Dan Scheinman, Zoom’s first angel investor, has a lot to feel proud of. Using his own capital, he has backed successful companies from the earlier investment stages which includes Zoom, Arista, SentinelOne and CyCognito. These companies are now collectively worth 10s of billions of dollars.
Dan has now joined Angel Investor School, a non for profit project, to teach the new generations how to become early starge investors.
Dan stated: “We had planned that video would run the world at some point. We didn’t plan for it to happen over a few months in 2020,” said Scheinman, who nine years ago wrote a check to Zoom founder Eric Yuan before even hearing his pitch for the videoconferencing platform.
Dan shows how important it is to trust the founder of a startup more than the pitch deck.
He explains better how Zoom came to be:
“In 2011, I really grew tired. I’d been at Cisco for 18 years. Cisco was a great company, but I had been there too long. So I finally decided I really needed to move on and that I had enough. Around the same time, Eric Yuan, the founder of Zoom was also having similar issues. He and I basically, both quit on the same day. He came to me and said, I hear you’re starting to invest, I’m doing something interesting, why don’t we come talk? We met at a coffee shop in Palo Alto and on the way down, I talked to a number of friends who worked with him.
“One thing became very clear was that Eric was one of these rare people who not only understood technology and was a great technologist, but also he understood how to sell and the early customer journey. He had incredible loyalty from his employees. In fact, something like two thirds of the people who worked for him had already sent him resumes within a week after he announced his decision to leave. What I realised was, these kinds of people are very rare; engineers with strong go to market skills are very rare. Even before I saw his presentation, I decided I was going to write a check to him.
“Actually the first thing we sat down is, I handed him a check. I said, here it is, who do I make it payable to? And, he said, maybe I should show you the presentation. I said, at this point, I’m sort of too far into it. I said, no, I love you and I’ll do whatever you want. And he said, for both of our sake, let me show you the presentation. Sure enough, it was about how we were going to redefine video conferencing in the era of cloud. What’s amazing is so much of that original presentation actually happened.”
You can listen to the full session with Dan for free during Angel Investor School
Angel Investor School, the pre-eminent educational resource for new and aspiring angel investors, has gathered some of the top angels in the world to teach them the difficult art of angel investing. It will feature a wide range of top business entrepreneurs, each of whom will share their expertise in helping new angels learn the discipline. In more than 20 hours of lessons, Angel Investor School is ready to prepare the next generation of angel investors.
Angel Investor School will be held from October 1st to October 5th 2020. This is a free event with great opportunities to learn from the best. All the proceeds from the sale of All-Access Passes will be used to cover Angel Investor School’s costs, with any remaining profits to be donated to fighting COVID19 in Latin America.
Agustin Rubini, co-host of Angel Investor School stated: “Despite the coronavirus crisis, we see that angel investing is still on the rise. Investing in startups is a long-term job, and the current pandemic is an opportunity for investors to learn faster how to pick winners. Many people don’t realise that with a bit of dedication and hard work, they can emulate the results of trusted names like Mark Cuban, Paul Buchheit, Naval Ravikant, David Tisch or Fabrice Grinda.”
Early stage startups imply a high degree of risk and, without the proper education and experience, the learning curve can be very slow and costly. Angel Investor School is a deeply thought resource to help bridge the gap for those accomplished professionals who now want to get involved in this fascinating world. Angel investing is a way to be a part of the companies that are literally changing the world. Angel investors invest, not just money, but also their time, expertise and valuable connections and are incredible assets for the startups’ growth.
Esteban Rubini, co-host of Angel Investor School stated: “With the advent of COVID19 and the implications of social distancing and reduced travel, Angel Investor School was conceived as a virtual event, which can be accessed in the comfort of your home. Moreover, the incredible advancement of technology in the last few months means that there is great potential in early-stage startups and becoming a part of the ecosystem is nothing short of fascinating”.
To teach and share their secrets, Angel Investor School (www.angelinvestorschool.com) has secured sessions and interviews with over 25 impressive A-list speakers. These include:
Fabrice Grinda (#1 Forbes’ top Angel, FJ Labs)
Gokul Rajaram (DoorDash)
Pejman Nozad (Pear.vc)
Martín Varsavsky (Prelude Fertility, Goggo, VAS Ventures, MVB Jazzya)
Brad Feld (Techstars & Foundry Group)
Dan Scheinman (1st Investor in Zoom)
David Cohen (Techstars)
Susan Preston (SeaChange fund, Angel Resource Institute)
Henri Arslanian (PwC)
Bill Morrow (Angels Den)
Carlos Blanco (Nuclio, Encomenda)
Alexander Jarvis (50Folds)
Dan Martell (SaaS expert)
Anthony Rose (SeedLegals)
Ullas Naik (Streamlined Ventures)
Andy Freire (Serial entrepreneur, founder Officenet)
Jonathan Abrams (8Bit Capital, Founders Den)
Hasan Heider (500 startups)
Andres Meta (BIND Bank)
Zach George (Startup Bootcamp)
Laurel Touby (Supernode)
Some of the companies these angels have invested in include Zoom, DoorDash, Alibaba, OLX, AngelList, Square, Auth0, Gusto, Viatel, Jazztel, Viagogo, Ticketbis, Techstars, Flexport, DropBox, Rappi, Restorando, Satellogic, etc.
About Angel Investor School
The world needs more angel investors, and this has been the reason many of the top angel investors have shared their time with Angel Investor School. This will be an unmissable event.
With the aim of preparing the next generation of angel investors, Angel Investor School has gathered the best minds in the business to deliver world-class content. The event will be held from October 1st through to October 5th, 2020 and will be fully online.