Last Thursday was the third annual Seattle 2.0 Awards. It’s the Award ceremony that recognizes the people and companies from Seattle building and supporting startups. As the organizer and host of that Award and a TechStars Mentor, it’s with immense pleasure that my friend Andy Sack was voted the winner on the Best Angel Investor or VC category. Andy is the guy responsible for bringing TechStars to Seattle, but also for trying to revolutionizing startup financing through Founders Co-Op and RevenueLoan.
Not only this award is voted by members of the community (i.e. people who know what an investor is), but also this is a forward looking award. What does this means? It means people didn’t vote on who they thought was the best investor in the past. Actually, they were answering the question “Which Angel Investor or venture capitalist would you like to work with on a *future* startup?” and this large community voted for Andy Sack!
All the voting was anonymous so people could pick anyone, and they picked Andy.
What distinguishes Andy from most investors I’ve met (and I’ve met hundreds of them), is that he is a super direct, honest and open. He’ll tell you if he thinks you are going the wrong path. He’ll tell you if you did something stupid. But he’ll also tell you what you should do to fix, improve or adjust.
Andy has been a personal advisor for me and advisor for my startups for the last 3 years. I’m even afraid of saying this in a blog post since I don’t want him to get flooded with requests for being on advisory boards, but he has always been available when I needed and he always had some good insight. Just early this year I was struggling with too many options and while exchanging emails with him he called me out on the most direct way possible. Your typical advisor would make circles around the issue afraid of offending you. Well, Andy offended me. Then I realize he didn’t. I was being too soft on myself and he saved several months of my life in a single email. That’s the kind of advisor and mentor Andy is. He’s not to the faint of heart, but that directness is what, in my opinion, made him the winner of the Best Angel Investor or VC award.
PS: TechStars Seattle applications for Fall 2011 are open. That’s the easiest way for you to get Andy to be a mentor, advisor or investor on your startup.