Today's Entrepreneur


Today's Investor: Neal Hansch

No.1 Mistake: Following a "build it and they will come" mentality

Innovation series by Sylvie Leotin
April 27, 2011 | Comments
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Today's Investor is Neal Hansch, a partner at Rustic Canyon Partners. 

Neal, who got the entrepreneurial bug early in life, started his first startup when he was in college at Duke.

The company is still running today, but he has since moved to the investor side of the table.

Neal has a wide background, ranging from operating positions at small- to mid-sized companies, to investment banking, corporate development and venture capital.

He loves working with early-stage companies and entrepreneurs, in mobile and digital media.

Neal, who will be a judge at Vator Splash LA May 2011, shares his time between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

I am an: Investor

Name companies you've founded or co-founded:

Name companies you've invested in:

Marketfish, MerchantCircle, Capella, Ohai, Archcom, Dipity, InSync Software

Name startups you worked for:, Financial Profiles, SnapBridge

If you are an entrepreneur, why?

I want to invent something cool.

List your favorite startups:

MerchantCircle, Quora, Marketfish, Uber,

What's most frustrating and rewarding about entrepreneurship/innovation?

Endless opportunities, means endless directions and decisions to be made, which only time will tell whether the right ones were made and/or taken.

What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs make?

Blindly following a "build it and they will come" mentality and surrounding yourself with people who are entirely like-minded.

What are the top three lessons you've learned as an entrepreneur?

Pick your co-founders carefully. Validate your market before you invest your blood, sweat and tears building a product and launching a company into it. Listen to customers, but not completely.


Related companies, investors and entrepreneurs

Neal Hansch
Managing Director,
MEST Incubator
Bio: Neal joins MEST with over fifteen years experience in venture capital, technology operations and investment banking. Most recently, he wa...

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