early-stage company

Fred Bamber, "Tech VC Becomes an Angel," Ep. 5

As a venture capitalist Fred Bamber helped build such successful companies as Interleaf, Q1 Labs and Volt Server. Now working as an angel investor Fred is invested in such exciting companies as SQZ Biotech, Pixability, Streamroot and ViralGains. In his self-effacing and modest way, Fred reveals deep wisdom gained from 75 investments in his venture capital career. 


  • Fred Bamber Finds His Career Path
  •  Avoiding the Military Draft Led Him to Work for His First Startup
  • Fred Bamber & Friend Found a Venture Fund – Consulting vs. Venture Capital
  • IPOs Then & Now
  • Investment in Interleaf Makes His First Fund a Success!
  • Two Ways of Connecting in the World of Venture Capital – Via Success & Via Failure
  • Several Losing Investments in Companies Seeking to Exploit the Piezoelectric Effect
  • Themes In Angel Investing – Investing in Brand New Fields i.e. White Spaces
  •  ‘…Oracle has a huge go-to-market cost, and engineering is a tiny bit of it.’
  •  Technology Causing Convergence of Consumer & Enterprise Businesses
  • Startups with Jeff Weiss - The Perils of Being Early – Early Augmented Reality (AR)
  • Rich Lane & Reflection Technology – Augmented Reality-like – Projecting Text into the Eye
  • Progress of Technology Is Painful – “Thread Across The Ocean” by John Steele Gordon
  • Michael Lewis & Drama in Business – Paul English & “A Truck Full of Money”
  • Paul English Finds His Inner Entrepreneur after Interleaf
  • Robert P. Smith & “Riches Among the Ruins” – Not Made for Working In Large Companies
  • VCs Should Be Humble
  • Fred Bamber Talks About His Investment in Volt Server
  • Uber & Washington, D.C. Cabs
  • Peter Thiel’s Critique of Entrepreneurship – “We Were Promised Flying Cars and We Got 140 Characters”
  • SQZ Biotech & Massachusetts Materials Technology
  • What Fred Bamber Looks For In a Startup – Technology, Coachability, Tenacity, Openess – VC vs Angel
  • Startups Should Report Frequently – Reports Should Tie In to Previous Reports i.e. Close the Loop
  • Angel Investor Should Be Father Confessor without the Ave Marias
  • Bettina Hein & Pixability – Example of Determination Combined with Openess
  • Beth Marcus’ Test For Listening
  • Fred Bamber’s Suggestion of the Perfect Number of Angel Investments in a Portfolio
  • Why Sal Daher Is Invested In About 42 Companies
  • The Role of a Board of Directors – Father Confessor
  • Fred Bamber’s Favorite Pivot – Q1 Labs (IBM)
  • Fred Bamber Also Like Streamroot’s Pivots
  • Q1 Labs Pivot Runs Counter the Received Wisdom of Startups Needing a Narrow Focus to Succeed
  • “Crossing the Chasm” by Geoffrey A. Moore
  • “Why Knowledge Matters” by E.D. Hirsch, Jr.