With Google's stock hovering around $435 a share, employees who had the foresight to join in the early years have made their financial advisors proud. Recently, an increasing number of early Google employees have cashed out their options.
Why? They've hatched grand plans to share their wealth and expertise with early stage companies. Here are three investors who have recently left Google and may be seeking a company like yours to invest in.
Andrea Zurek—Mountain View, California
Job at Google: Part of the original West Coast sales team for Google AdWords
Industries she's eyeing: Consumer internet, social networking, retail/consumer
Likes: Entrepreneurs who are financially invested in their companies and have found other investors; patented or otherwise defensible technologies; scrappy, flexible management teams
Number of businesses in which she's invested: 10
One to watch: Metropark, a fashion retailer from the founders of Hot Topic
Plans: Working on XG-Ventures, a formal angel investors group she created with other ex-Googlers (including Pietro Dova, below)
David Hirsch—New York City
Job at Google: Business development and sales. He helped set up the New York City office and founded the Vertical Markets Group.
Industries he's eyeing: Online media, mobile payments, financial services
Likes: "Companies that solve a neat problem"; a good core technology; teams that can adjust to change
Number of businesses in which he's invested: Three
One to watch: Amie Street, a music site with songs that start out free and increase in price the more they're downloaded
Plans: Starting an incubator/investment fund called Metamorphic Ventures in New York City to help new companies accelerate growth
Pietro Dova—Redwood City, California
Job at Google: Corporate controller and finance director
Industries he's eyeing: Consumer internet, online media, mobile applications
Likes: Revenue models that look beyond advertising dollars; disruptive technology that can't be easily replicated Number of businesses in which he's invested: Two, and a couple in the works
One to watch: DataDirect, a provider of high-end storage solutions for data-intensive, business-critical applications
Plans: Investing in five to 10 companies a year. "It's not only looking at startups from an investment perspective, it's looking for startups where I can add value as an advisor and mentor."
—By Julie Sloane
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