Today, I’m talking with David Rose, who founded AngelSoft, now , in 2004. Gust provides a platform where angel investors and entrepreneurs can connect and discuss ventures. Originally created with angel investors’ needs in mind, Gust now has more than 750 investment organizations worldwide using its platform to manage deal flow and other day-to-day tasks. Over 125,000 startups have, through Gust, worked with more than 35,000 individual investors on their ventures. The company is based in New York City, has a development office in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and a European office in Paris, France.
Sramana: Hi, David. Before we get into the AngelSoft story, can you give us a little bit of your background and what thought processes have led up to the AngelSoft story?
David: Sure. It’s actually now a Gust story, which is the new incarnation of AngelSoft. My background is typical of an entrepreneur in that I have no background whatsoever in anything that I’m doing. My early training was as an urban planner. I have a degree in urban planning. And then I went into government and politics, working for U.S. Senator . I went back to business school and got an MBA in finance, spent over a decade in real estate development and finance on the East Coast. I then started, along the way, a technology software company, which grew into an Internet company. I eventually moved into it full time. We ended up getting venture financing. We ended up getting very, very big, over 100 people, raising tens of millions of dollars with a wonderful product, which then nobody bought, which was very depressing. So, the company ended up restarting as a pure Internet company doing some exciting things in the wireless content space. I got more venture capital, hit the dot-com boom, and became a multi-national company. It was going great, got really big again, then hit the dot-com crash and disappeared again, whereupon my spouse said, “No more startup companies.”
That’s when I became an angel investor. I then founded , which is one of the more active angel groups in the country. Over the last decade or so, I’ve done probably 80 investments in early-stage startup companies. Along the way, with my experience as both an investor and an entrepreneur, as well as a focus on future trends, which I’m involved with, since I run the entrepreneurship and finance program at out at the campus in Moutain View. It was clear that there was a major societal change under way with the democratization of capital…….>>> READ MORE at: