Investor Connect Podcast

In this episode, Hall welcomes Annette Finsterbusch, President & CEO of EnPower, Inc.

Headquartered in Phoenix, AZ, EnPower is focused on developing scalable, engineering-based innovations that unlock the full potential of lithium-ion, high energy density cells with their patented electrode architectures deliver 3X faster charging, 70% more power, and longer service life than today's best batteries.

Annette is a serial entrepreneur with more than 30 years of operating, management, and venture capital investing experience. Her career has been dedicated to driving growth and building value through successfully identifying, financing, and developing innovation into products and businesses in untapped markets. Her global corporate board experience spans multiple industries, including compound semiconductors, energy storage, lighting, advanced materials, 3-D printing, and the Internet-of-Things. 

Previously, Annette was the Founder of Applied Ventures, the venture arm of Applied Materials. She was responsible for developing the venture group’s investment strategy and execution plan. She sourced, led, syndicated, and managed Applied Material’s investments while also managing a group of investment professionals. From 1996 to 2000, she was based in Russia, where she led Applied’s expansion into Eastern Europe, chartering Applied’s first office in Moscow.

Other notable positions include CEO of, a technology spin-out of DaimlerChrysler’s Research and Technology Center; Investment Manager at DaimlerChrysler Venture Capital, where she was responsible for enterprise software and fuel cell investments; and CEO of Ketra (formerly Firefly Green Technology), an IoT company based on LED lighting and wireless controls.

Annette has been a member of the National Science Foundation’s SBIR/STTR Advisory Committee since 2014 and was named the chair in 2019. She is a Kauffman Fellow, Class 11, where she was honored with the first annual Jeffrey Timmons Memorial Award. She is currently serving as a Mentor for Class 23.

Philanthropic Directorships include seats on the Board of Directors at the Junior League of San Jose, the Exceptional Women Executives of San Jose State University, and Los Gatos Rowing Club. She also serves on the Board of GLAC (Global Leadership Advancement Center). Annette holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Geology and Economics from the University of Houston and an MBA from San Jose State University. She received the Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) Award in 2004 from the faculty at SJSU.

Annette shares her investment thesis with Hall, advises investors and entrepreneurs, and shares some of the challenges investors and startups face in the sector.

You can visit EnPower, Inc. at, and via LinkedIn at

Annette can be contacted via email at, and via LinkedIn at

Direct download: Annette_Finsterbusch_of_EnPower_Inc..mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:23am CST

Hello, this is Hall T. Martin with the Startup Funding Espresso -- your daily shot of startup funding and investing.

The CEO must operate in two modes: managing and leading.

As a manager, the CEO must define the strategy, recruit the team, and set goals for the company. 

This requires strong organizational skills.

As a leader, the CEO must set the vision, motivate the team, and create a culture. 

This requires having a vision, caring about the people, and communicating effectively.

The team will be more motivated if they can see themselves as part of the company’s vision. 

Start with the “Why?” and show how each person is a part of it.

In the early days of a company, there’s energy and excitement in the startup world.

As the company grows, the startup euphoria wears off and the company becomes an ongoing business.

The CEO establishes and reinforces the culture every day by the choices made.

The team watches the CEO for cues on what’s valuable to the company.

The CEO can articulate the values of the company, but what the CEO actually does will determine the culture the company achieves.

Thank you for joining us for the Startup Funding Espresso where we help startups and investors connect for funding.

Let’s go startup something today.

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Music courtesy of Bensound.

Direct download: Role_of_the_CEO_-_Managing_vs_Leading.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST