NordicBAN introduces business angels who work as a lead investor for startup syndicates. Jyrki Kontio is an active angel with special interest towards music related software startups, now leading the investment round for Musopia.
What made you become a startup investor?
After having spent years in the corporate world and having been a professor of software business, I felt that I should see if I can put my lessons learned into practice and help software based startups grow.
I am an innovator by core nature so working with startups is fun and intellectually rewarding.
I like to be involved in creating new things – be that technology innovations or creating new businesses, so being a startup investor fits right in.
What kind of angel investments do you have and do you have any exits?
I’ve invested in eight startups (see www.jyrkikontio.fi for a list).
I usually get in at a very early stage with a fairly small seed investment, oftentimes working hands on with the management for a period of time. A few of my portfolio company CEO say that I’m the first person they call when they need advice on a particularly challenging problem.
I’ve noticed that I spend a fair amount of time on the phone, nowadays.
What kind of startup and industry gets you excited?
It seems that my personal passion for music as a hobby has biased my portfolio a bit as six of these startups are in the music domain. Well, by now I think I’ve learned a lot about music business as well. E commerce is my other focus area.
As I am a hands-on investor, it is necessary for me to know the domain the company. That’s when you can make a sensible decision on the investment and contribute along the way.
The challenging things about any startup is the right balance between innovation and execution capability. If a company has a team that has these both in balance, that’s a great asset.
How do you see your future with angel investing?
Due to limited resources (time and money), I only plan to grow my portfolio gradually, it seems I’ve been doing one or two investments a year.
What is the best way for startups to approach you?
My contact in for is at http://www.jyrkikontio.fi/contact.php