We spoke to Nicole the Vice President at Ibex Investors and asked her Ten questions to hear more about her and her work.
Here is what she had to say:
IbexInvestors is a US-based multi-strategy investment firm HQ'd in Denver with offices in New York and Tel Aviv. Israel is our largest strategy and we've been investing here across all stages (Seed through IPO + public companies) and sectors since 2012. On the private side, we invested in 23 startups with 7 exits to date, so we are encouraged to double down on Israel. We lead rounds, play active roles in our portfolio companies, and leverage our investor base of approximately 600 global HNW individuals, business owners, and senior executives to help our companies succeed.
What piece of advice would you give yourself when you started? What advice would you ignore? Everyone is in sales, whether you know it or not. Startups sell themselves to customers and investors, investors sell to LP, individuals sell themselves to prospective employers, and everyone is building his own brand equity that will be sold at some point in the future. I advise people starting out to get hands-on sales experience. It's a highly valuable skill, not to mention a building block to the C-suite.
What piece of content (book/podcast/Ted Talk) is your favorite or has influenced your life? My eyes are bigger than my stomach when it comes to books; I can't get enough of them. "Never Split the Difference" by Chris Voss is one of the most impactful books I've ever read. It's an excellent read on negotiations how to communicate effectively in general.
What is the most valuable investment (time, money or energy, etc.) that you’ve ever made? Airpods. They're one of my most frequently used possessions so much so that despite the high price tag, when I lost one of the pods, I went out and bought a new pair straight away. In fact, my 3 most highly utilized items are my iPhone, MacBook, and Airpods and considering the value I get from them, they were worth every penny. Apple are geniuses.
Is there a quote, mantra or message you live your life by and that you resonate with? "Be kind." It will accomplish far more than anything else.
What have you failed at? and what you learned from it? I've learned that people in sticky situations usually don't want practical advice. That want empathy and support. It's hard for someone practical and goal-oriented to understand, but it's best to keep your strategic advice to yourself unless explicitly asked.
What kind of entrepreneurs inspire/ catches your eye? A good storyteller with a big vision and commercial approach. Someone who exudes CEO material and would be fun to work.
What was your first job? Clerking on the floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) at age 16. All the madness you can expect from a testosterone-fueled trading floor with huge amounts of money at stake. It was great.
What was the feeling after your first investment? I felt a deep sense of euphoria to get moving and make things happen. It's a daunting challenge but a terrific privilege to help guide young companies throughout their lifecycles.
What piece of advice would you give any founder that is looking for his/her first round of investment? Approach it methodically and stay organized so that you feel structured throughout the process. Chat with friendly investors first and don't be shy to ask for their feedback. Some people say you should only approach VCs via a warm intro, but that's limiting and creates an adverse selection bias. If you can get an intro, that's best, but selling is a crucial founder skill and successful cold outreach to investors is a good indicator of future success with customers.
Batman or Robin? And why? Batwoman, duh.