3 years, 120 companies and $100m+ dollars
39 months ago, Brayton Williams and I founded Boost VC (Apply here for Tribe 7). Last week, one of our companies closed a round of funding which brought the total amount of money raised by Boost VC companies to more than $100m dollars in just 3 years. We now have invested in 120 companies, and have the largest block chain and virtual reality startup portfolios on the planet. Although “funds raised” is not the end goal, it is a great milestone for our startups to have achieved.
Here are some things I have observed in the last 3 years while building Boost VC.
1. Team is Paramount
Hire people who are better than you. We have hired slowly and carefully, and have brought on incredible people who are hungry and want to build something great. This point cannot be overstated enough. Boost VC would not be where it is today without our incredible team and talented individuals.
2. Try the crazy things.
There were many people who questioned why we should focus on bitcoin, but the DNA of that decision has paved the way for us to become experts in two of the most exciting emerging technology industries. I have found that it is often the controversial or crazy ideas that have the largest effect. We will continue to try the crazy things!
3. Think about why!
This is another way of saying question the status quo. Most accelerators perform Demo day at the end of their program, we have found it to be more effective 2 months into the 3 month program for many reasons. Don’t do things just because they are done by other people. What works for them, might not work for you. Always answer the question of why you are doing what you are doing, it might end up giving you a better solution.
4. Work hard.
Boost VC is not even close to where we want it to be, but to this point it has been built by years of hard work and goal achievement. Our team is obsessed with helping startups, and that is at the core of everything we do. We work hard for the startups and for the future startups who will be joining Boost VC.
5. It’s a marathon not a sprint.
The first two years of a startup are a sprint. Sprint harder and faster than everyone else and carve out ownership of something. After the sprint, you will want to pace yourself for the next 30 years.
I talked to my co-founder Brayton about how much we have accomplished over the last three years, and his response was:
“In my head we are about one tenth of where we want to be”. — Brayton Williams
And he is completely correct. We aren’t even close to where we will be.
6. Communication is the hardest and most important thing.
There are many types of communication when you are running a company: Communication with you team, your users, the messaging to the outside world, your family and friends. Each of these types of communications requires a different set of skills and knowledge. And it is very difficult to make sure the core message is the same across all of the communication mediums. Consistency is the most important thing.
We find that our best performing CEO’s over communicate. Being able to interpret a vision is a very important skill to have in order to lead a team.
And yes that is Brad Delson from Linkin Park with the megaphone in the gif.
7. Become a big fish in a small pond in order to become a big fish in a big pond.
Within 50 square miles of Boost VC, there are 200 accelerators, standing out in the crowd is not easy. When we created our own monopoly, and became the only accelerator to invest in Bitcoin/block chain startups it empowered us to stand out. We became a lightning rod for the rest of the Bitcoin ecosystem, and from there have been able to add the expertise of virtual reality on top of it.
8. Have Fun.
I love what I do. I get to work with passionate, smart, driven people every day. I get to encourage and shape company ideas, and I get to work with an awesome team that challenges me to constantly be better as well. It’s a rewarding job, plus this gif was too good not to use.
Our drive is to educate and accelerate entrepreneurs in the technologies of the future. We have made an incredible amount of progress in the last 3 years. We have built an incredible network of entrepreneurs who have gone on to do great things, that continue to get greater. I can’t wait to see what we accomplish in the next 30 years.