Ali Partovi - Startup Investor School Day 3 | Summary and Q&A

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Ali Partovi - Startup Investor School Day 3


Ali, a successful angel investor and tech entrepreneur, shares his insights on angel investing, the importance of people, and the strategies he uses to make investment decisions.

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Key Insights

  • 👤 Ali is an experienced entrepreneur and angel investor who co-founded Link Exchange and made successful bets on companies like Facebook, Dropbox, Airbnb, and Uber.
  • 💡 Ali believes that coding is a privilege and wants to bring that privilege to as many Americans as possible.
  • 🚀 The most important thing Ali learned from being a startup founder is the importance of hiring great people.
  • 💰 Angel investing is a challenging task and requires speed and decisiveness when making investment decisions.
  • 🌱 Ali and his brother focus on investing in companies founded or led by young engineers, believing that computer science is key to successful companies.
  • 🏭 Many successful companies were founded by computer scientists, such as Netflix, Facebook, and Google.
  • 🤝 Building a network and maintaining connections with exceptional engineers is crucial for successful investing and helping companies recruit top talent.
  • 📈 Ali's strategy for exiting investments is on a case-by-case basis, and he admits to sometimes making the wrong decisions to sell or hold onto investments.


Ali is the founder of and CEO of neo which he can he can explain what that is it's a very cool new organization but he's also an entrepreneur a social entrepreneur who I admire a ton for the things he done and we met like I said too many years ago when him and his brother founded link exchange he's also the founder of I like and again with his brot... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How does Ali approach angel investing differently from traditional venture capital firms?

Ali takes a more people-centric approach to angel investing, focusing on talented founders and their potential rather than just the viability of the idea or the market.

Q: What is Ali's advice for founders looking to attract angel investors?

Ali advises founders to focus on building a strong team and hiring great talent as it is one of the most important factors he considers when deciding to invest in a company.

Q: How does Ali evaluate potential investment opportunities?

Ali looks for big ideas with a small chance of success, rather than small ideas with a high chance of success, as he believes that investing in bold and audacious concepts has the potential for significant returns.

Q: How does Ali approach follow-on investments in successful companies?

While Ali doesn't have extensive experience with follow-on investments, he believes it is a good opportunity and is something he is considering for the future. He acknowledges the psychological challenge of deciding whether to sell or hold onto investments and admits to making mistakes in the past.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Ali started his career as an entrepreneur and co-founded Link Exchange, which was the first advertising network on the internet.

  • He learned the importance of people in startups and angel investing, emphasizing the value of hiring great talent.

  • Ali shares his experience investing in successful companies like Facebook, Dropbox, Airbnb, and Uber, and the importance of investing in talented founders rather than just the idea.

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