John Huston – Angel Video Interview Series

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[This post is part of an on-going series of video interviews with members of the start-up community – see a list of links to the full series here.]

John Huston is an institution in the angel investing world. He is a self-described former banker who flunked retirement and set out to find an angel group to join. Finding none, he went on to found Ohio Techangels, which has grown to become the largest angel group in North America. It has an interesting structure whereby each member contributes just $25K to a fund of 100 people and the State of Ohio matches that $2.5M with $2.5M of its own (read that and weep, residents of other states…) Members are free to invest additional dollars alongside the fund, and in fact that is where most of the capital in any given investment comes from.

In total, between the funds and the members’ side investments, the Ohio Techangels has put over $20 million into 36 Ohio-based companies. Four of the companies have exited to large publicly traded companies, yielding what the fund claimes is a 58 percent average return for investors. And as is expected with early stage investing, seven other exits were failures.

John is widely quoted and hailed as a driving force for economic development. He speaks frequently and eloquently on the topic of investors serving as directors of early-stage companies, and he is a charming rascal livening up any Angel Capital Association event. We talked in April 2013 in San Francisco. Here’s what he had to say. (Email subscribers, click here for the video).

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