#20 Entrepreneur First VP Chris Mairs on The Art of Angel Investing and Pre-Internet Entrepreneurship

By Nasos Papadopoulos, EF Head of Content

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Chris Mairs is an entrepreneur, Angel Investor and Venture Partner at EF. He earned a Computer Science Degree from Cambridge before a stint at IBM and then co-founded MetaSwitch a communications technology business, where he was CTO for many years including a 2-year stint in Palo Alto working with his investors from Sequoia and their portfolio companies.

More recently Chris has become a prominent angel investor, investing in over 70 companies, including many from EF – where he’s been involved from the very first cohort back in 2012.

In this episode Chris and I discuss:

– The lessons he learned from building MetaSwitch, including a visit from Microsoft Founder Bill Gates to do due diligence on the company
– The red flags that turn him off a co-founding team as an angel investor and the qualities he looks for in portfolio companies
– How Chris met EF co founders Matt and Alice and how EF’s Companies have evolved since he got involved on the first cohort

We also get into the tech trends that Chris is most excited about, his perspective on AI and blockchain and how he’s overcome the challenges he’s faced along the way. The conversation is filled with great stories and words of wisdom from Chris’ wealth of experience as an entrepreneur and investor.

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