Impact'19: Tom Kandris

June 20, 2019

 

Tom Kandris is a regional business leader from Northern California, and a serial entrepreneur and investor. Kandris spent the first half of his career entrenched in the semiconductor industry where he held domestic and overseas senior executive and board level roles in major American, Japanese and European corporations. In 2000, Kandris cofounded PackageOne, an innovative and agile manufacturer of corrugated packaging products, which grew from a self-funded startup to an over $60 million enterprise. He led the company to a successful exit in 2017. He sits on several for-profit, nonprofit and government boards, including on the Comstock’s editorial board.

Bio Source: comstocksmag.com

 

Alan 

I'm here today with Tom Kandris he's a serial entrepreneur and involved without with the angel funding of some of the companies in Sacramento. Tom for the listeners, your background and how you came to where you are today?

 

Tom 

Well, I started in the technology space. So I like to say I went from high tech to no tech, so I was 20 plus years and the mike electronics industry, mostly in the semiconductor equipment space. And I was fortunate to be employee number six in the US at a company called ASM Lithography back in 1984. And fast forward, had some executive positions along the way with that company. My second stint at ASML I was in Asia, managing Asia Pacific. But in between there did some startups in the semiconductor equipment industry, before starting my company Package One in 2000. And then one of having an exit in 2017. So we had distribution products, but also manufacturing, through North throughout Northern California want to become the second largest in Northern California, by the time independent by time we exited the

 

Alan 

Package, One was focused on?

 

Tom 

Focus on packaging materials, primarily corrugated manufacturing. So we did have some specialty items digital print, we also invested in some innovative technology that was produced by the US forestry products to essentially take materials out of the landfill, and repurpose them into the packaging products.

 

Alan 

So Tom, you did an exit 2017.

 

Tom 

Right. And this is my second anniversary is June 19 2017, is when I had my exit. So congratulations on your anniversary.

 

Alan 

So good. So now you're focusing on helping other entrepreneurs. And you do that through helping them in an angel stage investing?

 

Tom 

So an angel or private equity type of stage, I think angel is for some of the early stage folks, but also like to do business with later stage companies that are looking for growth capital. And so I think the bottom line is I have a passion for entrepreneurs and liking. I like help helping good people make their dreams come true. And so some people in the community have called me the fairy godfather. So helping people's dreams come true, but good people with good ideas.

 

Alan 

What's the difference between a company that you want to work with versus not?

 

Tom 

I first look at the people in the team, right? So if you have a, if you have a weak team, but you're good people still is going to be very hard to implement. So you look for people that have resolve, and you have the passion. And passion doesn't mean like enthusiasm, but the ability to suffer with your company, and also the ability to have the resolve to pick yourself up and do it again. So I look for teams, I look for interesting ideas, particularly ideas that have some sort of advantage or differentiator. I think that you can get teams to help you implement. So it's about the people that have got the courage and the resolve and, and the business concepts to see it through.

 

Alan 

In today's world, I guess it's ever changing. But when you're when you're looking at technology today, do you like to go into the new state of the art technology? Or do you want to stick with proven concepts?

 

Tom 

Well, I think if there's a if there's a bandwidth or tech, you know, if there's an expansion of technology that hasn't been really tapped into, I think then go to a an extension, and really kind of leverage current technology. So there's room for that. In fact, I built my last business based on extensive technology. So if you have ways of becoming more efficient, more innovative, and an older technology, there's still room for investment, but also look at new technology. You know, we're heavily invested in blockchains, technology, chain of custody, it kind of goes back to my background, overall supply chain and technology. So I have an affinity for that. But also like things that that you can touch and feel. So I like people who actually make things that provide some level of differentiation.

 

Alan 

Tom, how does a person reach you?

 

Tom 

So they can reach out to me through email, you know, Tom@pk1inc.com

 

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