Jeffrey Werner
IMPACT INVESTING

Jeffrey Werner

#95

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CEO at The Field Group I Hudson Valley, NY Regional Angel Investor

Worst business relationship to best – Jeffrey Werner

“If it’s not sustainable to you and your household — it’s not sustainable.”

ABOUT

I’M DEDICATED TO YOUR SUCCESS!

I work with early-stage businesses as a senior advisor, mentor and consultant, assisting with capital acquisition, expansion strategies and resource allocation. What fundamentally sets me apart as an advisor is my broad-spectrum, hands-on approach to identifying and creatively solving problems. I strongly believe in the value of building relationships with Founders and other personnel, which allows for a more measured and holistic understanding of someone’s business and vision. I believe this personal touch is imperative to achieving a more satisfying and successful partnership.

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THE FULL INTERVIEW

Jeffrey Werner

The full #OPNAskAnAngel talk

JP:Okay, welcome to the supporters fund, ask an angel. I’m your host Jeffery Potvin. and today we want to welcome one of our favorite investors, we’ll say of 2021 because we’ve been working on a lot of great things. I welcome Jeff Werner to the show and thank you very much for coming today.
JW: Yes, thanks for having me, Jeffery.
JP:awesome. as long as we all get mixed up who’s who. well i’ll go buy JP and you can go buy Jeffrey. how’s that?
JW: alright. That sounds good. I love it.
JP:uh, well Jeffrey, the way we like to kind of start things off is we like to dive right in. We want to learn a little bit more about yourself, your background, all the great things that you’ve done to date. and then if you can share one thing about yourself that nobody would know. Okay, so start with one thing.
JW: I like it. let’s do it. Okay, so here’s the one thing that no one would know. I am an observer of human behavior. So when you think I’m not paying attention, I probably am.
JP:Oh my god. I love that. I always use the same line actually but I find that when you’re the silent type, you like to look, watch and observe everything and you take it all in. you’re like a big database of watching what someone’s wearing, why they’re doing this, why are they doing that. so i love that. That’s a great skill.
JW: But what’s funny about that is that, although I can very comfortably be the silent type, I can also comfortably be up front. So I’ll shape shift as needed. It’s all authentically me. Um, it’s just which is the right tool for the moment. I like that. It’s an adaptation, right? It’s like being a chameleon. you’re adapting to your environment. Flexibility, yep.
JP:ah, that’s awesome. great skill. Alright, so now if you can kind of give us a little bit more of the background side, even to where you’re calling in today from. because i know being in the US, there’s multiple areas that you can be residing and working. There’s a lot of that happening of course around the world. but maybe share a little bit about that and then put into context what you’re doing, have done and what you’re doing on the Hudson Valley side and all of the other great things that you’re working in the startup space.
JW: sure. well as you just touched on the Hudson Valley section of New York, for those of you who are New York geographically challenged, it’s an area north of New York City. We considered about eight counties, four counties north each side of the Hudson River. I love this area. i like to say my playground is battery park, which is the tip of New York City right up to Hudson, New York. and I’ll let you google that. so where i am is somewhat halfway, maybe a little less in Beacon, New York. Uh, this is my office space. I found Beacon as another thing that some don’t. I’m a part-time rock and roller. I play bass guitar, something that, when I had my own business, I had to put down for a little over 20 years. and found my way to Beacon from the rock and roll scene. So I started playing again a few years ago. and I have rehearsal tonight, so that brings me up here. So when I first discovered Beacon, I fell in love with the place. and then decided I wanted to work here. So I got some office space and here i am. and How did I get here? well that even is intertwined with my rock and roll history. so i come from the event industry originally. I did 30 years doing audio visual technology, started with stage lighting then it went to sound and video. I did a lot of live events and then in later years, I installed these systems in commercial spaces. It sounds strange to go from there to angel investing but along the way, I fell away from the tech. I started running my business as it was growing. I had my hands in everything from bookkeeping, selling to running teams and turns out, it was a great experience in versatility. one saying is master of all trades. I mean what are you called, not master of all trades? yeah i’m blanking on that same jack of all trades, master of none or what i say in angel world, proudly generalist. and i find for early stage startups, we need to wear all the various hats and pull out all the various tools and juggle what you need to juggle. So I did that for 30 years. Twenty two of those years, I had my own company in one form or another. After seven years, I was approached for a merger and became a part owner of a larger company. That company was out of business a year and a half later and it was an incredible lesson in growing too fast. We were actually quite successful right after the merger . We had incredible synergies and we just grew too fast and uh we had employees. we added debt and we just couldn’t keep up with it, so that ended. about a year and a half later from the ashes of that, i started my third company that i grew into profitability and sold in 2015. I stayed on with that for a year as a consultant, part-time hopping in and out and then went on my way but intertwined into that last year or two. It was a story on how I got into angel investing. so um jumping back to my rock and roll days, i used to play in among the bands. I used to play with a guy in high school and we’d go down to the village in New York City and play these dives at one o’clock in the morning on a Tuesday. incredible experience but not very fruitful in terms of rock and roll success. so we parted ways eventually as we all got older. We settled down and got jobs and so forth. We lost touch but got back in touch. We first found each other on Facebook and then one day i’m in a shopping center and there he was with his young child going for a haircut. Now you got to keep in mind, this guy definitely fits in the village of New York City. His name is very legit now. so he reconnected, got together. My wife and I had the family over for lunch one day and he showed me a deck on his tablet. and i recognized some incredible genius that i saw in his songwriting some decades back. I didn’t understand it but I recognized it correctly when I said human behavior. I recognize a creative genius there. So we kept the dialogue going for a number of months and after I’d say about eight or nine months, he and a partner decided to leave their day jobs to build this company. and I said great. What can I do to help? so i set him up with an office and wrote my first check. and in that time, you know just started getting this thing rolling, and in that