Brian Mac Mahon
IMPACT INVESTING

Brian Mac Mahon

#29

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Head Honcho at Expert DOJO – Venture Capital

Brian Mac Mahon – Focus on fundamental growth.

“Build this strong personal message that exudes from your product, exudes from you, exudes from your business and people will want to be around you or at least the people that you want to be around you and that’s where you start from.”

ABOUT

Brian specialize in helping entrepreneurs become more successful in their business by using all the tools available to him as owner of the largest peer to peer peak performance academy in the world. Expert DOJO improves the success rate of early-stage entrepreneurs with investment, foundation, showcasing, influence, and community. Being a startup business is a lonely and difficult path to navigate. Why do it alone?

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THE FULL INTERVIEW

Brian Mac Mahon

The full #OPNAskAnAngel talk

Jeffery:
Welcome everybody and thank you very much for joining us today. Today we’re with a guest that I have, I think, I have followed, admired, and thought man I got to interview this guy one day because boy does he know his stuff when it comes to early stage startup investing. Brian, welcome to Ask an Angel. Thank you very much for joining us today.

Brian:
Thank you sir, it’s a pleasure to be here. Always good to chat with you, Jeffrey

Jeffery:
Well so I think that the way we want to start is we’d love for you to give us a bit of a background on yourself. Where you kind of started, where you’ve kind of gone to, and where you are today and then one thing about you that nobody would know.

Brian:
So one thing about me that nobody would know — let me start, let me start with the boring stuff and then and then I get to something that folks don’t know about me. Everybody knows everything about me. I’m so public about everything. Every fight I think is the most public fight in the world but I’ll start with where I came from. I’m an Irish guy, born and bred you know 51 years ago and then I spent the past 30 years really traveling around the world. I had a property development company over in the UK which did pretty well. I had a consultancy company which got gobbled up by Regis, I then had a technology marketplace which my partner took from me and so you know I’ve just been quite fortunate in my roles through life and during that period, this lives in about 50 countries and i’m having the fortune of being everywhere in Latin America all the way through to Asia, and Southeast Asia, and Eastern Europe and Western Europe. Only places I haven’t been which I really want to fix that in the next five or ten years is India and Africa which are incidentally I would say the greatest hidden gems in the unicorn space over the next five or ten years and we’re investing heavily into both regions. And then I found myself in Santa Monica after living in about 10 or 15 cities around the states.Great places I really enjoyed like New York, and Boston, and Austin, and Houston ,and San Antonio and San Diego and all those great places and then finally settled down here And I realized that you know after years of taking, I don’t think necessarily in a terrible way but just enjoying life and taking everything that this entrepreneurship and creative lifestyle gives us. I decided I wanted to try and give back and got involved very heavily in the early stage startup space, got involved and you know opening up the place I’m in here right now here at Expert Dojo. Five years ago, which was maybe even six years ago, which was really a temporary experiment and the idea was let’s open it up and just study entrepreneurship. Let’s bring in entrepreneurs, let’s study them, let’s watch them, let’s see what happens with them, and then see if we can learn something. There was no intention of an accelerator or an international accelerator or anything like that and then that evolved then six or twelve months later into a mentorship studio, and then that involves into training and then that evolved into a venture studio and then that evolves into an accelerator and then here we are. You know four years later where now we’re investing 50 $100,000 checks, we have about 70 by the end of this month we’ll have 80 investments already done and we intend to do another 80 to 100 investments next year. So we’re investing in quite a clip. You know and things that people don’t really know about me is I really, I am a — obviously I have major issues with myself because on one side of it I am purely a venture capitalist that is what we do, but on the other side I absolutely hate what we do to the entrepreneurship inside venture capitalism. I think that in many ways we are absolutely destroying America, and helping fast forward its decline as a nation that’s already lost out to Israel many years ago which is fine but what is not fine is we’ve just lost out to china on a technology level. We’re just about to lose out to India and we’re just about to lose out to many many many other nations and I think that is principally driven by an economy which is led by venture capitalists.

Jeffery:
Well I i completely agree with that. The video I’m going to say it’s a bit choppy so I’m not sure if it’s a connection end that we’re having but it is going a little bit slow so we’ll work our way through that. Just a heads up. So now let’s get one personal thing about you that nobody would know.

Brian:
So I love traveling. I mean I’m a gypsy at heart. That’s me. if you say like what’s my favorite thing to do in the whole world, man I would get an RV and I would travel around the United States and I would be there, I would be happy as a clam. Not one other thing would I need you. Know maybe my boy would come with me, it’s pretty safe to say my wife would not come with me, right which is why I haven’t done it yet but my time will come. I am a secret hidden trailer park guy. And I will have that rv as soon as we get our unicorn.

Jeffery:
I love it, man. Yep I’m I feel you on that side of things. The adventure side is always great. Okay so one of the things that I thought what I really enjoyed was I went through and of course we’ve had discussions, I’ve learned, did some research on yourself and I really enjoyed your TED talk. And I think, after you take how venture capital is kind of crushing the United States, and you take what you said in 2016 and you kind of shape that into where entrepreneurship is today, what you’ve accomplished in the entrepreneurship world, has any of your philosophies or theories changed around when you first started talking about this and diving in and helping entrepreneurs, has your mindset changed or has your goal stayed the same? That you want to invest in as many companies as you can, and help as many companies get off the ground, because that’s really where the win is.

Brian:
So I don’t think we’re going to make a damn bit of difference to America as an economy just by the fact that we invest in underrepresented founders, or just by the fact that we all have a hundred to 300 companies, or even by the fact that we expect to have a higher rate of success within entrepreneurship. I don’t think that will really move the ball. And but what it will hopefully do is will make us a couple hundred million dollars. And then we will take that couple of hundred million dollars and we will get to my real goal, which is I i truly believe so strongly in entrepreneurship. I believe it is the only solution to all of the problems. And when I say all of the problem