Alicia Castillo Holley: A day in the life of an angel investor, innovator, entrepreneur

Alicia Castillo Holley is on a mission to touch 1000 women entrepreneurs on how to get funded in the next 100 days. Find out more and share the message at

She is the CEO and founder of The Wealthing Institute and a member of SandhillAngels.

This is the day in the life of an angel investor, innovator, and entrepreneur.

Today I woke up at 5 am. It is always weird the first days of daylight savings, and I'm so excited about a new program I'm working on… for women.

The first thing I did was stretch and feel good about being alive. Nothing like a good stretch, I learnt that from my kids when they were babies, and it stuck.

My morning ritual includes making coffee and enjoying precious minutes of peace. I go for early morning walks if the weather is nice, which is quite usual in Silicon Valley. I am just sipping my coffee as I start writing this.

I started working at around 7am. But well, it depends what working is. I have an active mind and when I walk I think about opportunities, meaning, it is like active meditation :-)

My biggest challenge was providing feedback to my team in a way that they get empowered and strive for excellence. I used to think that my biggest challenge was closing a couple of businesses (one actually was closing my whole team at a large corporation – one of my first jobs), but as I age, my biggest challenge keeps being a good team leader.

I celebrated being alive, no doubt about that! And I also got a picture of an echosonograph of my grandbaby who is due in September.

What I love most about my work is I am making a difference, I am taking action and I feel energized. I love thinking and doing stuff.

My favorite part of the day was when… My day is just starting, but my favorite part of the day will be working with my father on a book he is writing. He is visually and hearing impaired.

Least favorite traffic… mostly because of the negative energy of traffic.  Put some music on or simply enjoy the time to relax.

I am so glad that I get to interact with people who are excited about what they do.

I wish I had more sales, more partners, more investments…  I'm always looking for growth.

Something that surprised me was the proposal from a very young entrepreneur to manage part of my marketing.

Did you have a plan for your day? Did it go as planned? Yes I do! I like to plan my days, my weeks, and I have the big blocks in place for the year, and the little innuendos that spark things here and there.

I want to recognize… Oh gee... The list is so long…  John Della Penna, Gladys del Pozo, Francince Gordon, Theresa Strickland. I'm working on a new program for women and the list of people to be grateful for is SO LONG!  They come up with suggestions, send me a note, make introductions, challenge my assumptions, it is very rewarding.

How do you commute? I actually like to walk! I live very close to downtown Menlo Park and I try to make meetings so I can walk to them. I used to bike in Australia, and take public transportation in Denmark. Silicon Valley is made for driving, but if I can, I walk.

For lunch I had a salad yesterday. I'm vegetarian and mostly vegan. I love fresh food.

A personal activity I do just for myself is walk and garden.

I most enjoyed spending time with friends and family.

For dinner I tried jackfruit in a sesame and ginger sauce. It was awesome!

My favorite technology that I used today is… I'm an avid whatsapp and skype user.

I am inspired by… right now by Hillary Clinton and Angela Merkel. Politics aside, I admire their determination and their humanity.

Did you meditate? Did you exercise? I have a hard time meditating :-) But I do exercise a lot.

One strategy I use to make my time more effective is don't sweat the small stuff! Getting stressed or upset about inefficiencies can have a larger impact on my time and well-being than being inefficient. Think if you need to rework something or start all over again. I also have little patience for bad service. Toss out the companies that do not care about you as a client. (Recently I decided to stop being an Apple customer for example, I'm shifting away from them.)

I am passionate about life, and economic development, and creating wealth.

Something I wanted to get done but didn’t get to do was learn how to paint and play the piano.

A dream I am currently focused on fulfilling is creating the largest group of educated women on funding so we can shift the numbers… and creating a complementary fund to serve these women.

I can’t live without… ahhh, coffee and fresh air.

Today I feel excited, invigorated, inspired, and humble… the world is full of opportunities to be created or discovered. I'm fully alive.

I went to sleep at around 10 last night.

Tomorrow I am looking forward to good conversation with Dad about his work on magnetism, energy, and cancer. And a good conversation with that young entrepreneur about working on social marketing on the way back home.

Alicia Castillo Holley is an international expert in creating wealth. Funny, Witty, and Passionate about prosperity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. She also has one of the coolest activities: angel investing.

Castillo Holley’s career started as a young scientist and professor on Agronomy before becoming involved in product development for a Bayer-Shell joint venture and eventually turning into an entrepreneur and angel investor. See more at

As an entrepreneur, she has started nine companies - successfully exiting from five of them - and two non-for-profit. She played a pivotal role in the Development for the Entrepreneurial Curriculum and the Venture Capital Industry in Chile, where she lived between 1996 and 2002. She has also consulted, mentored, or coached hundreds of entrepreneurs worldwide, is a prolific author and speaker, and pushes academic institutions to reinvent business education.

As an Angel Investor, she has supported over a dozen companies, mostly in Silicon Valley. See highlights at

Castillo Holley has served as a panel member of several international business plan competitions, including WRI, Endeavor, Babson College, and Western Australia’s Inventor of the Year. She is also a reviewer for several academic conferences on entrepreneurship. And, she has studied A LOT: Agronomy Engineer – Valedictorian, Magister Scientiarum- Magna Cum Laude, Universidad Central de Venezuela; Master on Business Administration – A Travieso Fellowship, Babson College; PhD in Entrepreneurship and Finance, University of Western Australia. Graduate, Australian Institute of Corporate Directors.

Philanthropically, she supports organizations that foster education, social entrepreneurship and prevent and turn domestic violence into harmony. A global trotter, she has visited over 100 countries, and has lived in Venezuela, Chile, Australia, Denmark, Switzerland, and the US (Chautauqua, Wellesley, Houston, Menlo Park).

As a speaker, she has been invited to prestigious institutions worldwide such as Babson College (USA), Rice University (USA), Stanford University (USA), Santa Clara University (USA), Tec de Monterrey (Mexico), Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University (Saudi Arabia), Effat University (Saudi Arabia), Arabian Gulf University (Bahrain), Induexpo (Latin America) Universidad Adolfo Ibanez (Chile), Universidad Central de Venezuela (Venezuela), Universidad Federico Santa Maria (Chile), Universidad Francisco Marroquin (Guatemala) as well as many private companies, and forums, which, given her age, would take too long to list.