I’ve made six angel investments personally, all in founders I knew before investing:

  • Portfolio:
    • Beek (2016 Pre-Seed) – Raised $13M Series A led by Lightspeed in 2022.
    • Sano (2015 Seed) – Raised 2018 Series A from Fitbit. Acquired by One Drop in 2020.
    • MatterFab (2014 Seed) – Raised 2015 Series A from GE Ventures and AutoDesk. Shut down.
    • Experiment (2013 Seed) – 2021 grant by Robert Downey Jr. via Experiment Foundation.
    • 10 Storks (2013 Seed) – A subscription box I bootstrapped with my wife. Shut down.
    • I also invested the first $75K in my startup Labdoor in 2012.
      • We raised a 2013 Seed led by Mark Cuban, joined Y Combinator in Winter 2015, raised a 2016 Series A led by Floodgate, and are now operating profitably.
  • Returns:
    • I invested $45K as an angel and have returned $200K (4.4X DPI) so far.
      • My 3 YC angel investments have an 11X TVPI.
    • My anti-portfolio is probably ~100X TVPI.
      • I’ve helped 100+ founders apply to Y Combinator, but only had the personal capital to invest $5K-10K per year.
      • I missed investing in YC top companies like EquipmentShare and Noya at pre-seed because I didn’t have enough cash.

I’m now launching Utopic, a pre-seed VC fund investing in new scientific startups.

  • Mission:
    • Empowering scientists to launch more startups that solve the world’s biggest problems by being their first investor and advisor.
  • Strategy:
    • Find scientists with world-changing ideas.
    • Help them launch startups.
    • Invest the first $50K-100K in these companies.
    • Personally advise them on accelerators, fundraising, growth, and exits.
  • Deal Flow:
    • Founders find me through my writing on this website, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
    • I find great founders by being an active alum of Y Combinator (W15) and the University of Michigan (B.S., B.B.A, ’10), advising prospective founders even before they start their companies.