David Evans
IMPACT INVESTING

David Evans

#128

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Seed Investor | CTO | AI-Enabled SaaS

David Evans – Having a rapport with advisors

“You should want your advisors to say, hey here’s all the different things I’ve seen and I’ve done and you pick, founder and CEO, you pick how you think you should approach it”

ABOUT

I am a serial entrepreneur and technologist who started coding at 14, launched my first business at 19, and made by first angel investment before age 30. Including my companies, my portfolio, and my clients I have been involved in multiple exits as a founder, investor, advisor and team member.

In this broad-ranging experience as an entrepreneur, investor, and consultant, I have worked in Group Travel, Telemarketing, Digital Out of Home Advertising, Light Manufacturing, Digital Marketing, Occupational Therapy, e-Commerce, Retail, Non-Profit, Ticketing, Sports & Entertainment, Public Agencies, Alternative Asset Management, Consumer Services, and Professional Services and bring domain-specific knowledge to these industries.

I am looking to engage with people that want to leverage technology to make money, save money, or improve customer experiences. As a consultant, this means middle market companies looking to add strategic value to their technology investments. As an investor and advisor, it’s usually early stage, AI-enabled SaaS companies.

Additionally, I have a passion for helping build sustainable social impact businesses that serve our communities with less reliance on philanthropic funding.

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THE FULL INTERVIEW

David Evans

The full #OPNAskAnAngel talk

Jeffery: Welcome to the supporters fund ask an investor i’m your host Jeffrey Potvin let’s please welcome David Evans the managing partner of sentiro ventures as our investor for today welcome david it’s a real pleasure having you join us.

David: Well jeff thanks for having me

Jeffery: Well we’re very excited david i know we got to see each other at collision uh we’ve been chatting i guess on and off for a couple of years so excited to kind of dive in and the big reason is that you’re also a tech investor and i like tech and being the fact that i’m an ex-software engineer it’s very rare that you get to have a deep talk about well deep tech and all this great stuff so i think we’re going to have a great discussion around that but also i think what really stands out and hopefully you can share a little bit about yourself and you know go far back is uh your connecticut’s at you university days but really you have a great story you started coding at 14 years old built a couple of companies sold them so many great things in there so maybe you can share a little bit about your background where you’re at today and then one thing about you that we wouldn’t know.

David: Yeah sure so i mean i i think kind of the i always describe it as i’m a technologist entrepreneur and an investor in that order right and and some of it is because i did start coding at 14 years old on a ti-85 graphing calculator um wrote blackjack it wrote blackjack and it went viral in in my high school right and this is the day this is the days before you had the web to go viral like we had little sync cables to make it go viral um so started coding really really young without a lot of direction and natural intensity for it um you know and it that’s why i say i’m a technologist first right um started my first business at 19 while actually at johns hopkins university that’s where i started my education was at johns hopkins but like all good techies i dropped out early right after my sophomore year um i left johns hopkins to go work in tech in the in the middle of the dot com boom um and uh spent about two and a half years uh working for a consulting firm and then moved on to an dot com that that went out of business um so i had had that little bit of a ride in my first exposure essentially the startups venture capital and angel funding was through uh through that through that startup soldout.com um and when they uh when they went out of business i actually launched my my second business geode software um that company is the that company still exists today it’s really just a custom software development company mostly services based but we develop products for companies as wide ranging as nasa to uh digital signage in every albertsons across the united states as part of that company i actually got involved in the secondary ticketing space so i think companies like stubhub vivid seats uh and in 2005 actually launched uh launched my own company uh in the space easy and easy seats launched in 2005 by 2010 we were 176 on being 500 we were the sixth fastest growing retailer in the country and it’s not because i was a great a great retailer or a great seller of tickets it was because we had great tech right we automated the distribution of digital tickets as early as 2008 um we had predicted pricing models we had automated pricing we had um even tools that could tell us if a concert would sell out within 48 hours of when it would actually sell out so it was really about the tech and not us um wasn’t it wasn’t an industry i was passionate in so i actually sold that business in in 2015 um and at that point made the shift to the other side of the table into uh into investing uh first as an angel investor working mostly as an angel and then got involved with the fund here in dallas rep tech ventures that was focused on on retail technology right i had been in the e-commerce space so it was a natural fit to work with david revtec and that was kind of my first opportunity to move from being an angel where it was my money to being a venture capitalist and investing other people um which there’s a there’s a dynamic there and i’m happy to share it but there’s a there’s a different psychology when you’re you become a steward of someone else’s money versus versus your own um took that experience with revtech to launch santiaro at the start of that started pandemic um which was not the best time to start it was in january of 2020 uh but we did raise we did raise a fund uh we’re currently in active deployment we’ve got nine nine companies in the portfolio uh and expect to make a couple more before uh before we go out and and raise funds too so i think that’s that kind of covers the background i think you said the the one thing that um one thing that people may not know i realistically speaking i i always talk about this i i never uh i never intended to start any of my companies right so it wasn’t like i had this grand vision of oh hey i’m gonna go and i’m gonna go and build this um you know geode it was sold out.com went out of business right they they flamed out in a dot-com bubble burst so i i had a choice to go work for somebody else or start my own business and i’m sort of a diagnolal entrepreneur i want to start my own business right i’d rather make nothing and and and be building something than make six figures and have to answer to somebody else um easy seat was very similar you know part of the way i got into the industry was was through a a failed partnership with one of my clients at geode software um so you know that actually got me into the into the ticketing business um and even venture capital right like it wasn’t something that um you know it was something that just because of my experience i got connected with revtech and it really kind of pulled me across the aisle into venture capital i really only had started making private investments because i like the start phase right i like the zero to one of startups um which attracted me to angel investing and now has kind of pulled me over into into venture capital.

Jeffery: Awesome and a great stor