When I sought out an Apprentice/Chief of investments, I assumed one person could do all the tasks I was looking for. What I quickly realized is that because the crypto ecosystem is growing so fast (and in true crypto fashion, is distributed globally) that what I really needed were 2 people:
- One person to lead my investments in new projects and travel to meet with their teams wherever they were located (Tokyo, Shanghai, Berlin, etc.);
- A second person to manage my existing investments and help me achieve my longterm goals by serving as COO of my family office here in Austin.
I’m happy to say that I’ve found my trilingual-finance-marketing-guru unicorn Henry Liu to serve as my Apprentice/Chief of Investments (you can read more about Henry here).
I’m happy to announce that I’ve now also found the person that will lead my family office. His name is Mark Thorsen, and if you live in Austin, you probably already know him.
I chose Mark Thorsen for a number of reasons:
- He’s process-driven and has a passion for early stage projects and helping investors. For the last 4 years, Mark led due diligence on new startup investments for the Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN). During his time there, he reviewed over 1,000 startups, worked with over 200 investors, and helped CTAN become the most active single-chapter angel investment network in the country for two consecutive years (2015 and 2016).
- He has wealth management skills, + a back ground in finance, + entrepreneurial experience, and is also deep into technology.
- He has a passion for decentralized systems, saw the vision early on, and bought bitcoin in 2013.
Background on Mark
Mark was born in Russia, grew up in San Diego, and graduated with a degree in Economics in three years from UC-San Diego. His first job after college was on the trading desk of HSBC in New York in 2007, where he collateralized mortgage backed securities — the derivatives that ultimately led to the financial crisis in 2008.
That experience turned Mark into a gold-bug, libertarian, Ron Paul supporter, crypto enthusiast, and changed his career trajectory from big banks to small startups.
After moving back to California, Mark served as Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of San Diego: Center for Peace and Commerce, where he advised business school students on triple bottom line business models that addressed people, planet, and profit, and helped launch the school’s Social Innovation Challenge pitch competition that awarded seed funding to these students.
From there, Mark moved to Austin to join CTAN where in addition to leading due diligence on new investments, he served as a formal or informal advisor to dozens of startups.
The value Mark adds
I’m a believer in the aphorism “a rising tide lifts all boats.” If boats are crypto projects, my daily goal is to help raise the tide by advising projects, connecting them with resources they need (capital, mentorship, introductions, etc.), and hiring Henry to multiply my efforts.
The value Mark adds is to help me accomplish my personal goals. While discussing my goals isn’t the purpose of this post, I will say that most people underestimate the level of my ambition and don’t allow themselves to think big enough. For example, I want to be one of the first people to take their family on the SpaceX BFR to Mars and set about building a new civilization there. That experience isn’t going to be cheap, but I have a plan in place, and Mark’s goal is to help me execute on it.
In short, Mark manages all of my family office operations, bringing order to chaos. Or as Mark and I joke, if I’m Warren Buffet, he’s Charlie Munger.
You can reach Mark here: email@example.com