Paige Craig is not your typical Angel Investor; his buttoned-down demeanor belies an intensity to succeed that is unmatched in these parts.
Anyone who follows Craig’s socials knows that he lives life to the fullest, staying connected to his portfolio of companies yet still finding time to snowboard, scuba dive, rock climb, and hit dirt trails in some remote parts of the world.
The Wall Street Journal even noted his “extreme sports” vibe — but don’t let the t-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops fool you, Craig is deeply involved in the LA tech space, and lasers in on his investments with an unmatched directness. Per a 2013 LA Weekly article, according to Carrbon CEO Niko Cunningham, “He appears to be a regular Joe, but that mind is working 1,000 miles a minute.”
Venice-based Paige Craig lived a lifetime prior to becoming an investor and advisor to a number of companies — Craig was recruited into West Point, dropped out and joined the Marines, built an intelligence & communications business as a contractor on the front lines of Iraq, and ran corporate benefits company BetterWorks as he moved deeper into the investing world.
So hopping into LA’s VC world is a relative cakewalk to such a background, but not without its challenges. In his six years as an Angel Investor, he has enjoyed the upside of being early in companies like Angellist, Klout, Lyft, Postmates, and is working to help local companies Honk (link), LaurelandWolf (link), and Stacksocial (link) take off in 2015.
We recently caught up with Paige for a couple questions:
Is there a certain criteria for the types of companies that you invest in?
Amazing hard working, passionate, talented founders who’ve built an MVP and have data, revenue or a valid plan to get to revenue. I look for massive ideas paired with tactical execution: meaning, I want to know there’s a massive roadmap for the company, but the founders are spending their days building, testing and working with early customers to validate the problem they’re solving and the product. I prefer seed, post-seed and sometimes series A deals
What are some of your current investments that are starting to gain momentum?
So many, but the names most people recognize today would be Angellist, Lyft, Postmates, Styleseat, Wish, Quizup, Livefyre. Some of my LA investments taking off include LaurelandWolf, Honk app, Retention Science, Omaze, Stacksocial and Card.com
Your social pages are filled with amazing adventures around the world. Any advice on how to balance work life with the life that you want to live?
I don’t have good advice for balance – I’m pretty fanatical about whatever I do. Right now I’m making a massive professional and personal shift and I’ll be doing a lot more investing and far less traveling
What do you think 2015 holds in store, both for you and for LA in general?
I have something new – I’ll be doing far more investments across the US, but I’ll save that for a later date. As far as LA goes there will be more startups, more investors, and even bigger companies scaling here.
Invest in Paige Craig’s Angellist Syndicate (link)
LA Weekly (link)
Wall Street Journal (link)