have a lead investor and there’s many small investors in there. But when it’s when it’s a really a partnership, it’s difficult to understand the person’s character or the type of person they are in just a few meetings. And so this kind of mentoring that angels, and that we like to do actually allows us to get to know the founder better and get to know how they work. When things were tough, how they work when they don’t know the answer. How do they work when they’re wrong? How do they work? You know, those are all really important things about human characteristics. And when we haven’t done that due diligence of the founder, many times we found ourselves stuck in the end in a few years Or, you know, with someone who we thought was mentor-able or we thought was on a track that we believed was value based, or you know had grit and they didn’t. And so we we’ve learned through our mistakes over the years of really that understanding the founder is very important in investing, especially at this at the early stages.

Jeffery:
It just gave me kind of this Ah-ha moment again. This is good. I’m so glad on the relationship side. One of the questions I always had for people was, and I broke this down years ago in my head like questions you would ask when you’re on a first date and I would say what’s the longest relationship you’ve had? And the person would be like one year and you’re like the hell you can’t even carry a long relationship how is this going to ever last? So I kind of think that if you take that same kind of and I would never ask these questions to someone, this is a discussion I’m not as personal has had. I wish I could. But when it comes out of it was that if you take that same ideology that you’re talking to is that if I say I asked that question, I know that they have a long term initiative. Oh, I’ve been married or I’ve been dating for a long period of time. I could then equate that to the fact that they have staying power, that they have a way to keep correcting and shifting and building on that relationship. If they have a short term, that means that they have a short term goal build. And maybe that’s just how it’s gonna operate and move forward. So if you take those two sides of the equation, what I think comes out of it is that if you’re looking at this company from an investment standpoint, and you see them as a short term investment, meaning that they’re going to sell in 2 to 3 years, and that matches up to their relationships. Now that you know that they’re gonna hustle hard to get that in and out and go quick. Take the long term, they’re gonna be a longer term person because they’re used to the comfort level they’re gonna build and grow on it. So I think there’s a fine balance in the two. But that’s how yeah, I over analyze this Years ago now I’m pulling it out. I knew I analyze this to somebody in a long time ago. So there we go. And I was trying to prove that theory a long time ago in one of these and over analyzed books that I’m gonna one day write. But I swear to God, that would be a great test. And I think he would match up nicely. So, um, lots of there’s lots of things up in this head. So if we if we go back to your one part I want to touch on again is you really did a phenomenal job on explaining this sustainability and purpose and I think that makes a big difference in today’s world, and we align with that because we feel the same way we wanna invest in companies that are reducing their footprint care about their teams. It’s not about cut throat, it’s about growing and building. And obviously everybody wants that one cell or they’re going to do those things that’s gonna come in time, but we back and it in short meat and long term investments. But if I go back to kind of your experience and how this carries through to the startup world, you’ve got this great corporate America experience, which is probably that cutthroat side of things that you’ve learned. But you’ve massage it into something that’s more palatable for a startup, which is amazing. But there’s something else that really defines your character, and you’re the first person I’ve got to ask this question to our interview about, and that’s home schooling. So because you’re working with your kids to work them through all these things, one or the entrepreneurs like your six year old I think I had him on the call one day and I thought it was which is birthday. I think, um, super cool, cute, cool kid. So that’s a good thing. But are you training them as entrepreneurs? And what learning are you taking from that experience because 99% of the world doesn’t get that experience. So how are you translating that into again? How you work with startups? Because I think that’s a great way to work on both sides.

Cari:
No, it is. You’d be surprised at how much they overlap. So I think our kids, unfortunately, are entrepreneurs without choice, because that’s just what they’ve experienced.

Jeffery:
I don’t think that’s unfortunate. I think it’s great. Yeah. So kids gonna be running corporate America and pulling in $100 billion and you guys are gonna be like, I don’t know how this happened. He’s 12 all right?

Cari:
Yeah. You know, they’ve already started their own web site and you know they definitely have motivations on that side. But to be honest, whenever I get it, I do a training for, like, mentoring or coaching or or performance or whatever. I’m always looking at it as okay, personal. Of course. How can I be better? But then also as as a mentor, as a coach, as a leader, as a mom, as a parent, all of that is the same. So the tools I used to support the startups and help them to find their purpose and move on are the same tools I have to use for my Children. And so the epiphany I had at one point I was at some conference that I don’t know three years ago or so, and I and it was for performance. Like I just was like, I really got a re reclaim my time and figure out how to do things better and, you know, and in the middle of that conference, I realized, whoa, I am my kid’s life coach because I was surrounded by these life coaches that that wasn’t my business. But I was hearing them talk and I was like, I have to see myself as my as my child’s life coach. I am their mentor. I am their coach and it’s not always easy. But, you know, applying the same tools to them is super important. And I think I think we forget that as adults, sometimes we see them as kids and we don’t see them as other human beings, it’s easy because, you know, there’s there’s so many stresses as parents, but but yeah…

Jeffery:
So that’s carrying over though nicely because the stresses that the kids are going through from daily life and that growth part how you could take that same information, same tools and relate that back to someone that’s probably 20 years older, and they’re probably acting the same way. You probably don’t wanna admit this, but only are and then you’re kind of like okay, well, how do I manage to this person’s fit? They’re a startup, they’re panicking, they’re doing all these things and you’re coming in, this calm, Cool, collective — it’s okay, let’s try this. So if you thought about this and they’re like, I’m not your five year old kid man, stop teaching me like when you’re like, You know what? It’s the only way to calm you down. So this is how I’m gonna working through this problem or it’s the reverse way, right? It’s taking what you’ve learned here and moved it back towards the kids. But I think that’s phenomenal, because again, it’s not something that we’re all used to. You know, everybody gets into this panic mode when a problem hits — it’s panic, panic, panic. So then they pivot wrong or they screw up. Whereas you could come in with that mentality that Hey, I manage this every day. It’s not as bad as it is. Think of it this way or re analyze it and help people refocus. I think that’s a great crossover. And it would really benefit a startup. Understanding that.

Cari:
Yeah, yeah, for sure it is. It’s all it’s all growing, right. Once you understand that you’re always in the state of growth, aways in the state of learning that, problems become a little less stressful.

Jeffery:
Yeah, it sounds like you guys really bring a lot to a start up company. Like you really do bring a lot of value when you guys make investments. So kudos. I think it’s brilliant. Don’t stop.

Cari:
You either, coz you do the same.

Jeffery:
We keep trying. I’m learning like crazy here. I get these great interviews I get to learn so much, I feel like I’m never going to sleep. But I’m just gonna keep taking all this information. Okay? I gotta change this about me. Tomorrow. We’re gonna work on this… The the one last thing that I do want to jump into because you mentioned a little bit of it. And again, I think this really carries into, this startup perspective is, utilizing the unity term that you brought up. How do you emphasize that more in one of these startup companies? Like you said, It can’t be the sixties flower girl trying to help somebody. But how do you create that unity and in that team and that aspect inside of that company? Like you said, you’re getting them right at the beginning. So they’re brand new, maybe one or two people big. How do you kind of help them with that culture and that bringing that unity perspective in so that they could grow as a different style of company and not like that corporate America side of things let it happen years from now? But how do you kind of get them thinking a different trajectory so that they can be more successful while they’re being sustainable?

Cari:
Well, I mean, I’m I would say that the way we do is we take them through some steps and the unity aspect of it is more understanding that I’ll back up a little bit… Like the element of of unity and an organization or unity in a group of people is that is not a communist type unity where everyone is the same, everyone’s given the same everyone’s that. The unity is that when I walk into a building or in office, I see every human being that I see, whether it’s a six year old or whether it’s the janitor or whether it’s the CEO or it’s the the person just walking in off the street that I see each of those people as having the same amount of worth as a person, human dignity and the purpose of being right. We all and just like you were saying, You don’t have a short time person. You have a short of a long term person. There is not necessarily good or bad. We have so much in our heads for judgment, like we we need to We need to know if this is good or bad. But in many cases, it’s more of unity sometimes is finding the fit, you know, where does that energy fit? Where does that skill fit, you know. So when we meet a new startup group that is developing something, Ah, lot of times will start with first, who are you? You know, What do you have? What do you bring to the table? What’s your passion? What’s your purpose? And then from that, we find what’s missing, you know, like Okay, So what are you missing in this? You know, can you build that? Do you need to bring on another founder? Does your other founder have that? It starts with the founders being in a unified state and and that it’s not just in, you know, thought it’s in practice, right? And and from that you set up practices that allow you to continually be in that unity. Like setting up certain rules in consultation or in how decisions are made or, you know, not not, does not that every decision has to go through time because we know you have to act with speed, but you also have to act with, um together. You know, you can’t. You can’t have people working in different directions. So that’s how I would say we start. And then from there you find your purpose. You make sure you’re you’re solving a problem. You make sure that you know that problem that you’re the solution is is affecting everything around you in a positive way. If it isn’t, how can we change it? You know, So that I think that’s —

Jeffery:
You could turn this into, like, a software or a really matrix solution. I think this is good. And if you’re not, are doing it. I would consider that you should look at this because this would be very helpful for a lot of founders to start off right? You can work your channels through, and this will provide you with more unity what was coming into my head. I’m not sure if you’ve seen the show, “Sons of Anarchy”, but really good, really good TV show. So it’s Netflix, but I’ll throw it on every once in a while. Just to kind of keep that storyline going. That’s not about business. It’s but the learning that I got from it because you said this right now with the learning from it is that every time they made a decision, even though they’re a biker gang, that the decision that they had to make, they would always bring everybody to the table. So everybody that was invested in the business, which is not the rookies but with the term is for the rookies. But everybody that was patched had to sit at the table and then they would make the choice. They would bring it up and you could have their say. But they always had to have the majority had to say yes in order to move it forward. And I think that’s the starting point for building that unity is that if all information shared and all decisions are equally shared, you’re going to have a better value because more people will get behind you,

Jeffery:
right.

Jeffery:
I learned something Mawr again today. This is amazing Cari. We do our own live podcast and we’ll just keep talking. And I feel like I’ll just have a million epiphanies and this will be great

Cari:
We can have life lessons by JP.

Jeffery:
It’s good, it’s good. All right, well, now we’re going to jump into the rapid fire questions because I’m learning too much here, and it’s gonna, uh I might not get into any questions, and I almost honestly, when I was going through, I’m like, Oh my God, I haven’t even have the questions brought up. I feel like this isn’t even focus. I feel like we’re just having a hang out conversation that’s really good. So all right, we’re gonna do the startup questions because that’s important. All right, so what’s your favorite part of investing?

Cari:
I love being at the beginning of things. I love watching innovation, and I love that startups are at the edge of industries. That’s what I love. They’re the change.

Jeffery:
They are the change. I like that. Okay, how many companies do you invest in per year?

Cari:
I’d say average 5 to 10.

Jeffery:
Perfect. Any verticals you like to focus on.

Cari:
I like anything that has to do or effects and SDG. But the three verticals I’ve loved in the last year or so is Ed Tech, Med Tech and Agri Tech. Because I think food, health and education are changing and have to so

Jeffery:
awesome. Do you have any due diligence requirements that you look for before you make a commitment, Anything major that you need to have in order to make that decision?

Cari:
We have a whole list. There’s nothing that’s like I do like to see that the founders have put some money in. I don’t I don’t like investing in companies that haven’t had any founder investment because I feel like they don’t have skin in the game. But there are exceptions. There are times I I will look, I think that’s it for me. But there are many things, but yeah, but that’s one.

Jeffery:
Hey, timelines, how long does it take you from beginning of a conversation to investment?

Cari:
It really depends. But if if it’s a brand new seed early stage, it could take anywhere from 10 to 3 months, I would say, because we’re really getting to know them and their new. It rarely would it take longer unless it just becomes a relationship. The other would be like if if I’m getting a startup that’s actually going into a second round or something and they have a lead investor, I can look at the lead investor and see who they are, and that can help me make my decision a lot faster, like maybe within 4 to 6 weeks. So, yeah, sometimes even earlier, if I really like the lead investor.

Jeffery:
well, they’re doing a lot of the heavy lifting, so that’s not about exactly anything that you like to focus on outside of your typical DD information, like paperwork and documentation. Is there anything else that you really want to emphasize on?

Cari:
I like to know what their e mean back to this purpose thing, but I like to know what their purpose in life is and what their North star is. You know, I want to know what they really want to attain in order for… to see how this aligns with that because I think that’s important.

Jeffery:
Okay, Do you guys like to lead rounds?

Cari:
We have and we do. But it really takes I have to really be passionate about the space. And I have to have the time to devote because I think being a lead investor, there’s a big responsibility to it. And so I have to make sure I can spend the time and really help that startups succeed so that would that all that has to be there.

Jeffery:
Do you have preferred terms like Pref shares, common shares, safe?

Cari:
Most times, I would think it’s most times it’s been Pref shares and safes but I’m flexible with different — You know, startups that have different needs.

Jeffery:
Okay, do you have any companies that you’d like to reference? Like you don’t that you can use the name. You don’t have to use the name, but anything that you would like to say I love these guys. Check them out.

Cari:
There’s so many I’ve seen lately. I just There’s so much out there. I can’t think of a name right now —

Jeffery:
Or one that you’ve invested in. That you really like

Cari:
Yes. Bockable is a company… They’re making a new way of building buildings. Density is a way of identifying space within a building. So those are two really cool ones that I’ve liked and health. Health. Intelligent. Sorry. Heart, health, intelligence. I invested in them, and I I always get their name wrong. Heart health, intelligence. It’s all about bio – knowing how your body is doing, digitally.

Jeffery:
So Okay. Do you guys do follow up investments and or take board seats?

Cari:
Yes. To both board seats. That really I’d like to be on ones that I have something to contribute. You know, like if there’s something that I’m passionate about, that I have the time to devote because I think that’s also another very important responsibility of investors is giving that mentorship and advisory. So

Jeffery:
I agree. Okay, Well, I think that’s gonna end our rapid fire questions. The other ones they’re too long. They’re not really rapid fire. So also, rapid fire or more rapid fire. So the next question I have and we are coming near the end, we’re gonna get personal for a second. But just before we do, I always like to ask around the question of is there a company or and experience you’ve had with a founder that really changed the way you look at entrepreneurship. It could be that the founder was struggling, found their north star and then just started rocking it, or it was reversed. They decided to fail it like I’ve had some crazy stories that were really emotional ones and other ones that were just really exciting. So if the spectrum is open, but it’s anything that comes to mind that you’re like, this is just a great story. Got to share it.

Cari:
Unfortunately, the ones that come to mind are the ones that I learned hard things with. So I you know, there was one startup that we invested in that we just loved the founders. Like, really was like I just want them to succeed because I liked them a people. And, it was in the beginning, I would say of our investing experience, and we, um we invested and didn’t have enough, maybe milestones in place and ended up, I think just for a few years paying their salary and made them employees, really. And and I and so that that experience to me help me understand. No, there’s much more to this than just giving someone a check, you know? So I think that’s probably one of the things that’s helped us really pivot into this purpose. And this mentorship and this advising is that it’s not just about Hey, I’ve got some money and I think you’re great and that’s let’s move. No, there’s a system that you know we both have to adopt and and this is, you know it’s important is super important. Yeah…

Jeffery:
Experience really talks here then right? As a founder or as an investor experience really comes into the picture because you learn from your mistakes. But you grow and you build products. You build something new because of it and hopefully they learn something as well from the experience. But it sounds like it’s really that experience inside that really made a difference.

Cari:
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jeffery:
So very cool. All right, so now we’re gonna go a little bit personal. I only started this personal side like maybe maybe, I think, 10 interviews ago. And because there was a company that came through our skip the line and they were awesome. And I listen to their podcast, and I was really a big fan of their podcast sportscast. At the end they asked personal questions. So I’m like, I should do this. I’m never personal. I need you more personal. So, except for obviously one thing about you that we wouldn’t know. So now the next question is, what is your favorite sports team?

Cari:
Oh, well, I’m not into sports…

Jeffery:
Which is fine, but you have to have a sports team that you like, or a member that you might like?

Cari:
When I was a teenager, I remember loving the 40 Niners, but on then Oh, wait, I did. I did have some Vancouver friends, and so I really like the Canucks. I remember that. So again, those are two teams I can remember in my experience. But really, I don’t follow professional sports.

Jeffery:
That’s okay. It’s the way I find it’s always just like the unique thing. It’s always a way to find a connection with somebody, right? So they’ll remember that because it’s more vivid for some reason. So they’ll be like I heard you like Vancouver Canucks. You’re gonna be like, well, kind of. But oh, wait. Yeah, and then you’ll have this good joke or whatever, but I like that. So that’s a good That’s good. Alright, your favorite movie? And the character you would play in the movie?

Cari:
Oh my gosh! Wow. I have so many favorite movies! I love… Let me think… Which would be my favorite… Well, if it’s like — so I love Star Wars, I love the whole Star Wars. And I think I mean oh, I would be Ray. Is it Ray? Is she the character that the last one?

Jeffery:
The last one. Yes,

Cari:
that’s who I would be in that.

Jeffery:
You’re going more new star Wars, not old star wars, even though is like the first shows that are supposed to be the beginning of the other ones. So I like it? No, that’s a great character! And the reason why I like asking that question is because it kind of helps you define where the type of personality in the type of action role that you would play in that movie. So I’ve had some really interesting ones, uh, in asking that question. So that’s why I’m a big fan of it.

Cari:
I never I had never thought about that in my life. So it was interesting that I came to that conclusion.

Jeffery:
So there was another investor, a big fan of too, out of out of the US and he picks Star Wars. But he picked Yoda when I was like Yoda? Yeah, Yoda! It is huge! And he went on to the and you can see the reasons why and everything that. But I’m like, you kind of feel more like Orlando, and he was like, Yeah, yeah, but I’m a Yoda, And I was like, Yes, you’re Yoda. I like it. It’s very good. So very personal. I enjoyed that. Thank you very much. Again Cari for your time today really enjoyed the conversation. As I always say. I took a lot of notes. I learned lots on And the way we like to end our our our show is that we like to leave you with the last word. And what that means is that anything you want to share with a startup or anything you want to share to investors? I leave that for you to share so take it over. It’s all yours.

Cari:
All right, you start ups out there. I would say one of the most important things to be sure you are doing is solving a problem that is actually the and the solution is wanted. So many times we create a solution without really thinking about what it’s answering or what it’s solving in the world and without testing it. So make sure you test that solution that you’ve created before you spend too much time and money on creating it. So that’s my tip for the day.

Jeffery:
Awesome. That was brilliant. I like it and I second the motion, double like, it was good. Cari, your rock star. I’m glad we learn more about you. That’s phenomenal. We’re gonna let you know when this goes live. But thank you for your time. Everybody’s gonna like this and we will connect and chat shortly. But thank you again for your time.

Cari:
Thanks, J P Have a great night. Have a great day.

Jeffery:
Okay, that was brilliant. Um, carries awesome. I really like the philosophy that that she has and what they bring. Like how they work with companies from the beginning, right on from early stage. Helping them figure out that unity, grooming them a little bit, if you will, on be understanding the sustainability, the health of their team and building all those aspects out. I think it’s brilliant. It’s really a great way to start fresh and new. Big fans of utilizing those 3 P’s and understanding again, the module and how that’s gonna build out and how your company can sustain itself. Big fan of of their whole purpose in life and how they’re helping companies figure out where they need to go and that their sustainable. So brilliant all of that. She mentioned some great parts around the MVP style and making sure that you’re building something that solves a real problem and how that could work again. Something that we start ups everybody needs to focus on. So lots of great lines to shared a lot of great detail. Find your north star and figure out how you’re going to get there and share that journey along the way. Have some grit and build short and long term plans. All right. Enjoy your day, guys. Thank you.

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