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StartEngine Stories

An Interview with a StartEngine Scout

January 7, 2020 5 min read

An Interview with a StartEngine Scout

We sat down with Anthony Russell, who recently referred a company to StartEngine and earned $1,000 as part of the StartEngine Scout Program. We picked his brain about his background, investment philosophy, why he recommended a company to StartEngine, and more. Read our conversation with him below.

Anthony Russell, MD MBA MPH

Hey Anthony! Thanks for joining us to talk about StartEngine! 

It’s a pleasure, I’m excited to share my thoughts.

Let’s kick things off with a bit of background. Tell us about yourself!

I’m a healthcare executive, a pediatrician, a clinical informaticist, and an avid investor interested in helping startups grow.

Impressive resume! What is special or unique about how you go about doing your job?

Doing what you love is of the utmost importance. I enjoy helping people and making a difference in all that I do. 

Does that mentality carry over into your approach to investing?

Yes, I love helping to grow companies that will make an impact on people’s overall health and comfort.

What types of startups do you look for when investing?

Well, I’ve invested in quite a few, but there’s no specific investment type I’m focused on. Generally speaking, I look for significant growth potential and added value to society. Having a disruptive product or service is a bonus!

I look at opportunities that add value to peoples’ lives.

So you’re looking at companies that have big-picture impact and those specific to your industry?

Not exactly!  I’m looking to create a diversified portfolio to improve my ability to retire when I’m ready.

How did you discover StartEngine?

I was Googling investment opportunities and was happy to find a platform that distilled opportunities into various investment categories, making it easier to do my due diligence. None of the platforms with investment opportunities I came across were doing this.

There’s more value in systems where there is a level of initial due diligence review inherent to the platform, although it’s not a replacement for my own due diligence.

Were you familiar with equity crowdfunding before discovering StartEngine?

Not exactly!  I had not heard of equity crowdfunding being used to purchase equity in startup companies; however, I had used equity crowdfunding for other investment deals like real estate and energy investing. 

Have you made any investments on StartEngine?

Yes, several.

What do you like about StartEngine?

It makes investing easy. The content is presented in a consistent format, making it easy to do diligence. Whether you invest small or large amounts, you begin to feel more comfortable as you invest in more companies on the platform.

When you’re investing in companies through other avenues, you don’t always get the same kind of information or ability to ask questions and do research. The benefit of the community aspect of StartEngine is that you get to see what questions other prospective investors are asking and what information they may be providing, which adds context to your investment decision. It helps you, especially when you’re new in the community, to invest even better. You have more of the material you need to make the right decisions.

How has StartEngine changed the way you invest?

It has opened my eyes to new opportunities to leverage for the long term, allowing me to diversify outside of the way I might invest for a standard 401(k).

Doctors like myself begin our professional careers years after most people enter the workforce because of all the additional schooling and residency training, so we miss out on years of income and investing, while racking up student-loan debt. Not to say doctors don’t get paid well, but when you consider compounding interest, that amounts to over a decade of missed opportunity to grow our net worth. 

Thus, I along with many other physicians desire to find more optimal ways to invest and achieve the greatest ROI possible.

How else have you benefited from StartEngine?

I recently earned a bonus for referring a company to the platform via the Scout Program, which was very nice and much appreciated.

How did you find out about the StartEngine Scout Program?

I received an email informing me that by referring new companies interested in launching equity crowdfunding campaigns on the SE platform I could earn a referral fee.

What was the process like to begin referring companies?

It was easy! I submitted the company name and email address. Once they signed their agreement, I earned my referral fee.

And what is your relationship with the company that you referred?

I had invested in the company only a few weeks before and became one of their advisors. Clearly I thought they were impressive enough to deserve my investment, but they still needed more investors to grow and meet the market demand for their product. So, being familiar with how StartEngine helps companies raise money, and with the added benefit of a referral fee, it was a no-brainer!

Would you recommend others refer companies in their network to Start Engine via the Scout Program?

Absolutely! In fact, I’ve actively encouraged others in my network to do so as well.

Any tips for people thinking of joining the StartEngine community as investors or fundraisers?

Just do it!

Love that enthusiasm! Thanks for your time, and good luck investing.

If you’re interested in referring a company to StartEngine, click here to learn more and refer a business.

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