Chris Sugden

MANAGING PARTNER

I spend my days meeting passionate entrepreneurs, listening to their stories and providing practical advice. You could say I'm in the business of making people's dreams become realities. Ultimate satisfaction is hearing that my coaching made a difference—nothing beats that.

V.I.P.
ABOUT CHRIS

Chris joined Edison in 2002. He was named Managing Partner in January 2009. He is a successful entrepreneur, experienced in finance, business strategy, product management, sales, marketing and capital formation. His financial and operating perspective from start-up to growth stage make him a valuable asset to portfolio company management.

Chris is Chairman of the firm's investment committee. He leads Edison's largest industry segment in financial technology and services. He is a thought leader in financial technology investing. Chris has deep domain and investment expertise in payments, capital markets and wealth management segments. He currently serves as a Director of eight Edison portfolio companies.

At Edison, Chris has led 27 financings including 16 new investments and has served as a Director of 16 companies.

Chris is a certified public accountant and a member of the Advisory Board for the Center for Venture Capital, Private Equity and Entrepreneurial Finance at Michigan State.

PRIOR EXPERIENCE

Previously, Chris was an Executive Vice President with Princeton eCom; Chief Executive Officer of the electronic billing division. Earlier holding the role of Chief Financial Officer, he raised multiple rounds of venture capital and completed an acquisition. During his tenure, the company revenue grew in excess of 500%.

Earlier, he was Director of Finance and Operations for two New York City-based magazine start-ups and internet businesses. Chris began his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he was a Supervisor in the entrepreneurial services group in Boston.

OTHER INVESTMENT EXPERIENCE

Archive Systems; Blue Cod; FolioDynamix; Incurrent; SmartAnalyst

EDUCATION

BA, Accounting, Michigan State University, with honors

POINT OF VIEW
My two heroes are my dad and my grandfather; they called themselves salesmen, we call them entrepreneurs. I can not remember them working for someone else—they always owned their own businesses. Entrepreneurs who understand they are salesman are my favorites to this day. You can’t change the world without making your first sale.
 
Pop-pop used to say “plan your work and work your plan”. How does a young company know where it wants to go without a plan? My dad was my favorite coach. He liked to say, “hit or be hit” on the football field. He actually scared a few parents with his intensity.
 
My job allows me to apply these lessons everyday. Planning your working and work your plan = Focusing, believing and executing on your business plan.  Hit or be hit = Being the first mover, taking risks when all the answers are not yet known. These two maxims seem contradictory, for me they describe the life of an entrepreneur perfectly.