Adrian Stone - How this Tesla driving Angel Investor made over 60 startup investments & built and sold his business in the USA!
We sat down with one of Australia's most prolific and unknown Angel Investors. Adrian Stone, who created Australia's first ever incubator, Angel Cube and has been advising, mentoring and investing in the countries best talent for over 20 years. Drawing upon his direct experience as an entrepreneur who traversed to the USA and back and facilitated his own successful exit, Adrian is an exceptional support person for Startup talent and prides himself on not getting in their way.
Adrian has made over 60 early stage investments and is a big subscriber to the notion of spray and pray. For example, he will make multiple investments into early stage ventures and talent and rely on a volume play to produce success. He is a keen entrepreneur and it certainly runs through the veins, with his son Adam Stone, currently at the helm of Speedlancer, a successful startup from the 500 startups program in Silicon Valley. With jewish heritage and a massive background and portfolio in property, Adrian talked about the 3 phases of wealth management for his personal finances, being growth, building and protecting.
Adrian spends his time offering up office hours at incubators & accelerators and is an incredibly giving entrepreneur. Check out some fun facts about him below.
Here's what we learnt about Adrian in less than 60 seconds: There is at least 1 Tesla in the garage, i-phone is his device of choice & you guessed he also has no middle name like our first guest Terry Paule Adrian's very first job was at IBM before he transitioned to working for IDB (in Dad's business) :) He loves profit and growth, enjoys a rib eye steak, his spirit animal is a puppy dog as he has one and he went to school at Mount Scopus Memorial College
Asked if he would rather play in an AFL - Australian Football League grand final or be at the birth of his first child, he answered correctly and being at the birth :) With a preference for being rich over famous and holidaying in the country with his motorbike on the beach with his wife, he believes in Ghosts and hardly working.
He doesn't like Lennon or McCartney & you won't find him on Facebook, apparently he was bumped off, we will have to find out more!
Adrian answered 18 questions in 60 seconds to place him in second place on the One Minute Millionaire leaderboard behind the clubhouse leader Terry Paule.
You can check him out here:
You can watch his episode here on YouTube:
Check out the full transcript here:
Welcome to the one minute Millionaire Show hosted by Yours Truly, Brandon Burns, another show from Torch Productions. This is the show where we sit down with high performing dynamic, unique and super interesting individuals who are crushing it in their field.
We take them inside their minds, daily routines, key wins and losses and periods of mass growth. So what is a millionaire anyway? You're probably thinking this is a show all about money, right? Wrong. Now that we have your attention tuning to hear about what makes a truly successful human being and how you can walk away with at
least one key insight every episode that will help you on your journey. Let's get down to the show and if you like what you hear. Don't forget to subscribe and review us and all your favorite platforms and visit us at Get Torched.
Dot com. On today's show, we do a founder and entrepreneur and an angel investor. This individual has spent time both in the USA and Australia, having invested in over 60 early stage startup businesses. He's a mentor. He's an advisor.
And he's got a keen eye for talent team, an exceptionally scalable businesses. Adrian Stone is his name. Hope you enjoy this episode of One Minute Millionaire and to check out all the information on the show and how you can get in touch with Adrian head to get torched dot com.
Enjoy, guys. Tell me what's been your biggest ever mistake? And this could be something that initially you thought was a mistake, but has actually become a really good learning experience, you know, out of failure.
It wasn't like I made a lot of mistakes.
You can't succeed without making mistakes. And as I say, every mistake is a learning experience. But my biggest mistakes were actually when I was employed. So I worked for IBM as a graduate. And I turned down two major opportunities.
One and one in particular was to be the first person in Australia to work on the IBM PC. And I said, the future is in mainframes. So I'm not very good at forecasting technology, which is rolling into my angel investing career.
But more importantly, if you do have a job, generally, I avoid that, that your that your boss has a helicopter view of what's going on and you shouldn't turn down opportunities and you're offered them.
Tell me, can you describe that first breakthrough moment in business or a career where you may have made your first million or you
may have signed your biggest client or had your biggest milestone pavement?
Well, most people think that you make a million either by saving. And I just don't think that's that's that's possible is very hard to make a million if dissaving, because it takes you 40 years.
And inflation is always nipping at your heels like a little puppy and makes it very difficult. And the other way people think you make your first million is through business. And that's kind of true. But I really didn't do it that way.
I actually did it through a real estate deal. So I had a very small business. I employed 15 people, and I was looking for a new office space in a very cheap part of town. And I came past the building actually in my area, which is a very expensive part of town.
And I decided I needed to buy the building for future capital potential. And I used the business, the fund, both the deposits. And I slowed down my payments to suppliers for about a year to build up a deposit.
And then I bought the building and I saw that five years later, I made a million bucks.
Tell me about your biggest life achievements?
besides having a beautiful family with two wonderful kids and a fantastic wife who really is.
All of them have followed me wherever I've gone. From a business perspective, the most fantastic experience I think we actually did have was moving to the US, which was for business purposes initially. But we decided we would probably end up staying there because we had such a wonderful community.
But then I sold the business kind of unexpectedly, at least the timing was unexpected, and we made the very hard decision to come back. But the time we had in the USA in Chicago was fantastic.
Tell me what makes something or someone an absolute hell yes for investing in?
Well, I have a very different approach to investing in startups, too. I have enormous investing in any other asset class. So in every other asset class, whether it's shares or real estate, I don't diversify. I concentrate, which is opposite to what people think.
But again, it's about building up wealth very quickly. But when it comes to investing in startups, ironically, everyone makes that one big bet. They bet in their cousin's business or their nephew's business. They put hundred thousand two hundred thousand in the business goes south and they lose their money.
I invest very widely. So for me, it's not about the startup itself. It's about the founders. And I look for two things in those founders. I look for a learning mind. So they're always going to I call a beginner's mind.
They always trying to learn. And number two is a sense of urgency. You can just see in everything they do.
Tell me what or who is grabbing your attention right now for investment or someone or something that you think is really going to take off or doing well at the moment in business?
That's a difficult question for me, because I've really taken the year out. I use Covid as an excuse to take a sabbatical. I try and reinvent myself every seven to 10 years. And so from 2011, I guess, to two thousand and seventeen, I was pretty much heavily involved with Angel Cube, which in early stage fund.
Now, I've taken the opportunity mainly to focus on my personal finances. So personal finance is as important to me as startup investing. And I say these three phases with personal finance is the build phase when you might be saving a nest egg or trying to start up.
There's a growth phase with for example, I gave the example of my real estate deals, but I'm in the tech phase now, the most important one, which is why I've got real estate assets and I've spent the last three years building.
Some departments buying some property and basically trying to stabilize my wealth into real estate.
Thanks for joining us for another episode of the one minute Millionaire show. If you loved what you heard, then do us a favor and review and subscribe to us on all your favorite platforms to get in touch head to gettorcht.com and see you on the next episode.