Joseph Chan
IMPACT INVESTING

Joseph Chan

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Relentless Entrepreneur | Real Estate LP | Angel Investor

Joseph Chan – Transparency and due diligence

“Be disciplined, stick to your thesis and try to diversify across a lot of different little companies”

ABOUT

Joseph Chan is a technologist, financial services professional, angel investor, and entrepreneur. He has over 20 years of experience in business-to-business software sales, capital markets structuring, and real estate investment. His current focus is building multiple passive streams of income in real estate, private equity, and start-ups. Joseph utilizes project management and technical skills to improve processes and procedures where needed. His analytic and sales skills allow him to navigate both large internal and external organizations to influence positive change. As a capital market professional, he blends his technical skills with his capital markets acumen to evaluate deals and determine relative value. As an investor, he leverages his extensive network to introduce his portfolio companies to other strategic investors, partners, and clients.

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THE FULL INTERVIEW

Joseph Chan

The full #OPNAskAnAngel talk

Jeffery:
the best way to start joseph is welcome to ask an angel. Uh we’re excited to have him here today. Thank you for joining us.

Joseph:
Appreciate it, appreciate it. If I don’t do many podcasts so it will be a should hopefully be a new and fun experience.

Jeffery:
I love it. Well we certainly will. We do our best to make sure that it uh brings a lot of value and helps our listeners learn more about you, but also learn more about the investment community in the world and how it works. So the best way for us to start is if you can provide a bit of a background on yourself…

Joseph:
Sure

Jeffery:
Where you been, where you’re at, where you’re going and then one thing about you that nobody will know.

Joseph:
One thing. Okay, I’ll see if I can remember all of that. But uh — so a little bit of background on myself. I did my undergraduate universe Chicago and economics. I kind of started my career in Silicon Valley during the first dot com from 97 to 2001. I did some technical consulting, some technical sales, product management. And then I decided after the dot com bust to go back and get an MBA. So I uh went and got my MBA at Columbia Business School From 2000 to 2004.

And then afterward made a little bit of a career switch to uh capital markets and I spent 10 years uh in and around Wall Street, doing mostly structured credit and structured products, eight years in new york and a couple of years in Hong Kong, then in 2014 came back to be closer to family. Decided I had, you know enough of Wall Street or wanted to kind of just switched careers again. Got involved at that time in real estate, both on the residential and commercial side. So, these days I invest in commercial real estate, mostly as a limited partner.

And about that same time, um kind of fell into angel investing if, if I’m being truthful, had some guys, you know, kind of, that I knew that we’re looking for funding in an early-stage company called X earn, they do big data out of new york. And I was familiar with them and I thought that this is an emerging kind of market and to jump in. And You just got lucky. They recently, I think raised an A and I think the last funding round was at a 40 million valuation.

So I’m one of the earlier of investors there. These days I uh spend my time looking at real estate, angel investments, and some smaller private equity deals.

Jeffery:
Perfect. That sounds pretty, pretty exciting. And one thing about you, nobody would know.

Joseph:
Uh, probably for your listeners, I spent a lot of time doing Brazilian jiu jitsu. So it’s not, not that it’s not public, but I don’t think you would know just from looking at my linkedin profile.

Jeffery:
So you got a bit of Royce Gracie going on?

Joseph:
That’s right.

Jeffery:
I love it. Well, it’s a great skill to learn for sure. So I want to kind of take a step further back because what I’m excited about and learning from you, Joseph is that most of the time, you know, everybody investor-wise, they kind of fit into different buckets.

You know, some are accountants, some are legal, some our product managers, some are experts because they worked in one category for a long time. But one thing that’s pretty unique that you’re doing is that you’ve kind of gone through this capital markets in the money, working with dollars and derivatives and things like that throughout time.

And, and I want to kind of explore that because I think a lot of that when it comes to numbers and investing in companies or in the markets, having an understanding of how that all works plays a big part and I’m gonna say over the years for making it pretty comfortable to jump into early-stage investing. So maybe you can tell us a little bit more about that background on, you know, working at those times in the, in the big banks and the, on the derivative side and learning more about how money works, what that experience was like.

Joseph:
Yeah, I mean, you know, I don’t know if the skill set of working in capital markets transfers over necessarily directly.

You know, I think that I have a pretty diversified and well-rounded background, you know, from the five years in tech, obviously the capital markets help kind of just understanding the lingo and valuations I think, you know, angel investing is, it’s kind of like an apprenticeship and it’s kind of like any job, it’s a lot of it’s on the job training. So you know, if I were to say, you know, the recommendation to some of your listeners, how to get started is, you know, paper trade, you know, get involved with some syndicates. You can kind of cut your teeth and see what kind of deals that they’re looking at and how they kind of approach. I really do think there is a process uh, to learning, you know, I when I first started, you know, I was kind of all over the place as far as you know, where to invest and you know, what kind of companies invest these days, I tend to be a seeds a series A investor um just because I invest my own capital, I’ve seen a lot of preseed um kind of early-stage startups, just, you know, too many to name that that that fail or just not a good business idea or even it was a good this idea, the leadership can’t execute.

So because of that, you know, I try to de risk myself. Um but still, you know, I feel like from the seeds to series a kind of spectrum, I can add a lot of value as a as an angel investor after a series A the check sizes get quite large and they bring in professional venture capitalist.

And so you know, not only can I not add as much value to the founders um when I usually invest in companies, I’d like to, if the planners want help them do business development, you know, I helped them, you know, I try to be more than just capital. I tried to bring in strategic, other street investors. You know, I deal with a number of other high net worth individuals, family offices and VC funds, like later stage PC funds. And so I try to bring that in or strategic partnerships with other portfolio companies that I might have in my portfolio.

Jeffery:
Which are all like, that’s obviously a huge, huge value for the start-up and the entrepreneur that’s, that’s running the companies. And if we go back on the numbers side, um, being able to understand the markets, understand th