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Tony Wilkins

Ever since I got laid off from my first real job as an engineer at Chrysler Corp, my goal has been to build a portfolio of a variety of investments that would allow me to have fun, help people with their dreams and make enough money to support that type of livelihood independently and indefinitely. Thirty years later, it has worked out better than I could have imagined...or believed possible when I was 23.

I made my first angel investment in November of 1991 while I was working my day job.

After years of failures and successes, studying what's worked and being continuously amazed by what can happen when you keep an open mind, I coach, connect and invest in founders before their success is evident to most other investors.

I've made over 50 investments across a variety of industries; consumer products, financial services, social media, business services, retail, real estate and AI. You can see what we're invested in right now in the Portfolio section of the website.

I view my role as being the early investor who helps launch companies so that experts in a specific field can take over, either acquirers or VCs. My job is simple; provide relevant perspectives from experiences in a variety of industries to help folks make better decisions, particularly when navigating new or unfamiliar terrain. I shorten learning curves and help people avoid avoidable mistakes.

The bulk of my working career was spent in the financial industry in a variety of roles; portfolio manager, institutional marketing, sales, management. TL;DNR details are on my LinkedIn profile.

In the nonprofit world, I served as BNY Mellon’s Trustee Representative and Senior Investment Advisor to the W. K. Kellogg Foundation Trust as one of four Trustees on this $9B entity. I was an Executive Member of the Disciplinary Review Committee of the CFA Institute from 2006 - 2012, President of the Association of Investment Management Sales Executives in 2012 and Board Member of the National Association of Securities Professionals. Other board experiences include the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, Chair – Chicago Training Alliance and Chair – Finance Committee of Chicago Abused Women and their Children. I currently serve on the board of AnitaB.org as Vice Chair of Compensation and Chair of the Audit Committee.  

My finance career began after six years in the military electronics industry working for AT&T and as a firmware engineering manager at Atlanta-based, Lockheed Loral. My first real job was at Chrysler Corporation in Detroit after driving tow trucks and pumping gas throughout high school.

I am a CFA Charterholder, received my BSEE from Northwestern University and his MBA from the Booth School of Business at  the University of Chicago.

  • Ability to describe anything in five words
  • Connecting relevant people
  • Storytelling
  • Avid randonneur

Tony Wilkins
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