By guest authors Irina Patterson and Candice Arnold
This is the fourth interview in our series on seed financing and angel investing. Today we are talking to Malvern D. Lusky, CPA, and individual angel who is also a part of the Houston Angel Network.
Irina: Hi, Malvern. You’re an individual angel, right? And also associated with the Houston Angel Network (HAN)?
Malvern: That’s correct. I did a little bit on my own before joining the network, and I’ve been a member of that network for five years now.
The Houston Angel Network is a nonprofit organization that provides its members a forum in which to efficiently evaluate promising early-stage investment opportunities. Its membership consists of active and SEC-accredited angel investors who share the goal of making informed, collaborative investments in promising early stage Texas-based companies. HAN was founded in late 2001 and is the largest and most active angel network in Texas. Since inception, our members have invested more than $27 million in 54 deals.
Irina: Do you consider yourself a regional, national, or international investor? If regional, what is your primary region(s)?
Malvern: While I prefer to invest in the local (Texas) area, I will consider deals from elsewhere if they make sense. I like local deals because I can visit the location, tour the facilities, and meet the personnel. Furthermore, I am often a hands-on angel investor making myself available for advice, consultation, and mentoring if necessary.
Irina: You have a background in accounting and also in journalism, sports, and entertainment. Such an interesting combination. Tell us a few words about yourself.
Malvern: I was born in San Antonio, and I moved to Houston when I was about 14. I got my degree in journalism with a focus on advertising and public relations from the University of Texas. I spent some time in that, and then I switched to accounting because the other just wasn’t paying enough. And I decided I wanted to eat. And then I actually put myself through accounting school as a freelance photographer. From there, in 1979, I went on my own and started my own CPA firm.
Irina: How did your expertise in sports and entertainment develop?
Malvern: One of my clients was in that industry. I helped him negotiate the purchase of the company that he had started, as a venture, and then he wanted to buy the whole thing. So, I helped him negotiate that, and then he asked me to come on board and I spent about 12 years as CFO for that company and of related companies.
My expertise is in the sports and entertainment industries; however, I have reviewed only one deal in that industry in the past five years. Most of the deals in which I have invested have been consumer products (packaged goods), banking enterprises, and Internet-based consumer sales.
Irina: Do most of your deals come from the Houston Angel Network and private sources?
Malvern: Right. Most of them come through referrals or the Houston Angel Network – ones that I review – however, someone can reach me directly through my website at mal at luskygroup.com. And then I’ve had several friends as well as CPAs, stockbrokers, insurance professionals, and friends who know that I do this who have referred some deals to me.