Crowdfunding Investor profile – Angie Skazka

My favourite thing about crowdfunding investor Angie Skazka is that this case proves again that anyone – even a student – can become a business angel and invest to become part of the next big thing. We asked Angie to participate in our popular crowdfunding investor profile session and convince you why you too should consider this modern type of investment!

Angie Skazka is a crowdfunding investor on FundedByMe

Angie, introduce yourself – what is your background, passions and ‘day job’?

I am 24, Russian-Swedish. I graduated from Ural Federal University as an engineer (5 years) of Industrial Automation and Control Systems. Then I spent 2 years at Real Time Soft, Yekaterinburg, as a SCADA designer and automation developer. At that time I created automated dispatcher systems for ridiculously huge and dangerous ore-processing plants. Particularly enjoying creating user interfaces, I then switched my focus entirely to it by studying on my own and working part-time as a UI-designer in Ocean bank, Moscow. I designed user interfaces for online payment agent Robokassa (Russian analog of Klarna), which are used nowdays by over 10k customers per day and over 22k merchants overall. I also did a year of PHD in Russia, but I quit because I hate research.

Now I am a master student of EIT ICT Labs, studying Interaction Design with first year at KTH and second year in Aalto University, Helsinki. My professional interests include user interface design, infographics, graphic design and entrepreneurship. I aim to build awesome interaction for specific usage contexts and enjoy creating cool data visualizations.

Currently I am a co-founder and usability troll at RunTroll, a real-time multiplayer game that makes it fun to run (I mean physically, with your legs). I believe that entrepreneurship is a way to bring more long-term value to society, and my social aim within RunTroll project is to get people away from computer and TV screens to exercise and be healthy. I spend my free time in Solna climbing center or out in mountains, traversing the snowy peaks and glaciers.

 

How did you first get familiar with crowdfunding and why does it appeal to you?

Daniel the CEO of FundedByMe gave a guest lecture at KTH in one of our courses. Crowdfunding appeals to me because I can invest small amounts of money and get equity in early stage companies before they became ridiculously expensive. Also openness, involvement, connection to startup frontier, networking.

 

Which project(s) on FundedByMe did you invest in? What made you want to get involved?

I invested in FundedByMe and Nerdy by Nerds. The first one has a great idea and promising return, the other one is cute. Unfortunately I missed fire alarms by Elinnovation.

 

What do you expect to get out of these investments on the long run?

I want to sustain myself with return on investments and run my own creative projects without a need to work for money. I want to learn how to invest, get experience, get a network so that I can possibly work or cooperate with people involved in startups.

 

What is the most important tip you’d give other investors considering crowdfunding?

A crazy one: don’t spend weeks of your time to do a proper evaluation. Instead go for quantity with small sums. As long as the revenue model is clear you are pretty much fine to go.

 

Are there any new investment rounds on FundedByMe that you have your eyes on at the moment?

Yes, I am looking mainly for physical stuff: Garpenbergs castle is interesting, Mutewatch already proved their idea with sales, and Rosey is quite close to me since I am a (former) automation engineer.

Crowdfunding Investor Q&A – Siam Choudhury

When we opened the FundedByMe equity crowdfunding round on our site, the first person to invest was Siam Choudhury. Not only is he our first FundedByMe crowdfunding investor, but he is also Mr Small/Medium Business at our favourite social networking platform, Facebook. We asked Siam to share his thoughts and he, most graciously, complied!

Siam-choudhury_crowdfunding_investor

Hello! I’m Siam. I love travelling, good food and tech. The latter pretty much covers my background and my day job as well. I spent years being heavily involved in online communities, particularly around gaming; where I also set up and ran video game websites for a few years. I moved on to work on a startup with a couple of college friends of mine, the now closed-down ParsLibris, a book-sharing community.

With that in the bag, I moved to Dublin 3 years ago to join Facebook, which I guess is my “day job”. At Facebook, I look after the Small & Medium Business segment in the Nordics. This includes acquisition, growth and education among other things.

 

How did you first get familiar with crowdfunding and why does it appeal to you?

I started noticing crowdfunding when projects popped up on the web around areas I’m interested in. There was a video game documentary series up on Kickstarter, a charity campaign on Indiegogo by a webcomic artist and the really cool story of Flippin’ Burgers on FundedByMe.

It’s a really cool concept; helping artists (of different kinds) succeed in bringing their projects to life.

I got even more interested when FundedByMe introduced investing in projects, which takes the step further and allows people to be even more involved in the projects they help fund.

 

Which project(s) on FundedByMe did you invest in? What made you want to get involved?

So far I have invested in FundedByMe itself, because I believe in the product and the people behind it. They’re really passionate and know that they are breaking new ground with what they are doing, and are able to move fast.

My second investment went to Virtuous Vodka. I don’t drink, but I appreciate craftsmanship, and the passion for that really comes through when you look at what Virtuous are doing. They are treating their product and process as a craft, which really appeals to me.

 

What do you expect to get out of these investments on the long run?

Primarily experience. Investments like these allow me to contribute to the businesses in different capacities and to take a peek at how two very different companies work and think. These are also two very solid businesses; so I believe in a long term financial ROI as well.

 

What is the most important tip you’d give other investors considering crowdfunding?

I think it’s important to look at each investment in two ways. What you can learn and get from the investment and equally important, what you can contribute with, aside from the monetary investment. This type of investment is really cool because you get to choose the scale of your investment, both financially and through knowledge. Think about what you have capacity for, and what knowledge and skills you have that would be helpful for the project.

Most importantly, look at projects where you can buy into the passion the entrepreneurs have for their product or service.

 

Are there any new investment rounds on FundedByMe that you have your eyes on at the moment?

There are a lot of great looking projects on the platform now. But if I had to narrow it down to my top 3 picks, I’m keeping an eye on Mutewatch, Beibamboo Oy and Atelier Food Serving AB.