(Photo by Tyler Waldman)
Greg Cangialosi‘s secret to startup success? Staying positive.
“There’s just good days and bad days, but what’s served me best is the attitude that the glass is half full,” he said Wednesday to a group of entrepreneurs as the guest speaker for the latest meeting of Startup Grind Baltimore. “I’ve spent a lot of time around negative people. I’ve hired negative people.”
Cangialosi, the founder of e-mail marketing firm Blue Sky Factory and, more recently, the new CEO of MissionTix in downtown Baltimore, talked about his experiences in the business in front of a crowd of about 70 at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park in Fells Point.
Since selling Blue Sky Factory to WhatCounts in 2011, Cangialosi has also become more involved in venture capital and development, cofounding incubator Betamore and becoming more involved with Baltimore Angels (which he also cofounded) as a managing partner. Since he took the helm of Baltimore Angels, he said, the group has made more deals than ever, up to eight per year in 2012 and 2013, with $2 million in capital invested so far in 2014.
“You’ve got to be on the prototype stage, you’ve got to have some traction,” he said when asked what venture capitalists look for in an opportunity. “Have your problem, have your solution … and show it’s out there in the market and it’s been validated.”
Cangialosi said he evangelizes Baltimore as a place for companies to move and pointed to success stories like Advertising.com, which AOL bought for $435 million in 2004 and still has offices in Under Armour‘s Tide Point complex. Employees with money from the buyout exited to form Baltimore-area startups of their own, he said.
Past speakers at the Baltimore event have included SocialToaster founder Brian Razzaque and, during Baltimore Innovation Week 2013, author Wes Moore. The Baltimore group, run by local venture capital advisor Leo Khin, is one of 50 such Startup Grind chapters worldwide.
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