37 ANGELS TALKS WITH Elizabeth Harrow
Liz Harrow is a Vice President at Morgan Stanley. Liz works with Morgan Stanley’s in-house startup accelerator, the Multicultural Innovation Lab, which is a Program for tech and tech enabled companies that have a multicultural or woman founder or co-founder. You can connect with Liz here.
AS AN INVESTOR
How did you get into angel investing?
I have spent most of my career researching and investing in large public companies. Along the way, I realized I wanted to be involved at the early stages of a company’s life cycle, where capital and advice really makes a difference. Additionally, I love learning about new, disruptive trends and identifying companies that look promising at an early stage before they became household names.
What inspired you to become a member of 37 Angels?
When I became interested in early stage investing, someone I met in the VC community recommended I take the 37 Angels bootcamp with Angela. The course was a great introduction to the fundamentals of early stage investing. Beyond just the boot camp, I was drawn to the 37 Angels community of intelligent, accomplished women investors who bring together a diverse set of experiences and perspectives.
What are some of the key characteristics you look for when investing?
I look for companies that have a clear competitive moat that makes them insulated from competition. I also look for traction with customers, and a strong management team.
What types of traits do you look for in founders?
When meeting founders, I think it is important to assess founder coachability, including how well the founder listens to direction and feedback. Additionally I look to see if the founder expresses passion for the business, and has a willingness to pivot if necessary.
What is the biggest risk you've taken?
I am currently writing a children’s book!
What is the most important advice would you give to aspiring angels?
I would recommend that aspiring angels conduct their own due diligence on potential investments and do not just rely on the information provided to them by a company.
What is a major warning sign/ red flag for you when looking at a new company?
One immediate concern is if a founder is not able to explain the problem their businesses is addressing. Additionally, it is concerning if a founder does not have a grasp on who their competition is or their own competitive advantage.
AS AN INDIVIDUAL
Where have you traveled that has most impressed you?
Iceland. There is so much adventure, from glacier walks to naturally forming geothermal pools!
What’s your favorite film(s)?
Dirty Dancing, You’ve Got Mail, Sliding Doors, and most recently A Star is Born – I am obsessed with the soundtrack!
What’s your favorite book(s)?
Right now, I love The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis.
Favorite New York Moment:
As a born and raised New Yorker, my favorite New York moments are at Broadway shows. My all-time favorite shows are Rent and Dear Evan Hanson.
Favorite event you attended this year:
Elton John’s Farewell Concert in New York.
Favorite pass-time activity:
Spending time with my friends and family in New York.