Very few people become successful as entrepreneurs. Having business ideas is great, but entrepreneurship requires numerous skills, dedication, commitment, and discipline. That is the reason why a small number of people take it to the next level and become entrepreneurs with multiple businesses.
Investing in Entrepreneurs is yet another story, it takes experience to spot early what will make a great team and a great project. To be a great Angel or seed Investor it often takes the experience of “having been there” and a whole additional set of skills.
Enter Alexandre De Beaulieu, Serial Entrepreneur and Angel Investor. He is one of the excellent examples of people who love challenges and think outside of the box. By virtue of his determination and passion to make an impact, he is always active in helping companies and entrepreneurs to maximize their growth. Alexandre is both an expert in brick and mortar private equity in Central America and a tech investor. He co-founded and invested in Quimbaya Gold, a junior gold exploration company focused on high-grade gold and silver deposits in Latin America, that has recently been listed on the CSE (Canadian Security exchange).
Because of his astonishing work, Silicon Valley Times has recognized him as one of The Top 100 business angel Investors.
Today, we’re thrilled to welcome Alexandre de Beaulieu to our media. This interview with him is filled with advice and tips for people thinking of pursuing entrepreneurship as a career.
Hello Alexandre, can you please share with our readers why you decided to become an Angel Investor after your carreer as entrepreneur?
Alexandre: Thank you for your invitation to share my story with your audience. I have been investing and helping businesses grow to their potential for many years. One of the many reasons I decided to become an angel is the thrill of building new companies, living new adventures each and every time. I am excited to work with amazing entrepreneurs and give them all the support and experience I can bring to the table, this goes well beyond just money.
Many remarkable startups are facing problems with funding and guidance. I have most of the experience needed to bring a business to the next level. Being an angel investor for me is about helping others to succeed and bring their larger vision into existence.
My enthusiasm and willingness to commit time and money to different projects makes me a “skin in the game” partner of amazing teams, and I absolutely love this feeling! I also find that being an angel with an outside-of-the-box vision is helping businesses to take a path that they would have never thought of before!
What do you think is currently the best investment option?
Alexandre: Right now gold and gold stocks are one of the best investment options available. With all the money supply created during the pandemic, I am convinced that inflation is here to stay and this is great for gold. The global political situation is just adding to a bullish case for gold.
The valuations in tech startups are extremely high, and have inflated a lot lately, this to me is unsustainable, especially in the overcrowded world of the SAAS and marketplaces.
Gold stocks, and especially the exploration Juniors are on the exact opposite cycle of the tech startups, they have been underinvested and they offer significant value at current prices. With spot prices of gold on the rise, I am betting on the juniors and exploration over exploitation as it offers significantly more leverage.
I continue to build a portfolio of tech startups, especially in MedTech, agtech, and specialized products with great patents and technology. I understand the case for scalability that is attracting fellow investors into SAAS and platforms, but I currently feel that I get better value out of MedTech and patented technologies.
What advice would you share with the readers who want to become entrepreneurs?
Alexandre: First and foremost, always place the client first, I see so many times great technicians failing with great products and great technologies. You need to make sure that there is a need out there and that what you offer fills this need and ultimately makes a complex problem and people’s life easier.
Always double up budgeted resources, time, and effort
Most companies will die because the entrepreneurs lack perseverance and get discouraged. It will always take more time, effort, and money than expected.
Be realistic in your expectations.
The reason why many new businesses fail is that they believe that having a superior product or a better service for a better price will make a sale, and this is rarely true as such. To change a habit you have to convince your client by offering them a solution that will simplify their life and offer them value. To illustrate this, software engineers when convinced by their solution often underestimate how reluctant to change their clients can be.
Shoot for the moon.
If you are ready to put in the effort, you better make it huge and shoot for the moon. I have met many entrepreneurs that are limited by their beliefs about their own company’s potential, this often leads to over-diversification because of the lack of a larger vision.
What qualities do you think Angel Investors need to become successful?
Alexandre: Although understanding all the skills that are required to be a great entrepreneur is for sure necessary to pick the best candidates, a set of new tools is necessary to sit aside of the management teams, this is a totally different game.
To be successful as a seed investor, you need to go through a great number of pitches to be able to cherry-pick the ones that you really believe in enough to invest money and time.
When you have been there in the entrepreneur seat, you know how it feels, how it sounds, how it should look. Having this ability to recognize the pattern of success is what sets the ground for success as an investor.
Keep your eyes in and your hands out
At first, it has been extremely difficult for me as an entrepreneur to keep my hands out and be a steering partner. I believe transitioning from an entrepreneur view to taking a helicopter view and thinking as a board member will certainly bring more value as an angel investor.
It was great to learn some essential tips from Alexandre de Beaulieu.