This week, Mitra Miller shares her remarkable journey in the tech industry, offering insights into her experiences as a woman navigating the field. Mitra is a managing member of Mill River Advisors and a board member at the Houston Angel Network. She is also a mentor at the Eagle Investor Program. Mitra highlights the importance of fostering diversity and inclusion in the tech ecosystem, sharing her vision for a more inclusive tech scene in Houston. Mitra and Chris explore the profound influence of mentorship on the next generation of entrepreneurs, providing valuable takeaways from Mitra Miller's inspiring career.
[00:00] Start of episode
[04:12] Mitra’s journey in the tech sector
[09:45] Inclusion in tech
[15:25] Mitra’s vision for Houston tech
[22:16] Power of mentorship
[26:55] Forming a nonprofit
[29:17] Mitra’s takeaways
The Power of Collaborative Angel Investing
Mitra highlights the significance of collaborative angel investing as she shares her experiences with angel groups. She emphasizes the role of shared knowledge and collaboration in making better investment decisions. She said that, working within a tribe, everyone gets a share of the others’ talents.
"I found that in both angel groups that I'm in, it's that shared knowledge base that makes us smarter. We're not infallible, angel investing is still crazy risky, but I think we've done much better than average because of that."
The Evolving Landscape of Technology and Innovation
Mitra and Chris discuss the ever-evolving technology landscape and the importance of staying prepared for digital transformation. Mitra reflects on her journey and how technology has changed since her early involvement in intranet and networking. She highlights that what’s even more surprising is what has remained the same. Things like scalability, data transfer, and security have all remained important.
"I think what's actually more interesting, at least for me, is how much has remained the same. Some of the underlying principles have remained the same."
Empowering the Next Generation of Investors
Mitra shares her passion for mentoring and her nonprofit organization, the Eagle Investor Program, which introduces underrepresented high school students to entrepreneurship and investing. She discusses the impact of empowering young minds to think like investors and problem solvers. A couple hundred students have already gone through the program and Mitra said that they are better at evaluating startups than some adults.
“They don't know this world exists. And here they are at a gala banquet, getting their picture taken with a startup company and a big check. They come out just absolutely floating on air, and it changes how they see the world.”
Houston's Entrepreneurial Ecosystem on the Rise
Both Mitra and Chris express their enthusiasm for Houston's entrepreneurial ecosystem. They discuss the city's diverse and thriving environment for innovation, touching on key sectors like energy transition, technology, space, and consumer startups. Entrepreneurs are problem solvers, Mitra says. With numerous exciting new tech sectors, Houston’s startup space is only getting started.
"We are one of the largest, most diverse cities on the planet. And I think it's only going up from here."