021 Colleen Poynton — The Importance of Networking and Relationship Building in Investing

A conversation with Colleen Poynton of Core Innovation Capital

Colleen Poynton is the Vice President of Core Innovation Capital where she sources and invests in companies that make financial services more efficient, affordable, accessible, and secure for individuals and businesses.

Prior to her involvement in Core, Colleen worked on the sourcing and selection team at Endeavor Global and helped launch and scale the commercial real-estate startup, IIC, as the first employee. She has a MBA from Columbia Business School and graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University.

In this episode, Colleen speaks about her experience with investing and her role in Core Innovation Capital as well as emphasizing the importance of networking in order to become a strong investor.

Key Takeaways

  • 03:38 — How Colleen got involved with 37 Angels in the beginning
  • 05:50 — Getting an investor’s perspective at an early age
  • 06:37 — What Core Innovation Capital invests in and does
  • 07:36 — How Core Innovation Capital founder, Arjan Schütte’s investment thesis brought Colleen into the world on investing
  • 09:28 — Core’s investment thesis and mission
  • 12:25 — How the members of Core assembled together
  • 14:54 — Challenges in raising an institutional fund
  • 17:28 — What would Colleen tell her younger self
  • 21:00 — Walkthrough of soft due diligence at Core
  • 24:09 — How teams are mentored at Core
  • 27:21 — The importance of being self-aware and receiving feedback
  • 29:46 — What are the typical advice startups receive
  • 32:02 — Follow on investing and helping startups fundraise at the next level
  • 34:12 — Relationships with early stage accelerators
  • 36:10 — How to build enterprise value
  • 39:04 — Trends in the FinTech industry


“The origin of Core was serving underserved markets here in the States.

“Network is very important in bringing people together. Good people lead you to good people.

“I think the most important thing is to be honest with yourself about what you can bring.

“As an investor, one of your most important assets is your network and that is inclusive of your network of other investors.

“When you sit down and have a conversation, you need to walk away extremely impressed.

“Relationship building is incredibly important in the angel and in the fund arena.

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