John Ason, Angel Investor
John Ason is something of a rarity. He has been a professional angel investor for about 17 years and has funded over 40 startup companies, the majority of which were pre revenue or user traction or both, with many consisting of one or two people in a kitchen or garage.
And in about half of the companies, he was the lead angel. Maybe it was because he has a big company background (AT&T), but people made fun of him when he transitioned to investing and one of his first investments was a company called Diapers.com. It was early days for the Internet. People had a hard time believing that anyone would be fool enough to buy diapers online. Until the company was bought by Amazon for $545M. Nice! He also invested in Bikini.com, which he attributes to his midlife crisis. And that was just the beginning.
He takes chances and unlike most investors, typically invests in industries he knows little about, although he does avoid medical, biotech and “green” industries.
We all have our limits.
Oh, and if you plan on sending him that gorgeous deck you slaved over to make sure that every slide was a standalone work of art, wrong guy. If you can’t tell him what you’re doing in one page that he can look at on a mobile device, don’t bother. One page, that’s it, and he like a lot of white space.
And ideas that he hasn’t heard before.
And wine (in fact, he invested in a winery out in California).
And women in tech.
He mentors female entrepreneurs through Astia and Springboard and women angel investors as well, within Pipeline Fellowship, Topstone Angels, and 37angels. He has funded 11 female-founded companies, Awesome!
Keep up with John: