Ryan Else
IMPACT INVESTING

Ryan Else

#136

Listen on

Apple Podcast
Spotify

Managing Partner – Roadster Capital

Your investors’ portfolio contains potential customers – Ryan Else

“It makes sense to me for a Founder to look at funds that have invested in companies that they think their company can benefit because if you can get those type of investors and you can get them on board to see how your technology, your company, your service offering can benefit all of their portfolio companies — you’re now selling them not just as an investor but as a customer”

ABOUT

Ryan has built businesses as a sales executive, investor and entrepreneur. He has also managed turnarounds, venture capital investments exceeding $3B in value and M&A activity exceeding $500m in value. He is focused on growth for transformative businesses, while advising enterprise organizations. He received his MBA from The University of Notre Dame.

Ryan began his career at Oracle & PeopleSoft in sales roles before leading the North American Turnaround for Oregon Scientific and IDT International. As the SVP / GM of North America he led all business functions with full P&L ownership. He also managed the M&A and post merger integration with China’s Sanpower Group ($14B AR) that led to the $500 million dollar acquisition of parent company, IDT International (Hong Kong, Shenzhen, China).

REQUEST INTRODUCTION Arrow

THE FULL INTERVIEW

Ryan Else

The full #OPNAskAnAngel talk

Jeffery: Welcome to the supporters fund ask an investor I’m your host Jeffery Potvin and let’s please welcome Ryan Else the managing partner of Roadster Capital as our investor today welcome Ryan it is a real pleasure having you join us today.

Ryan: Hey thank you for having me it’s great to have the opportunity to catch up with you and and talk about a few things of interest to to you and your listeners.

Jeffery: Totally agree and I’m pretty excited about the conversation because there’s so many things in the Venture world that we can dive into but specifically I think there’s some great material around just kind of all the things you’ve done in your career and the big underlying subject a lot of it goes into sales and so I’m excited to kind of dive into that amongst a few other uh hard-hitting questions that I have for you but to start the show off what we like to to dive into is maybe you can share a little bit about your background uh from you know all the way from the McAfee’s and all the the great companies that you’ve worked for and then kind of where you’re at today and then one thing about you that nobody would know.

Ryan: Okay sure so I think in the interest of time I’ll try and keep it short and I’ll give it really high level so um let’s see so I started my career out early I was a probably 20 years old and I was an intern at Oracle in Redwood City California and uh I found myself working at Oracle upon graduation from undergrad where I earned a Bachelor of Science and marketing and from there I moved over to to PeopleSoft and worked on the development of the E-Business network uh in both of those roles I worked in sales and value-added resellers and channels businesses um and from there I moved moved around and ended up working in network and application security for a company called secureify that was eventually acquired by krollogara uh so we became the um the digital security arm of a company that primarily was focused on kidnapping reconnaissance and armored vehicles and things of that like and eventually through a lot of ups and downs during those that transaction we ended up eventually being acquired by McAfee and so um I worked with the great guy there named Tahir al-gamal who’s actually an advisor to my Fund in tahiros the founder of secure socket layer he was a chief science officer at Netscape way back when and currently he’s the chief security officer at salesforce.com somewhere along the way I earned an MBA in finance from the University of Notre Dame and uh founded a company co-founded a company that made environmentally friendly cleaners we we we sold to Lowe’s Home Improvement Home Depot Ace Hardware and the like grew up to be kind of a nice nice size company with a decent exit eventually and then went to lead a global turnaround for Oregon scientific where I was the uh the president of North and South America and reported to a CEO in Hong Kong and I um we sold that company for 500 million to a much larger Global conglomerate in nanching China and uh while I was in that role we made some strategic investments in a few startups and eventually I started making some of my own Investments and you know here we are today if you know with Roadster Capital uh investing in you know in in Founders solving our world’s greatest challenges with science and technology while trying to transform Industries and the way we live and my perspective is that business people and Planet will lead us into the next decade of digitization while accelerating economic growth and sustainability.

Jeffery: Awesome I love it it’s a great background and you’ve worked for some not only for yourself of course and building out a great comp building out great companies but at the same time you’ve worked for some very large entities that have obviously still continued today to grow and be pillars in in every Community across North America.

Ryan: yeah you know it’s been a really good mix of really large Fortune 500s uh and um incredibly agile uh and fundamentally transformative startups.

Jeffery: Agreed now it’s going to go back a little bit well well before I jump into that one thing about you that nobody wouldn’t know.

Ryan: Well I’m not sure if this is recording for video or not but in the background behind me in my office is a a poster of the Hulk a movie a big Hollywood movie that Ang Lee directed and so I was in that movie and in fact I’ve been in a number of movies over the years I’ve been a member of The Screen Actors Guild for I’d say probably 18 years now so I’ve worked on a number of films primarily as a featured extra um one one role in a film where I had lines but they cut the lines out but it won an Emmy but the Emmy was not for the good acting everyone the Emmy was for costume of all things and that was something on the History Channel where all of my scenes were filmed on Horseback so uh yeah it’s been a fun a very fun um time for me to be involved with the Screen Actors Guild for so many years and just a fun passion hobby if you will it’s never paid the bills but it’s always been a lot of fun and I’ve had some great experiences and I you know I love all things production film and Building Things from the ground up and film much like business has many similarities in those respects.

Jeffery: That’s pretty cool and so that means that you would have your name in the credits somewhere along the lines uh throughout.

Ryan: Yes the credits on uh on a few of them not all of them but it’s pretty exciting it’s screen time along the way.

Jeffery: Ah that’s pretty exciting that that’s a great story and I guess you continue to do this is there any up and coming films that you’re going to be part of.

Ryan: No not in the foreseeable future I I’m based in Portland Oregon and we there isn’t much activity in the film industry in Portland and I I have so much time dedicated to the fund in working with Founders that that becomes more of a distraction than anything at all so if a great opportunity surfaces um I will you know I’ll seize the moment and go for it but typically it doesn’t happen you have to really put yourself out there you need to have an agent and you have to be actively go you know working the craft and going out for it and you know that’s not me but hey Hollywood if you’re if you’re looking for me you know how to find me.

Jeffery: That’s awesome well hopefully they find you then maybe we’ll uh we’ll push this out so that uh there’s some leading role that you can jump into.

Ryan: Yeah right

Jeffery: Very cool well to go back a little bit to throughout the kind of history of where you were and where you started to where you got today um you know one of the I guess big things that I noticed and thought was pretty interesting is that not only do you come to the Venture firm Venture side of things with a Founder background but you do have a strong uh sales background you’ve worked for a lot of companies uh from on the tech side Innovation side so are there a couple of things that you kind of realize that when you’re working with Founders today that there are some things that they could be better more efficient in that you’re able to kind of Coach them through on this like looking back at your background saying look this is kind of why you got to approach this being very commercialized because again you worked in very commercialized businesses they understand the the metrics they understand things a lot differently than a small startup are there a couple of lessons that you kind of built up over the years and you kind of helped pass those through to uh to Founders.