Angel Spotlight Series: Behind the Scenes with Joanne Wilson

August 22, 2012

3:00 pm

As an entrepreneur pitching to angel investors, you have a lot on your mind. You have to nail your pitch and anticipate their questions, all while staying cool and charismatic. Preparing your pitch is of paramount importance, and a crucial component of this is knowing exactly who you’re pitching to.

We’re here to help.  

Tech Cocktail’s Angel Investor Spotlight Series is a weekly feature of prominent angel investors around the country. We give you the lowdown on their investing strategy, top advice, and deal breakers, and hopefully reveal that, just like you and me, angels are people, too (with deeper pockets).

This week we chat with Joanne Wilson, an angel investor in New York City who has funded companies like Catchafire, Edison Junior, and Scoot. She chaired and still works with MOUSE, a nonprofit that helps train inner-city students in digital technology. She’s also married to Union Square Ventures VC Fred Wilson.

Investing philosophy 

Joanne Wilson: Invest in super smart people who are able to execute on their idea, which will hopefully change the way people do business in that particular vertical.

Top piece of advice to entrepreneurs

Wilson: Be scrappy and surround yourself with smart people and good mentors. Get your heads out of the weeds every month with a group of advisors whose experience and rolodex will help you grow your company.

Top mistake entrepreneurs make when pitching to you

Wilson: They have too many ideas and are thinking about the five-year plan instead of the three-month plan. Be focused on one thing at a time. Building one brand is hard enough, building two under one umbrella is literally impossible.

Most cherished accomplishment (as an angel or otherwise)

Wilson: My children. Hardest job ever is being a parent.

In your free time you can be found…

Wilson: In the kitchen.

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact [email protected]

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