In this post Dea Wilson, Lifograph founder, is doing an interview with Randy Williams, Founder and CEO of the Keiretsu Forum, a network of 1000+ accredited investors organized in 26 chapters on 3 continents.
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If any of your children decided to become an angel investor, what is the first piece of advice you’d give them?
Go slowly. Don’t rush. Learn about the industry first. Invest in an area you know something about and help the company grow with resources and TLC.
What advice would you give to a first time entrepreneur?
Never give up! Be malleable, learn from your mistakes.
Give me 3 things people don’t know about you.
- I hold the Alcatraz swim record since 1993
- I love plants and nature, so I created an Ethnobotany class at UC Berkeley
- I’ve been swimming every day for the last 30 years
What was your first job? What did you learn from it?
I have been working every summer from an early age. I delivered papers, coached swimming, washed dishes at the cafeteria, I was a lifeguard, you name it. I’ve learned that good work ethic will take you a long way.
What companies did you pass on and later regretted it?
Clarisonic. They recently returned a 13x on our original member investment. I knew I passed on a great company when my wife asked for a Clarisonic brush.
What is an immediate turnoff in a pitch? Why?
I bet on the jockey, so someone who comes in with a big ego, is not receptive, coachable or flexible, will never get a second meeting with me. Also, if you don’t have some sort of skin in the game, it does not inspire me to invest in your company.
What do you like to do for fun?
I love nature and being outside, so golfing, hiking and swimming are several of my favorite activities.
Where do you like to go on vacation?
I love water, so our family vacations are mostly in Hawaii and Lake Tahoe.
What is a perfect day for you?
A perfect day is when I can have a nice, engaging conversation with a Keiretsu Forum member or a potential member. We have over 1000 members organized in 26 chapters on 3 continents. I walked with almost all members at least once.
What are the values the Keiretsu Forum lives by?
Engagement and participation. Our members enjoy getting involved and helping the companies we invest in. Most members have had successful careers and now they want to give back by helping others succeed.