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Longtime VC Gives Advice to Startups, Discusses 7X Return

John Martinson has been a venture capitalist for 45 years, and joined JumpStart NJ in 2016. He guided the formation of JumpStart by the NJ Tech Council, which he co-founded. Martinson founded and led Edison Partners for 30 years. He was the Chair and Director for the National Venture Capital Association from 1992 to 2000.

Why did you join JumpStart NJ?

Well organized angel group. Generates considerable deal flow. Stable experienced membership. Capable dedicated staff.

John Martinson

Why were you interested in angel investing initially?

Inspired by eager, creative founders.

Tell us about a noteworthy investment you made through JumpStart NJ.

STRATIS: Multi-family automation. Invested $2.3M over three rounds. Company sold for 7X return in four years.

What is the most common mistake a founder makes when seeking funding?

Not enough customer confirmation of product-market fit.

Advice for someone about to present to JumpStart or another angel fund?

Talk more about customer benefits.

How do you spend your free time when not angel investing?

Small buyout investing, philanthropy, travel, golf and theater.


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