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Angel Investor Series – Anton Khinchuk

Hi, I’m Anton Khinchuk and I’m an IT Professional with twenty-five years of experience.

Tell Us About Your Journey

I’ve been in IT for about twenty-five years. What I do is build teams to build some sort of technology that solves some sort of problem. Along the way, I encountered a personal problem, and that led me to become the founder of my own startup. That experience then turned me on to become an angel investor because the lessons that I learned during my journey are what I want to share with other founders and then in turn, the ones that resonate with me are what I invest in. So that’s kind of like the overall story.

That experience happened about maybe 9, 10 years ago. So that’s how long I’ve been an angel investor versus just being a part of the technology world.

What Inspires and Motivates You?

I’m inspired by new technology and innovative ideas, and that’s usually brought to the table by entrepreneurs who are solving problems and have a creative way of approaching the solution to those problems. I enjoy the journey that starts off on the back of a napkin and then becomes a product and then accumulates users. And sometimes it succeeds, sometimes it fails. And both are fun journeys.

What Attributes Lead to Success?

I believe the attributes that lead to success are active listening and continuous learning. I have this belief that the ratio of listening to talking should always be about five-to-one until you get to a Series A. The people who you are surrounded by usually have great experiences and stories to share that you’re able to learn from. And I also found that if you’re typically in a room and you feel like you’re the smartest one in the room, you’re in the wrong room.

What Are Your Must-Haves Before You Make An Investment?

Qualities that I look for in an entrepreneur before I invest in them is I want to make sure that our core values are aligned. And I also want to believe that they have the capability to execute on whatever they’re presenting. Those are the two fundamentals that I believe have to be there before I can continue the conversation and explore if this is an investable partner opportunity and whatever the idea is.

What Advice Do You Have For Entrepreneurs?

I think rule number one is don’t run out of money. As soon as you run out of money, it’s game over. The other parts, I think, that are critical for an entrepreneur to be successful are surround yourself with people who you can delegate and you can trust. Know what your key competencies are and focus on that and then entrust in the team that you build around you. That’s, I think, a formula that has been successful more often than not.

My brilliant wife reminds me that being an entrepreneur is really difficult. So take the time to step aside and appreciate the journey because this is going to be one of those experiences that you’re going to be sharing with your grandkids down the road.

What Value Does Gesmer Bring to Scaling Companies?

Gesmer has a group of folks who can come in and do what they need to do to help you be successful. And you, as an entrepreneur, can just kind of put this on the back burner and entrust Gesmer that they are going to take care of whatever you’re asking them to do. Their expertise is second to none in my opinion. And so that is something that is the value, it’s the highest return on investment from an entrepreneur in this specific category.

Why Go With Gesmer?

I go with Gesmer because I believe their expertise is second to none in this space. I know that they’re a trusted partner and they’ve always delivered. I believe that they have the ability to deliver on what my expectations are in this specific ask and they’ve never let me down.