“I think I can get Dobkin to invest in us,” “Randy,” one of my co-founders, said to me at lunch. Randy had just officially joined our company, and we were talking about fundraising.
“Bob Dobkin?” I said to Randy, trying, and failing, to hide my excitement. Dobkin was the co-founder and CTO of Linear Technology, one of the most successful startups in our space ever.
That’s why I couldn’t hide my excitement, so I said, “Are you kidding me!”
“He invested in my last startup,” Randy said, “and I think I can get him to invest in us.”
Ideally, you want your angel investors to attract other investors.
Randy was an early employee at Linear Technology, so he knew Dobkin well. And, Dobkin was a legend in our industry. He had over 100 patents, and his innovations had been a large part of Linear’s growth to over $1 Billion/year in revenue.
In other words, Dobkin knew what he was doing. I mean, this guy knew the analog IC industry inside and out. If an investor was interested in the space, then Dobkin’s vote of confidence would get us over the top.
“When can I meet him?” I asked Randy.
“Let me reach out to him,” Randy replied.
Ideally, you want your angel investors to add value to your company’s operations.
A week later, Randy and I were having lunch with Dobkin at the California Cafe in Los Gatos. I’d never met Dobkin before, so I didn’t know what to expect.
We’d been competing against each other for years. Me, at Maxim, Linear’s chief competitor, and Dobkin at Linear.
We shared war stories of our past, and we got on quite well. Then, I walked Dobkin through our pitch.
It was an updated version of the same strategy that Linear had built their company with. Dobkin liked it.
“I’d like to invest,” he said.
Then he went a step further. “I think I can help you recruit because I know some engineers that would be good fits for what you are doing.”