How I started a Venture Capital Firm
Since I decided to leave my safe and comfortable job in Australia, I wanted to focus my energy into enabling new technologies to come to market. Converting an idea into a successful business can have a strong positive impact on people’s lives and provide great financial returns along the way.
The obvious choice was to start a hybrid of a Venture Capital Firm and a Venture Builder — Invest in new ventures, but get really, really involved.
When I mentioned to people that I wanted to start a Venture Capital Firm, the default response was “you need a lot of money” and “the legal requirements to set up a fund are too complex and expensive”. Naturally, I said “watch me”.
A requirement of being an entrepreneur is to overcome adversity on a daily basis, and I viewed the capital and legal complexities as just that. Instead of fundraising, I decided to create new Ventures with industry partners that could bring not only capital but industry expertise.
Our first large Venture had a considerable amount of seed capital investment and a great amount of time investment. I personally worked on the largest product of the Venture, Ambulancias, for almost one year, countless hours into overtime.
The model worked well and I moved onward, finding great Venture Partners that not only would invest capital but would pour their heart and soul into the new Venture and shape it with their industry expertise.
With a proven model, I approached a number of universities and their respective research commercialization departments. Over ten Universities signed up within a few months and provided a wide range of patents that we could license and launch as new Ventures — real impact.
2017 is poised to be a very exciting and successful year for Outroll. Our investments are about to become profitable and our stealth Ventures will see the limelight early in the year (like https://sended.com).
Most of our Ventures have multi-million dollar valuations. Because of our model, we managed to create highly complex software, and Ventures, for less than 20% of the costs usually incurred.
To provide an idea, a product similar to Uber would cost upwards of USD$1,000,000 to develop (see http://thenextweb.com/dd/2013/12/02/much-cost-build-worlds-hottest-startups/). We built a much more complex product for around 20% of that.
Venture Building is not just about money, it is about empowering new technologies and services to reach people. 2017 promises to be the largest year for Venture Builders in history and I am sure glad to be part of it.