Dr. Joel Palathinkal is a seasoned investor and entrepreneur affiliated with a global network of Single Family Offices, High Net Worth Investors, Endowments, and Venture Capitalists. He’s the CEO of Sutton Capital and an LP / Mentor to emerging investment managers. Sutton Capital invests in opportunities focused on Fintech, Real Estate, B2B SaaS, Deep Tech, Space Exploration, Impact Investing, Cleantech, & Climate Change. Early in Joel’s career, he ran technology product innovation in Fintech, Artificial Intelligence, & for the Dept. of Defense. He completed his Ph.D in Modeling & Simulation while he was building flight simulators for the defense industry.
I met Tess through a friend in 2020 during the surge of the pandemic. This was a tough time for everyone in the world. But I was fortunate to meet someone so genuine and intelligent at this trying time. She understands that life is about relationships and giving first. She holds friendships to being the core of life & celebrating growth together. She likes to be generous & give first. When you do that in life, your blessings, opportunities, and investments multiply. And I totally resonate with this aspect of how she builds empires with others.
When I met her, we had similar backgrounds being investors in some of the top tier unicorn companies in fintech, ai, blockchain, & deeptech. She immediately showed value by introducing me to a really great cybersecurity startup. After spending more time with her and the team, I was impressed with the traction that the business had and invested as an angel in their seed round. I have in the past heard her refer to herself as providing a lamborghini like experience when she provides dealflow and selects the right founders to back. When she is messaging or texting you, it will behoove you to pickup because there’s something exciting she has to share.
From a technical and financial sophistication standpoint, she is the most premier person to speak to and she articulates a vision that often can see farther than others. She can model out and predict what will happen in the following investment rounds and also integrates insights from how external factors can impact outcomes of specific opportunities and founding teams. She has a strong connected network on both coasts and specifically, on the west coast, she has strong ties with Stanford, Innovation, Angel, Family Office, HNWI, and Private Equity Communities.
I have observed her ability to be a founder friendly advisor to entrepreneurs. She is able to empathize with founders because she is an experienced serial entrepreneur. She has the full stack of skills that are needed to not only be an investor, but also roll up her sleeves and help the founders get to predictable monthly revenue, scale, raise the next round of funding, and grow by multiples in valuation. Another great attribute that she possesses is a strong work ethic, organization, preparation, and the ability to connect people from different skillsets to form a powerful team. She is a true connector with the special skill of identifying skills in talented individuals and helping people harness their true gifts to be successful while being part of a community. When it comes to community, she has greatly supported mine. She has been a guest on my web show, and has also given back to the community. Part of my community consists of people who aspire to be successful entrepreneurs and investors like her. Many of the attendees of her guest speaker events mentioned that she was very inspiring and grew a knowledge that they didn’t have before about investing and private equity / VC.
When it comes to emotional intelligence, she is always thoughtful of making sure that she provides background to both parties before making an intro to ensure that connections are most fruitful. She is also focused on providing value first vs. asking for help. Another important trait that she has is honesty and authenticity. Part of her caring nature which I truly love probably also comes from her being an awesome mom of a son. She is able to maintain a true balance of work life harmony. I am glad to have a kind, authentic, and generous person in my life, and I am a better person because of it.