Carrie Thome left the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, where, as the Chief Investment Officer, she oversaw a $3 billion investment portfolio, to co-found NVNG Investment Advisors, an investment platform and network made up of a family of funds.
Because of the change in her roles between her former and current venture, the view she's had of companies has now flipped from looking top down as an investor, to now bottom up as an entrepreneur. This experience has taught her something about fundraising.
"As much as you know it's difficult to fundraise and everyone says it is, to actually have to do it, it gives you a new appreciation for it and for the difficulty," she says. "Fundraising is difficult, and it should be. The mental challenge of it, I guess, of always trying to stay up and to take a lot of nos, which you know you're going to get; you know that when you're coming into this. But to get to the nos so frequently and continue to keep getting over that, to keep going until you get to the yes, it's a challenge. And you can't really prepare yourself because as much as you want to be optimistic, there are just days where certain ones would just get you. So, I have a newfound respect for anyone that goes out and tries to raise money. Always had a respect for it but now having done it, it's tough."
She says she always tried to be very quick with a response while at WARF to let people know where they were at whether she was likely to invest or not. Now being on the other side, she appreciates that even more.
"I wish actually more people would do that and give you a little bit more. Because everybody's time is money, if you will. And if it's a no, that's fine; there's going to be nos. To be able to get a quick answer if it's a fit or not, is greatly appreciated. I guess I appreciate everyone's resilience and the daring to just go out and try something crazy like this. Because there are easier ways to make a living, I suppose, given my background."
Carrie spoke on the Smart Business Dealmakers Podcast about the organization, leaving WARF to launch it, her experience as a fund raiser and the progress NVNG has made since its start in 2019.