investor stories

How Eric Bahn made $400k on an investment

The Beginning

When Eric’s career was just a wee little thing, he was working for a tech company in product management.

One day he was browsing Hacker News and he read about a founder that seemed super impressive.

He reached out to the founder cold, and convinced the founder to hop on a call. Once they started talking, they realized they vibed well.

Eric wanted to become an angel investor, but he didn’t have cash to spare.

So, he offered the founder a deal. Eric would swap his product management expertise for advisory shares.

The founder agreed. They signed a FAST agreement (Founder/Advisor Standard Template) and they were off to the races.

The Middle

As an advisor, Eric put in plenty of sweat equity.

He helped write requirements docs, he ran customer discovery interviews… he even recruited for the company.

And because he joined as an advisor so early in the company’s lifespan, his advisory shares were insanely cheap to exercise.

The End

Over time, the company grew and grew (and grew)… and eventually had a sizeable exit.

Eric’s advisory shares were worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

And because he had filed the 83(b) form with the IRS, he owed exactly ZERO dollars in federal taxes.


This story makes it sound super easy to earn $400k. It’s not.

It took Eric a lot of negotiating with the founder to land on the advisory share deal.

It took Eric a lot “sweat equity” to truly earn those shares.

And it took a lot of time for that company to get an exit.

If you’re interested in going this route, beware: not every company you advise will give you a payout. And some may be far enough in their journey to make the exercise price quite high.

But if you are wealthy in talent and time, this might be a route worth exploring.

Want to hear about early stage companies that might be open to advisory shares? Come to Camp Hustle and meet 200+ other early-stage investors.