Andrea Kalmans, Principal of Lontra Ventures, Talks Tech Investing on Ideas to Invoices

Andrea Kalmans, principal of Lontra Ventures, courtesy photo

By LAURA LOREK
Publisher with Silicon Hills News

Andrea Kalmans, a principal with Lontra Ventures, is a force in the Austin and San Antonio technology community.
She spends her time mentoring entrepreneurs and working with technology startups.

In this episode of Ideas to Invoices, Kalmans, an angel investor, discusses how she has seen Austin change and grow its technology industry since she moved here with her husband, Walter, in 1999. She also talks about what she looks for when deciding which startups to work with and mentor.

Kalmans, who is from Minnesota, got her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She later earned her MBA at the University of Texas at Austin. She also worked as an executive at Dell in its software and peripheral business. Before that, Kalmans worked at Salomon Smith Barney in its media investment bank in New York City.

At Lontra Ventures, Kalmans focuses on the firm’s technology portfolio with investments in artificial intelligence, analytics, audio and video, big data, database technologies, developer tools, high-performance computing, IT infrastructure and Internet of Things and Web optimization.

Kalmans is a mentor at Techstars Austin, Capital Factory, The Dell Medical Catalyst Program in Austin and the RealCo Accelerator/Geekdom Fund in San Antonio.

Kalmans is an investor in Nexd, an Austin-based artificial intelligence startup focused on sales processes. She is also an investor in Austin-based StopLight, founded in 2014 by Marc MacLeon, and a 2015 graduate of Techstars Austin. The company makes software for engineering teams to document, test and build Web APIs. Other investments include BlazingDB, a Techstars Boulder 2015 graduate, that provides organizations with speed and scale in data warehouse solutions and Bitfusion, which provides an artificial intelligence infrastructure management software to companies.

One of Kalman’s investments, Experiment Engine, a graduate of Techstars Austin, recently got acquired. San Francisco-based Optimizely bought Experiment Engine in April of 2017. Claire Vo, CEO and Founder of Experiment Engine, moved to San Francisco with her family to work for the company, Kalmans said.

“I work with people who folks who are an exceedingly high energy level and brilliance level,” Kalmans said.

To get in touch with her, send a thoughtful email to her at AKalmans@lontraventures.com.

Do not send a LinkedIn request with no introduction and don’t ask her for coffee.

“The let’s grab coffee line is really overused,” she said.

Entrepreneurs should seek to make trustworthy friends in Austin, Kalmans said.

“Give of yourself and people will give to you,” Kalmans said.

Austin needs to focus on building awesome companies, Kalmans said. There isn’t a shortage of venture capital here, she said. Entrepreneurs can get on a plane and get venture capital if they have a great idea, team, and startup, she said.

Capital, talent, and other resources flow freely now in a global economy, Kalmans said.

For more on the conversation with Lontra Ventures’ Kalmans, please listen to the entire Ideas to Invoices Podcast. And please subscribe, rate and review Ideas to Invoices on iTunes.

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