AoA Member Spotlight – Rob Shearer
As someone deep into technology there has always been a pull for me to move to Silicon Valley, but in 2017 I doubled down on my commitment to stay in the PNW. Part of that included doing everything I can to expand and endorse startups in the area. I found AoA and loved the charter to focus in this area. I joined a meeting and was wildly impressed with the calibre of investors and the exciting new startups growing in the area. From then on, I have been hooked on getting more and more involved.
2. What types of companies or missions inspire you to invest in them?
I originally thought I would be all-in on Tech companies, but instead I am drawn to companies where I can learn; teams I can help in some way; and founders from diverse backgrounds who I enjoy helping on their journey.
3. Is there anything you would advise new entrepreneurs to do when they pitch their idea?
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare, then prepare some more. Know your business and market inside and out. Be able to demonstrate flexibility, adaptability, and show us that you have systems in place that can grow with you. Be ambitious and realistic at the same time.
4. What has made the biggest difference among your successful investments?
Founders and big ideas. I am investing in the team and the concept. The concept has to be new enough that there are not a dozen other people trying to do the same thing, and challenging enough that others can’t catch up once they recognize it.
5. What is something interesting and unexpected that people would be surprised to learn about you?
I am a technology executive who dreams of a life as a bartender.