Interview with Sammy Abdullah

Sammy is the founder of the Dallas Angel network and has a degree in Business from The University of Texas at Austin – The Red McCombs School of Business.


What are Dallas Investors looking for?

I’m going to be honest with you, in Dallas, investors are still pretty old school. They’re still in the mindset of investing in a factory that makes “widgets” or anything that has to do with oil and energy. Tough world to break into right?! Tech start-ups are big on the East/West coast.

What are your three pieces of advice for young entrepreneurs?

1. Know your team, seriously I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a team that’s lacking in unity. Entrepreneurship is too difficult and risky to not have an absolutely unified team. It might take you awhile to find your perfect partner, but its far more valuable to spend that time and resources upfront than to pay the consequences of a failed partnership.

2. Know what you need. Confidence is key here. Why am I going to invest in you if you’re not self-aware? There are two things that will happen in the realm of Angel Investing:

a. Your investors will be investing in you, not necessarily your idea, if they know you.

b. If your investors don’t know you, it doesn’t matter how good your idea is, they don’t want you to be any part of it. If they like your idea a lot, chances are that they will buy it from you and it will no longer be yours.

3. Do not seek funding too quickly. I see this far too often. It adds a dimension to your business that will overtake other developing areas. There’s a reason the start-up community has incubators and accelerators and that’s to develop the idea, the business, and the team harmoniously while bringing in money at the right phases.

Interview conducted by Chase Harker, a SMU Engineering Student

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