At Loon Creek, we recently announced that I (Will Fowler) will be taking over as Managing Member. This transition comes at an important time in our firm as we expand our services and geographical footprint in the Angel Investing community. We’ve now raised five member-managed funds, serviced numerous SPVs (Single Purpose Vehicles) and syndicates, and currently provide back-end services for active Angel Funds and Angel Alliances in the Northwest and California. We’ve gone from being locally focused to being involved in regional and national efforts making early stage investing more accessible and transparent. I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished so far, humbled by my new role, and excited about where we’re headed.
My transition to becoming Managing Member started when I lived in New York City. No, I didn’t work for Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, or any kind of financial institution...I was an actor. After getting my MFA in theatre, I moved to New York, secured a reputable agent, and spent the next six years performing in theatre, TV, and film. As most actors can attest, employment in the arts is anything but dependable, and so I spent time in between acting roles doing an array of things in the corporate world of New York City. In an effort to defy stereo types, I never waited tables.
It was these in-between times and experiences that began to spark my imagination about how the arts and business are actually very similar. After moving back to Boise, I gained an MBA and simultaneously dove into the startup world. To my great fortune, Boise is a very interesting place to build a startup. It has a unique mix of corporate talent centers (HP, Micron, Simplot, Albertson’s), a reasonably mature Angel Investing scene, and a community based culture. People who move here tend to “stick”, and the community is small enough that everyone is accessible. This allowed me to get involved, learn, and contribute in a very short time.
I immediately saw similarities to the arts. Like the arts, angel investing is fraught with risk. Like the arts, startups are constantly building and iterating on what their audience needs and wants. Like the arts, both investors and startups are trying to create something new and meaningful. One of the things we said often in the Theatre was “If you’re going to fail, fail big.” Maybe this is why I feel so at home in the world of early stage investing.
With Loon Creek I’ve served as an intern, screening administrator, due diligence facilitator, SPV coordinator, fund administrator, and partner. Boise gave me opportunities to accelerate my learning and I’m grateful to have worked so closely with the Boise Angel Alliance and Loon Creek. In my new role, I no longer get applause at the end my workday, but the feeling I get when a new company finds a way to scale and makes an impact on their local community is just as exciting...and the upside when we have a liquidity event is nice too.