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.

ABOUT CHRIS 

Sugden joined Edison in 2002. Chris is Managing Partner and Chairman of the firm's investment committee. He has been on both sides of the table as a successful entrepreneur. His experience includes leading sales, product, finance, business strategy and capital formation. Chris brings a unique mix of investment and operating perspectives for growth-stage companies. Sugden has been a leading executive and investor in Fintech for over 25 years—before fintech was fintech. Chris’ investment expertise and exits span payments, capital markets and wealth management segments. At Edison, Chris’ track record includes leading dozens of new investments and over 60 rounds of financing. He has served as Director of more than 25 portfolio companies and currently sits on the board of five Edison fintech companies. 

PRIOR EXPERIENCE 

Previously, Chris was an Executive VP and division CEO for an early leader in the electronic bill payment industry. He raised multiple rounds of venture capital and completed an acquisition. During his tenure revenue grew in excess of 500%. Earlier, he was head of finance and operations for two media and internet start-ups. His career began at PricewaterhouseCoopers as in the entrepreneurial services audit group in Boston. 

NOTABLE EXITS 

Clearpool Group (Bank of Montreal), Billtrust (IPO), EdgeTrade (Knight Capital), FolioDynamix (Actua), GAIN Capital (IPO), MoneyLion (IPO), PHX (Zelis), Operative (Sintec Media), OptionsCity (Vela Trading), Predata (FiscalNote)  

EDUCATION 

BA, Accounting, Michigan State University, with honors 

POINT OF VIEW

My two heroes are my dad and my grandfather; they called themselves salesmen, I 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”. He actually scared a few parents on the football field with his intensity.

My job allows me to apply these lessons everyday. Planning your work and working 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.

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