Leadership Spotlight on Entrepreneurship: Meet Emmett King

In this edition of our Leadership Spotlight series, we had a Q&A with Emmett King about his role as an entrepreneur and angel investor. 


Who are you, and what is your current role?

I am Emmett King, an American entrepreneur and angel investor with over 20 years of business experience in Romania. I love living and working in Cluj-Napoca. I enjoy possessing a strong knowledge of my adopted homeland, its history, and its business environment.

Over the last twenty years, I have created or managed companies in various domains, including cybersecurity, A.I. for visual analytics, telemedicine, software and hardware development, consulting, training and development, and adventure camps.

In 2018, I co-founded T.A.N., an angel investment NGO, whose 70+ members have invested over 3.5 million euros in 30+ Romanian startups.

I've been blessed with entrepreneurial success on two continents!

In the U.S., I was part of the founding team or the founder of 10 companies in eight industries from 1987-2003, including taking one of them public on NASDAQ in NYC.

They operated across a wide range of domains: international logistics, solid waste management, recycling, real estate, documentary filmmaking, benefits management., specialty coffee & public accounting.

My current roles include:

  • Co-Founder & Business Developer; D3 Cyber and Transylvania Angels Network (T.A.N.) 

  • Founding Investor and Board member of Telios Care

  • Founding Investor, Board member, and Business Developer of AI for Visual Analytics (AiVA)

Could you describe your goals and key accountabilities to get you there?

  • To be an honest entrepreneur who treats all colleagues and clients fairly.
  • To create and grow good businesses with good people who deliver value to clients and shareholders.

What is most rewarding about your role?

I get to work with and continuously learn from smart and nice people. I enjoy the intellectual stimulation of having different roles in each team while learning about different industries.


What are the biggest challenges you are facing in your role? What are the biggest lessons learned?

Juggling four different schedules and accommodating other people's constantly changing programs.

The importance of constantly evaluating my priorities while understanding others' constantly changing priorities.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Sometimes, you need to leap, and sometimes, you need to stand still. 


How does the remote work environment impact your role?

It helps me because I do not need to physically be anywhere/everywhere.


How do you balance work life and personal life?

By constantly being aware of its importance and acting on that.


What's the last thing that made you smile?

This question! I make it a habit to smile and laugh as often as possible, every day.


Where do you see yourself and your role in the future? What are you looking to accomplish?

Sitting on many boards, of various companies, in various domains, focusing on helping other entrepreneurs to understand their options and trust their instincts in order to make their best decisions with the facts that they know.


What's on your bucket list to do within the next five years?

Too many to list; personally and professionally.


Why is mentoring so important to you?

Because it is the right thing to do, and I get to learn while giving to others.


The Aspiration Marketing team thanks you, Emmett. We appreciate your time for this interview and look forward to continuing to mutually shape our organizations through this partnership with you. Additional spotlights include Leadership Spotlight on Marketing and Leadership Spotlight on Hospitality. They are part of our focus on Marketing Strategy.

Claudia leads People Operations and owns "everything people" (=a lot). A Romanian native, she loves to travel, especially by car (she loves to drive). She’s also been practicing fitness for ten years now.

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