Episode Summary

Susan Preston is the General Partner for the CalCEF Clean Energy Angel Fund, the Buerk Endowed Fellow for Entrepreneurship at the University of Washington, a Trustee for the Angel Resource Institute, chair of ARI: Women First Enterprises, and on various for-profit and non-profit boards. She is also the author of Angel Financing for Entrepreneurs: Early-stage Funding for Long-term Success. In addition, Susan received her JD, cum laude, from Seattle University School of Law and her BS, magna cum laude, in Microbiology and Public Health from Washington State University. Her background with microbiology is the source of her interest in investing in the med-tech area.

In this episode, Susan credits team, technology, and the market as the three pillars of startup success. She encourages beginning entrepreneurs to be confident on their “elevator pitch,” to successfully get an investor’s attention, as well as female angel investors to believe in themselves. To Susan, education and training are vital in investing.

What We Covered

  • 03:28 – How Susan got involved in investing
  • 05:27 – Susan’s first year of angel investing
  • 06:56 – The involvement on female angel investors in Susan’s company
  • 08:49 – How Susan focused on education in her career
  • 10:52 – The role of early stage investors in growing the economy of the United States
  • 12:12 – Why the diversification of your portfolio can help you as an investor
  • 13:41 – The importance of post-investment engagement and what does it really mean
  • 15:52 – How Susan communicates with companies on her expectations
  • 18:48 – Alignment in the angel investment world
  • 19:55 – How an entrepreneur can get an investor’s attention
  • 22:14 – Team, technology, and the market on a company’s success
  • 23:19 – Investing in the med-tech area
  • 26:12 – How Susan’s company run angel investment group workshops
  • 28:33 – Helping university startups get an investment
  • 31:11 – Encouraging female angel investors to write their first check
  • 32:27 – Susan’s favorite angel investing resource
  • 34:24 – Susan’s favorite book
  • 35:25 – Major influences in Susan’s life
  • 37:03 – What “abundance mindset” means to Susan


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