Managing Partner @ Early Light Ventures

"The market will sort of tell you what works and what doesn't work, and as soon as you have something that works, you have to really go at it hard, and really put the chips on the table and make those bets."

- Scott Garber

Scott outlines what he looks for in a start-up

Talk Takeaways

Scott Garber got his entrepreneurial streak early on as a kid. From being a storm chaser, founding his first successful venture, and then becoming an investor – Scott shares fantastic insights on lean startups, the benefits of releasing MVPs, and establishing a continuous feedback loop as a way to build a great product.

Scott also shares the process he takes as an investor, his investment terms, his preferred verticals, and the characteristics he looks for in a founder.

About

Scott has always been an entrepreneur at heart – from beanie babies and Pokemon “businesses” in high school, to two actual startups in college. Puppystock (2005–2007) was an online marketplace with customized pet products that grew to tens of thousands of customers across six continents and was eventually acquired in 2007. FriendTones (2007–2008) disrupted the way content could be shared across nearly any network and device.

Since his ventures, Scott has directed large software development and deployment projects for Government clients (2008–2011), served as a strategy consultant for the deputy director of an intelligence agency (2009–2010), and operated an international family office (2011–2014). More recently, Scott was the deputy head of corporate strategy and corporate development for Serco, a multi-billion government services company (2015–2017) an entrepreneur-in-residence at AARP Foundation, and the operations director for Baltimore Angels.

Scott is currently the Managing Partner at Early Light Ventures, an enterprise software fund that is disrupting the normal venture capital model — and hopefully on it’s way to transforming the way startups are funded in the Mid-Atlantic region.

The full #OPNAskAnAngel talk

Jeffery:
Scott, I want to thank you very much for joining us today on “Ask Angel”. We’ve conducted 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 interviews and we’re always excited to get the opportunity to speak with investors and people that own and crush it in the investment community. So, we’re excited today to be speaking with you and get to learn a lot more about what you’re looking for from an investment standpoint while learning a little bit about yourself. So, maybe what we can do is we’ll start off by if you can give us a little bit of a background on yourself like where you come from, where you reside, the you know, the nuts and bolts of yourself and then maybe finish it off with one thing about you that nobody would know.

Scott:
Oh, interesting. All right, so my background and most VCs probably say, “Hey, I’ve got a non-traditional background,” but mine is pretty non-traditional. I actually started off way way back when when I was a little kid. I used to sell brownies and baseball cards and pokemon cards and beanie babies and made what was back then a lot of money but to me as a little kid back you know looking back is really not that much money today but sort of got that entrepreneurial streak early on. Founded out my first company in college really was a beer money business. It wasn’t supposed to be that big, we didn’t think it would go anywhere and then two years later it actually did go somewhere and we sold it. And immediately founded a second company, sold out a year later after we’d all graduated my co-founder and I. And then I had an opportunity to go back inside the intelligence community in the us, and work for a director doing you name it all sorts of special projects from on the intelligence side, of the operations side, to everything in between. And learned a ton of different random skill sets which actually pay off pretty well with running a fund today. Then, started angel investing, met a founder, former founder who became a giant angel investor in our region, around D.C. has about 130 angel investments. Ended up working with him on a number of those deals, learned how to actually invest which is something I didn’t necessarily understand when I was running my companies and continued angel invest. Ended up joining a giant company which is actually has a presence in Ontario, it’s called Circo and I was running MNA for them; Trying to figure out what to do with various parts of the company including the Canada business which is an interesting business in its own right. Then I was the entrepreneur in residence at AARP which is a huge non-profit in the US about 2 billion or 3 billion a year and I was dreaming up ideas and trying to figure out companies they should work with from the aging and place perspective to keep seniors in their own homes and out of senior centers and healthier. And then ran Baltimore Angels which is a big angel group in Baltimore about 70 members and that’s our early light ventures which is the fund I run got started. There are about 15 members in Baltimore Angels that came to me and said, “Hey, can I just write you a check? Just to pull money together and you decide where to invest,” and after 15 of them raised their hand said, “Yeah, I actually do want to do this, here’s a check.” We decided to raise this fund and then fast forward 18 months later the fund is actually active with eight companies in the portfolio. It’s b2b software only, it’s primarily preceded to early A, so what that actually translates to is valuations the low end of about 3 million up to the high end being 15, maybe 18 million post money, and we’re looking for companies that generally have revenue. So around 300, 400k in air are up to about two or even three or four in ARR depending on the terms and depending on the sector and we really value founders that are- they’re hustlers, they have a lot of grit, a lot of tenacity, they’re really capital efficient, they know what they want to do, they know what they want to solve, they’re already solving it, and in a lot of cases, they have at least some experience in the sector they’re disrupting. The one thing that sort of stands out as we do back a lot of first-time founders, we do back some second-time founders, but most of them are first-time founders. We actually have the most luck in the most I think, it’s the most exciting to back some that’s doing this for the first time. They sort of have that chip on their shoulder which is something we really value.

Jeffery:
I love it! And one thing that nobody would know about you that you want to share?

Scott:
I don’t know pretty open books, most people know everything about me but one thing most people don’t know about me is I actually chase tornadoes. So I actually, way back in college, I started the storm chasing club at UVA in Charlottesville and I studied meteorology as a minor. I didn’t actually finish that minor but I took a bunch of courses and I forecast the weather for the newspaper the cap daily which is the campus newspaper. And then I went out to the midwest and actually chased tornadoes, so anytime there’s a severe storm, my partner know that who to look through.

Jeffery:
That’s awesome! So any I don’t know, close calls or flying cows that you were like, “Wow, what the hell did that just happen?”

Scott:
No, no flying cows. I was kind of an idiot when I started. I was a, you know, college kid, actually high school kid when I first really started chasing and I thought it was a bright idea to chase at night. A couple times which when you’re chasing a tornado you have to actually be able to see it, if you don’t have good radar which back then you didn’t have radar like mobile radar that was very accurate or it was time delayed. And there were a couple of situations where I was trying to figure out. Look out my window like where is this thing actually coming from and found out once or twice that it was actually coming from about half a mile away and coming toward me. So I had a couple close calls and couple scary moments that are pretty memorable. (Laughs)

Jeffery:
That’s pretty awesome! Well, it creates some excitement and gets the blood flow going I guess and the gas pedal going or really pushing it, right?

Scott:
Oh yeah! I mean you had that happen, I wasn’t sleeping for about two or three days after that. (Laughs)

Jeffery:
But I’m sure you’re telling lots of people about that story, “You should have seen me driving so fast away from this thing it was coming after me.” (Laughs)

Scott:
Yeah it’s a story I never told my parents but yeah.

Jeffery:
Yeah. Oh, that’s awesome! Yeah, I remember when I was younger I had driving home and my parents pre-warned me they said, “You shouldn’t drive home, the roads are icy,” and I’m like “Ahh”. So driving home and I’m going down the highway, doing whatever the speed limit was 100. So I was probably doing around 85 because it was snowing out pitch black and all of a sudden my car just did two 360s and for some odd reason I just threw it into neutral. I went around twice put it in drive and I kept driving and I was like, “Holy crap! What just happened?” and it just all happened like you felt like you’re a race car driving but didn’t know what was going on but they just kept moving. So I got home and I never told anybody and like 20 years later I was like taking my parents and I’m like, “You know what, that one time you told me..,” and because it was the fear of shouldn’t be doing this but at the same time the correction that you occurred and how fast it did. So just like storm chasing, you got yourself into a predicament and you had to get yourself out, so once you did you felt great. But I probably should have shared the story but now, hey look I’m telling the whole world so there you go. So, what I really liked about when we were chatting before and you mentioned this is, you come from a different experience and different background, where you took something you worked on it, and then it turned into something that you didn’t expect to come out of it. So you were kind of just, I don’t know you were like bacon bread and all of a sudden you know, three weeks later, people came over and they were like, “Kind of like this bread,” and you were like, “Really? It was just a hobby,” just doing something and then all of a sudden it clicked. Can you give us a little bit more background on that? Because I really think that, that probably helps you a lot more now in your investment theories on how you’re going after the thesis that you are is that you take a lot of your background experience. So maybe share a bit more about what you went through when you first started.

Scott:
Yeah, it really was not a sexy idea. It wasn’t anything that groundbreaking or exciting it was 2005 when we started the company, so it feels like another era. It was literally, there was a pug named Winston. So my co-founder had a pug named Winston and we could never find him the toys and things he wanted and we actually could find it, we’d have to drive half an hour to go get it. We figured it’s 2005, there’s got to be a better way to do this. So we set up an online store and we started shipping stuff from, obviously a lot cheaper than it would be in the US, put a bunch of marketing behind it and charge. What we thought were fair rates for the things we’re selling. We made a bunch of customized things like leases, and chew toys, and pet phones, and you name it. And we start selling out of them almost immediately and we thought “All right, great! We can throw a party, we can yeah we can go do something else and we get Winston a bunch of toys,” I mean it was great but then we kept selling out and realized there’s a huge gap in the market, there’s no one really doing this at least in 2005. And we have this unique advantage that we’re really good at marketing these the stuff to the right people. We’re doing it really cheaply. Why don’t we just double, triple, quadruple down on this? We kept doubling down every week or every month and then fast forward two years later, we were at a decent amount of scale for that year 2007. I think the biggest thing I took away from it is the market will sort of tell you what works and what doesn’t work, and as soon as you have something that works, you got to really go at it hard, and really put the chips on the table and make those bets. And if you’re not getting the traction you want, you’re not getting the feedback that you want, meaning you’re not driving sales. You’re probably not doing something right and sticking out for too long is not the right way to do it, especially early on which I would say it’s a mistake a lot of founders do early on as they’ll have a product that maybe looks awesome, that has something, that they seem really sexy, that they think is solving something in the market, but it’s not selling or the sell cycles are drawn out way beyond where they should be. Some will keep going on that and some will pivot at the last second, some will pivot earlier on. I guess the biggest takeaway is when the market wants something it’ll tell you, you have to market it right, and you have to get it out to enough people to actually see it, but once you’re selling something even if the product is not doesn’t look that great, you’re probably solving some kind of a problem that’s really good you got to focus.

Jeffery:
So then taking from that analogy, do you think and from your learnings, do you think that a startup should, if they’ve got a product, they should get it to market right away? You know what flaws and all just get it in there, play with it, see what the market demands for it, see if you can get some sales. If you don’t then you know what, pivot and pivot quick, don’t waste your time. If your marketing’s not that great then maybe work on that like, is there some other advice you’d give around that to kind of play in that MVP in that test phase?

Scott:
Yeah, I think one mistake which a lot of founders make is they’ll sort of play around the sandbox too long versus actually going out and letting other people come in with them. I think you have to build, you obviously, if there’s something to present to someone, you can’t just present a you know, a powerpoint or a wireframe. You actually have to have a working product but I think bringing people in early especially potential buyers or clients and getting their feedback and actually co-developing with them, it not only gets buy-in from them and makes them more likely to actually use the product because they’re building it with you. But you’re getting a lot of insights that you ordinarily wouldn’t get, so I think it’s wise to bring people in even at an alpha level. If the product doesn’t look good, you just caveat it and say, “Hey, this is we’re building this as we speak. I mean literally here’s the dev environment, here it is. Come work with us,” and it’s a good tactic most companies do. It’s a great way of driving sales quickly too because you get big logos easily.

Jeffery:
And you can do that with a more nimble team, right? I think you’re kind of looking at that from a smaller team inside of a big organization. Too much bureaucracy, too many people touching it, too many hands-on might cause the product to take two years to get to market. Whereas in a small form factor setup you can really drive out that sales and marketing generation by getting the product to market even if it’s falling apart, test the market, come back, iterate, test, iterate until you find that product market fit.

Scott:
Yeah, I mean the biggest advantage of startup has a new one is speed and there’s also nothing to lose. So, if you have to change your product around in a drastic way earlier on, you don’t lose as much. And you can also develop something rapidly. You can iterate on it rapidly versus going to a bigger company which may have you know, infinitely more resources but they also have processes and procedures and approvals and they don’t move quick. So that’s the one advantage of startup needs to exploit is, you got to move fast, you got to get as much feedback as possible.

Jeffery:
So, you mentioned the moving fast part now, how does moving fast work with this the ideation phase of things where people look at a product and they think they can build six products and then launch them all the same time? So how do you kind of vet through that to get someone to that end goal which is sales? Like what do you do to shift that?

Scott:
I mean the biggest thing is go out and have people that actually would buy it go use it or test it, and see what they say and at the end it’s not necessarily the feedback it’s the actual action. It’s the ask at the end of if this is live and after I build these extra features or these extra add-ons, are you going to buy this? And if so what would you pay for it? What would the process look like? How many approvals would it take? Who would use it? What kind of permissions are things you need built in that aren’t built in? Now it’s, you basically build to a sale versus building something and then selling it. It’s a lot easier that way.

Jeffery:
So, day to day to collect as much data as you possibly can, observe everything, break the rules if you need to, but just figure out how to get that consumer to love it, purchase it, and work through that product cycle with you?

Scott:
Yeah, because most companies don’t have unique problems, some do but in general a problem is 80-90 universal across the sector, and industry the same problems across almost every company. So if you’re solving that key problem enough to where someone’s going to buy it, you can make minor customizations and tweaks later on, just have the core functionality done, and you do that with someone that’s actually going to use it in those industries you’re targeting.

Jeffery:
And how does it work on product almost being unique, different, keeping it to that I guess viewpoint but not diversifying too much? Like just going to market with one product, is that something you’d recommend or do you want to have a bunch of products that you’re testing with at the same time? What allows you to be focused and close deals and move quicker, is it one or many? Or is it a handful to play with and then net it down to one? How do you kind of look at that? Because you were looking at selling a lot of pet product, go to market first, and what was going to be successful?

Scott:
So, we had a core group of people that we called. We didn’t actually even name for it and think about it but they’re like the most loyal customers that spend the most money on the platform that we knew represented most of what our market was. So if a company’s going after a certain type of company or a certain size of company, you make sure that they’re actually in those sort of test cases or use cases early on. I think you want to build really no more than two or three product. If you have 10 then there’s a sort of issue of what do you focus energy on, what do you focus resources on, and chances are if you’re doing more than one or two or three, they’re probably not going to be very good. And you’re also not sitting on infinite resources. You don’t have 50 developers usually developing a product. You’ve got like two, three maybe half a person. So you have to really focus your resources on what you think is the biggest ROI and the best thing that’s gonna sell quickly.

Jeffery:
No, that’s a good point. So if you look at product versus technology, what interests you the most and what do you kind of go after now? Are you still impartial? Do you like both from a hardware, hard good or are you still into tech and you want anything digital where do you fit in that space?

Scott:
So it’s all software. So it’s got to be actual digital hardware is one thing we look at a little bit but it’s just really hard to scale and the margins usually aren’t that great. hardware can be kind of interesting because you can obviously build a lot of things with that and it can customize it, an experience can be very very — you can have a lot of control over that but with software you can scale it a lot faster obviously deploying it’s a lot easier in most cases and you can have a much bigger impact. and for us at least from an investment lens you make a lot more money on software than hardware in most cases so that’s where we focus.

Jeffery:
Okay and I guess and you mentioned this is that you know, you can add some bells and whistles to your product, but really at the end of the day, you got to get a customer in there using it, working with it, the sell feature isn’t always going to be the the bells and whistles that are added on. It’s that core product, the engine. How do you get startups to focus on that part and then spend all their money on marketing and advertising and not get stuck in the dev hole of iterate-iterate, when they don’t even have a product fully in market they’re too afraid to put it in market? So how do you kind of coach them through?

Scott:
That can be hard. I mean, I company we had a product in my second company, it was a mobile technology company was actually got us in a lot of trouble. It was the biggest, we became one of the biggest ringtone pirates in the world at one point they’re popular in 2007-2008. We technology that enabled that and we were finicky with our product too. We wanted to sit on it, make sure it looked really good, the ui back then at least was slick, it was easy to use. We didn’t want to release until it’s perfect. All the bugs were out of there but there’s no way to do that especially, these days you just got to iterate a lot faster and get it out of the market and find those bugs sort of through the people using it actually earlier on. I mean I think it’s hard to release a product when it’s not completely ready, and you have to release it with some functionality it actually it has to work, it can’t just break when you try to log in, but in general having people early on that are early adopters that have worked with you to develop the products. If there are bugs, there are imperfections, they’ll help you fix it and they’ll flag it. I mean there’s one good example when I was at Circo, we used bloomberg government quite a bit, my colleague and I. At least in the US to figure out what does the market look like, what are these different market sizes, who are the players, what are the contracts, Canada was a black hole. Canada has a lot of data and it’s available province by province but it’s just extremely hard to figure out. There’s no details and it’s not green with granular at all. But with BGOV we were running really complex searches and we were using it every single day. We’re actually to some extent, was breaking the products and we’d find bugs constantly, we’d send it over to the team there and say, “Hey fix this,” but since we were so bought in and so addicted to it had to use it, I didn’t care if there was a bug as long as it was fixed.

Jeffery:
Yeah, so you can just start to kind of push that along, right? You’re “I love what I’m doing here but hey guys, FYI, this is not working for me,” and then kind of iterate on it. Yeah I guess that goes from the business being supported, right? It fixes a problem and you can utilize that and work it until they update it right and hopefully they don’t do a re-haul on it while you’re just getting comfortable with the product but that tends to happen sometimes too where the business feels they need to put in a whole new functional skill set. And then it just screws up your user experience and then you either just come disgruntled or you build your own so..

Scott:
You’re never gonna satisfy everybody. When I was at one of the intel communities, I was running software development for a huge kind of implementation development effort and every single person had a different opinion about the different fields, and colors, and characters. And you can’t satisfy everybody. It’s just impossible. It’s not even worth it but as long as you satisfy the core users that’s really all that matters.

Jeffery:
And you make a good point there that you know, you’ve gone through this journey of building your product. You know, isolating it down to two or three great products to get to market. You’re not on 10 and now that you’ve got this product out there, you got to start testing it, getting people on the system, using it, solving the problem. You’ve accommodated the speed factors, you jumped in right and went quick. Now you’re trying to figure out what’s that next iteration of my product or what’s that next thing I need to do and if it becomes dev hell and you’re just dabbing the crap out of this, you’re taking away from the core experience of what those original users or that original problem was. So sometimes you have to take a step back, take a breath look at it, and decide you know where does this product want to go in the next two to three years and can we use that slow apple release and come out with things once a year but make sure that it’s impactful that every time I do come out with a release, it’s solving a bigger more impactful problem than just trying to become a pure dev site. Where you’re just always updating, updating and then your product becomes so massively big and convoluted that nobody can solve a problem because they don’t understand how the system works.

Scott:
And one thing that surprises me especially b2b is a lot of companies don’t ask, they don’t actually ask for feedback. So if someone is using the platform inside a company, you actually could push little reminder saying in the bottom, right, or top, left, whatever you want to put it saying, how satisfied are you with this, what features do you want in it, what are you unhappy about, what are you happy about, and you can actually get feedback from people using the product for free. That’s one thing I think a lot of companies should do more of.

Jeffery:
Now, it makes sense. You know what, let them help you develop your product and figure out what the next focus is, right? If you get enough feedback and 80 of people say that you should move this or change this, then you’ve got your next product iteration. So you’re right, it makes it sounds amazing but I think there’s also this stigma that if I’m building and raising funds, I also need to be building my dev team so that I can keep growing all this aspect and it seems where in early stage companies, they build their dev team too quick, and their sales team is slowly trailing behind and their support team, and one becomes way larger than the other. And then it becomes a convoluted mess on what am I really trying to solve and how am I getting to the next stage.

Scott:
Yeah that was a problem. So I worked at trusted metrics, one of my angel investments, for about six months. I was helping Mike, the founder, run the company and sort of figure out where to pivot a little bit. They had a great product. It was a sim product. There’s nothing super sexy or super complicated, but it worked really well, and it was light and it was cheap, and it was better than most things in the market. But the biggest problem was they were really bad at showing what it actually did and communicating that to people and they these really dense materials that most people look at say, “I don’t understand half of what’s even in here and what does this actually do and why is this better than alienvault or secureworks or all the other legacy providers that are 10 times more expensive,” and when you actually say we are literally one tenth of a cost with all the functionality and it’s easier to use and we have these extra features really plainly in the marketing and the sales efforts. You sell a health lot faster versus trying to build a perfect product and not communicating that adequately. So a lot of it comes down to how do you market it, how do you get it out there to get people to see it.

Jeffery:
Yep, let other people solve the problem by finding it themselves because they see it as a pain point, and then make it so easy that the glue just sticks, and they want to participate and use it and continue to use it.

Scott:
And SEO is also heavily underrated. I know some companies really accentuate it but SEO is one of the biggest bang for the box. You’re going to get anywhere and a lot of companies, just don’t do it especially in b2b.

Jeffery:
It’s interesting. It and that you mentioned the b2b side is, it lacks on that. I think it’s also a lack of knowledge. We’re all consumers, in a way we’re all social media people ,and we forget that businesses have to interact with businesses, and the businesses want to do deals with vendors in other countries. They have to have a way to manage that workflow that deal flow and whatever that might be and those people are looking for smooth, easy, clean products as well. And there’s a lot of great companies that do a b2b funnel and how do you make sure that you’re accommodating these businesses with the same aspirations as you would as a consumer-facing product at the same time. So now you’ve kind of gone through this product guy, you’re investing in great companies, so maybe tell us a little bit more about your fund and what your- how that’s operating and working?

Scott:
So we’re based outside DC in Baltimore. We have three venture partners, one in Baltimore, two around DC, and then my partner and I are in DC. We focus I would say nationwide and we also do look at Canada pretty heavily. We don’t do a lot of deals in Silicon Valley, we don’t do a lot of deals in LA. It’s a very well developed ecosystem out there and candidly, we can’t compete for a lot of the better deals versus being in the ecosystems that we’re in. Where we’re, you know, generally a known entity. Not so much in some and there’s really not a lot of competition for deals. So we’re not competing, we’re actually working with the founders which is a lot easier. It’s sort of an unsexy thesis so their companies are not going to be unicorns in most cases they’re not going to be 500 million exits. The founders aren’t coming in saying we’re going to be ubiquitous or we’re going to you know, dominate the world or change the world in any real big material way. They’re basically saying, “I know the problem, I’m going to fix that problem, I may fix one or two small adjacent problems, I’m going to fix it for this industry, this couple of industries, and then I’m going to sell and I know who I’m going to sell too.” It’s one of these five companies and that’s generally what we’re investing in. It’s sort of a lower risk unsexy version of venture capital. It’s worked really well from an angel perspective and so far in the fund.

Jeffery:
I love it! What’s wrong with that? Everything needs to be a unicorn, everything needs to sell at the end of the day. So if you can build up an entity that’s going to allow them to get to a sale point, that’s what every investor is looking for, right? An opportunity to exit, and liquidate, and be able to continue to keep doing this and putting it back into the system, so it can keep regenerating, right?

Scott:
Yeah, a lot of VCs, they want 10 extra turns or more. They want you know, unicorn type returns which the odds of finding one are extremely. It’s not easy, I think unicorns like six and ten thousand or something and a 10 extra turn is like four percent of all venture investments. So it’s really hard to find but there’s this kind of ignored area which most vcs don’t do and it’s great for us because we work with about 170 other funds and they’ll send us the deals that aren’t 10xs in their mind which they’re probably right. They’re not 10xs but they’re probably 3 to 5 or even 6 or x type deals and they’re quick and they’re cash and they’re clean and the founders make out the best because they’re not diluted really at all. They have most of their equity and they’re clean deals. There’s no crazy earn ounces, no crazy preferences on top, they get their money and all the other early employees get their money too. So it works out well for everybody.

Jeffery:
Well you’ve converted me. I’m even more expensive now, but no I love it! It’s a fantastic way of looking at the market. For us we try to look at, on our fund side is, we look at short mid and long term investments and we do want to have the outcome on the short term because that brings the value back to the investors so that they’ll want to continue to work with you. And then your long term, you know, you’re going to put a long play in and that might be a larger type investment but you’re hoping that it will go the length and become that maybe partial unicorn or half unicorn or maybe it makes it all the way. But at the end of the day, you got to find a staging value because at the end of the day, no 10 years, 20 years, and you don’t get anybody exiting, you really aren’t doing a great job on helping those companies go through that the system, if you will and we all want to find some sort of liquidation at some point.

Scott:
Yeah and paper markups are great. Obviously for feeling good and maybe raising another fund but the actual cash on cash is what matters in the end.

Jeffery:
Agreed, yep. No, that’s pretty cool. So you mentioned the 170 funds that to sign your deal flow, how does that system work? Is it all in the same space or these are all unicorn-based businesses looking for them? And they just send you guys all of the call it the seconds of the of the business and boom you’ve got a great little setup there?

Scott:
A lot of that is that they’re hunting for bigger exits and a lot of these like site is, health is a good example. That’s one we led maybe nine, ten months ago. And it’s again, it’s this is about as unsexy you’re gonna get. It literally is a patient engagement platform for home hospice providers for home infusion providers for durable medical equipment providers. I mean it’s not. It’s about as unsexy as it gets literally but the company of great metrics, the founder knows exactly what she’s doing. She’s a home infusion nurse for about 10 or 12 years. She knew the problem firsthand, she’s solving the problem exactly how you should solve it. If she’s selling through channel partners, so again she’s not spending a lot of money on sales and marketing but she’s just growing very quickly and it’s generally almost cash flow positive. It was passed over to us from actually two different funds and they both said, “I like the founder. I like what they’re doing but this is not a 200 million dollar exit. This isn’t even 100 million exit potentially. So I can’t make anything more than 8 or 10x on it and I’m pretty confident that but this is right up your alley,” and it was so we led the deal. We ended up closing the entire round for Melissa in about three weeks and the company’s off the races and is doing really well and she already has a couple companies that want to buy her. So it’s this very unsexy thesis that worked out well for us and it worked out you know, relatively well for the funds that sent it to us because we funded it.

Jeffery:
Yep, oh that’s awesome! I love it! I’ve been, today I had a great call with another family office fund and they had their own unique way of running their fund and their thesis and you have a great one as well. So it’s great to see that there’s diversification in how people are viewing their portfolios and how they’re going after the market and there’s a fit for everybody, but there’s a really good fit if you can figure out a way to balance out exits and wins versus just going in for the big money and trying to carry that ship the whole way through to make it a unicorn, right? And don’t get me wrong, unicorns are great but that’s why they’re called unicorns. So the miss is pretty hard.

Scott:
So yeah, that’s a good point. As an angel I invested the same thesis and over my angel portfolios but 18, yeah. 18 b2b SAS companies in there, my failure rate is like 10 percent versus a lot of funds which are 50 or 60 percent. The only thing that’s not as sexy or is good about that is you’re not going to go around a cocktail party and say, “Oh i invested in all these great companies that are worth 100 million dollars,” it’s just not, it’s not going to get anyone excited but the returns are good.

Jeffery:
The key is returns. That really is the bottom line. Especially, nowadays investors are looking for something more than just paper and they do want to feel what an exit is and that actually could be four or five times what they put in. but at the end of the day in a fund that’s a win. And it’s not just about the investment side, it’s the win I think in general, it also shows a lot of value for that startup that you didn’t look at every startup as being have to be a unicorn. You know, they get looked over a million times or buy 170 funds look them over because they wanted unicorns only and their money was too good for that. Smaller investment and just think you’re pulling away a couple wins for more exits and you become looked at as a better way of picking and having the right choices. So at the end of the day I think you’re on to something that’s more valuable. So it’ll help you raise that next round for sure each time you go, right?

Scott:
Hopefully. (Laughs)

Jeffery:
So you mentioned that in kind of the way you look at a company was that you know, you were hard on that driven side of the founder, making sure that they’re, I call it being psychotic in the space, that they are because I want someone that is psychotic about their business, that they won’t take no, they’ll pivot like crazy but they’re gonna win. Is there a couple of things that you would kind of give a shout out to the startups and say, “You know what, this is the kind of mentality that you need to have or you need to be mentoring. You need to do all these other things,” like is there some kind of formula that you really like that seems to work across the startups that you’re engaged with or investing in that you think really stands out?

Scott:
Yeah, there’s no exact formula. I think one thing is we do really like first-time founders, if we see the right characteristics. And one thing I actually will tell a lot of founders is, especially in person, although over zoom I can do this too as well, as let them talk open-endedly about their day, about the company, about certain questions, and just let them go for five or ten minutes, and I can sort of read their body language pretty well based on when I was in the intelligence communities, I learned how to do that. Based on how they- certain they describe their day to describe a customer or they describe a certain problem, you can generally tell they have what it takes to actually push this company forward and can actually grow this and inspire others to help them. And are they willing to actually like really pick up a shovel and dig for as long as they have to dig to get this thing going in the right direction? And there’s sort of that the persistences we’re looking for that ship on their shoulder, a little bit of swagger I think we need, a little bit of confidence. But also that humbleness of “I’m still trying to figure this out;” “I’m trying to build this;” “This is my first company,” and there’s certain patterns you can look for and most of our founders have those patterns which pay off really well because in most cases, they’re not gonna let the company fail. They’re hell bent on solving this problem and they already have a pretty big head start. In most cases they have a million in revenue or so they’re already pretty far down the tracks.

Jeffery:
Yep, no I like that. To chip on the shoulder and I think that what you bring up there is a personality. You’re getting them to let a little bit loose, so that you can understand how they actually problem-solve in the problems that they’re being faced with. How do they iterate it to you, are they complaining and not doing anything about it, or are they giving you the complaint with the solution that shows that they’re thinking about both sides of the panel? If you will and that to me is pretty valuable because you know, even when you have a team, if they’re coming to you with problems and they’re like, “Hey this doesn’t work,” and you’re like, “Oh my like could you come to me with the reverse of that here? This doesn’t work but then here’s my answer and here’s how we’re going to solve it and then we can force an interaction and have some collaboration to come out with that end goal,” but I think you get a lot from those startups when they are focused on the solution you know. There is a problem, you’re the guy that’s got to solve it, or you’re the lady that’s got to solve this, so figure it out now.

Scott:
Yeah, there’s that tenacity of “I’m gonna figure this out. I don’t really care how but I’m gonna figure it out.”

Jeffery:
Yep. Yeah, no that’s awesome. So in the I guess, in the end of it all, you’re heavily focused on these first-time founders, is there a board, is there a team, is there something else that you really got to get behind too? Or because it’s early on, you take that risk and then you help them build a team or you help them build a board of advisors or directors, is there that kind of facilitation that goes on as well?

Scott:
Yeah, we try to help them any way we can. If it’s finding customers, finding board members, finding other investors, finding customers, finding other people to work at the company, just whatever the company needs or the founder needs. In all the cases, they have some early investors, maybe 500k or a million or even 2 million raised, they have some people early on. They usually have one or two other board members, they’ve got hopefully another either co-founder or someone that’s somewhat significant. Whether it’s the CTO, or is this the CF, someone that actually understands the business or can sell because when is one founder doing everything, that’s danger territory. Because if they walk away or something happens, then you don’t really know what happens with the company. So we’d like to see this kind of one other key employee that’s part of the company and that’s actually helping to build it. But other than that I mean, it’s really we’re looking for one or two people driving the ship ideally two or three and that have a singular vision that are bought in that have enough equity to matter. So if they have five percent of the equity, that’s not really enough. I want to see at least 15 or 20 or even 30 for the key people because that’s what’s going to keep them there.

Jeffery:
Very cool! And you guys lead when you guys go into this discussion and going through all the breakdown with the company and learning more about them before you make an investment, are you guys looking at this business from short, midterm, long term investment? Or are you just saying, “You know what, we’re going to come in right now. We’re going to take up the 500, 000 round to pick up the whole thing. We’re going to be your biggest investor. We’re going to work with you on the next round all the way through. You’re stuck with us. We love you we’re in,” is that kind of the approach or?

Scott:
It’ll vary. I mean we want to be friendly with other VCs and other investors, that’s sort of we’ve built the fund on as we have a good reputation after, think in general among most other investors is, we try to play well with them. If it’s a tight allocation, we’ll make sure that someone else gets an allocation. If it’s a bigger round, we’ll take up more of the rounds, we’ll lead, we won’t lead, we don’t necessarily need a board seat. Although we may want to observe our seat if we’re writing a big check. We’ll be flexible with the founder. We want to make sure that it’s a good fit and if there’s good rounds later on that makes sense, we’ll invest. If there aren’t then we’ll connect them, other people that will. So it’s we’re never gonna guarantee, we’re gonna be able to raise someone money but usually we can.

Jeffery:
Awesome! So you’re always there which is good. You’re always helping them through the cycles and figuring out how to balance them out, since you’ve made the original investment, you want to carry through all the time.

Scott:
Yeah, we want to help with some pride in an investment. We want to fail so we want to help them as much as we can.

Jeffery:
Perfect! I- you mentioned one last thing, before we jump into the rapid fire questions, you mentioned a comment about and you just did it again, the fail side and having the you know, percentage of fail so nobody ever talks about that. It is kind of that secret piece of investing that everybody kind of hides, I guess behind the donuts. They don’t want anybody to see it, so is there- when you look at this part of it, do you go in with that type of information that, “Hey you know, what we know things are going to fail. We get that you know, but here’s where our thesis states, we’re going to do our best to hold them up and do the best to move them forward but we’re also going to be the first one to tell them that ‘hey, this isn’t working,’ we can’t pivot, we’re going to shut her down,” like is that a mentality that you guys go in with your investments on and when you’re talking through things?

Scott:
Yeah, it’s a learning lesson. I think a lot of people do try to hide those. Hide the dead so to speak but in a lot of ways you gotta learn why it actually happened and how it happened and try to avoid that in the future as much as you can. And we had a call two hours ago with one of our LP’s. It’s asking like, “What are your problem child or children in the portfolio? What are the bad ones?” That was the first question out of his mouth and we were open with them and said, “These are the two ones…that you know are a little shakier than the others and here’s why,” and it’s you got to take away learning lessons from that because you want to avoid that in the future. You can’t keep making the same mistake twice and can’t hide it. It’s great to talk about successes and all these you know crazy multiples or crazy markups but you want to talk about the bad ones too because that’s part of the fun. That’s one thing I think going forward, we don’t want to hide. I think some funds do hide that and there’s a lot of reasons to do that but I’d rather just be completely open and say, “Here’s the good, here’s the badgers, everything in between.”

Jeffery:
I love it. We have our investor update two weeks from now and that’s the approach that we’re going forward with right, is you know we don’t want to hide anything. We’re transparent, we want our investors to keep coming back and be excited for what we’re doing. So here’s the wins, here’s the shaky parts, but at the end of the day, what can you guys do to help our shaky parts get better? Because there are opportunities there for other brains to come in and think of other solutions, right?

Scott:
Yeah and there’s solutions, too. Especially we’re gonna have an advisor meeting in about a month. We have 12 advisors that are kind of close to our fund and we’re going to go over those two copies and say, “Here are the options. Here’s what’s happening, you guys have any ideas?” We put this together in a spec, do we mult, we put this with other companies, I mean what do we do to try to help the founder versus you know six months from now saying, “Hey, XYZ shut down.” I want to get out in front of it and say, “Can you guys help? Can you do anything? What do you suggest?”

Jeffery:
Yeah, I know that’s great. I love that approach. We had one company where we needed to do that with and we continued to work with them on that capacity but it’s a really long story on what they went through. But at the end of the day, it is the tough ones to face and you know, what we support the even today. No matter what, we still support that entrepreneur for what they went through. And you know I think even on their next time they go to raise, we’ll be the first ones in line because they they did a phenomenal job on building and selling but they just ended up getting slided in the wrong direction. And you know, they admit the fault but at the same time there’s a lot of learning, so it’s that’s this type of person you want to get into for that second round because you know that they’re going to be all over making their next and next venture huge.

Scott:
And you want to see what they’re willing to fight for and they’re communicating one big mistake. I see founders saying they’re doing if the company’s failing or about to fail or sort of in the final stages is, they’ll claim up and they won’t tell anyone anything that’s happening and the company will very quietly sell for some small amount of money and they won’t communicate anything to anyone.

Jeffery:
Yep.

Scott:
You have to proactively reach out to them three times and say what is happening? What happens with the company? What is the status going to write this off? Like what is going on?

Jeffery:
Yeah.

Scott:
I have one angel investment that literally shut down like two years ago, hasn’t told anyone.

Jeffery:
Yep

Scott:
It’s like I don’t want to chase you down five times and tell me the company fell. Just tell me it failed. Tell me the terms. tell me what happened.

Jeffery:
Yep.

Scott:
Okay, that’s a pet peeve of ours kept you in mind at least, yeah.

Jeffery:
No, I feel the same way. It’s and I hear it quite a bit actually with because of COVID. You have a lot more places that have closed the doors and the feedback it’s going back to the investors. They’re like the last person to find out, right? Like their neighbor and the schools know about the fail, but the investor who put the time in to help, they don’t have a clue but they can’t find them either. So I think that there’s the transparency is the excitement of when I get the money but then the transparency of sharing what I’ve done with the money, and the timing, and how you’ve grown the company or how the company’s gone the different direction. I think all that needs to be shared, you know, wins and losses on both sides and it benefits the opportunity for future investment because one, they came back to the share. They update you, kept you in the loop. It has some, it gives you more interest and more reason to keep following or investing in their next business because you like their approach and you liked how they were solid on updating you versus you spent half your life chasing that company to get nowhere. And you know they come back and knock on the door looking for funding and you’re kind of like, “Do you think I want to do this again? I’ve created a lot of tension,” versus “It was easy. Just update, quick updates.” So..

Scott:
Yeah, that’s one other thing too. I wish more companies did monthly updates versus quarterly or by yearly or yearly.

Jeffery:
Yep,

Scott:
Because they sent a monthly even if it’s like a paragraph or two paragraphs. I know what’s going on in the company if I’m not keeping a close tab on it. I usually am but if I’m not, it’s good plus I can afford it onto my LPS. they know what’s going on in the company, I can help them, they can help them. Especially if there’s an ask in there which I think every company should do. It takes an extra hour, a month just because the ROI on is probably pretty high.

Jeffery:
I would agree, yeah. But we’re going to do that with one of our companies right now and they’re doing a big update tomorrow, and we’re supposed to be and the same thing it was you’ve got a line of investors that will reinvest in what you’re doing. Set it up, sweep in the deal. Like why go spend all that time trying to do something else? Just update them and they’re going to love you, so if you don’t go in with the update then you keep creating dissidents and they have no interest to follow there and eventually when you go to them. They’re going to be like, “I’ve heard from you in two years man. I don’t care how great you’re doing, I want him to know something.” So it’s a tough balance and you’re right. Usually when it’s down, no one wants to say anything. When they’re up, too busy to say anything. So you- there’s got to be a fine balance in there where everybody’s feeding each other the right information to keep it moving forward. But keep your biggest people that helped you at the beginning, give them the knowledge so that they can keep promoting you and pushing you, right?

Scott:
Yeah, I mean it’s put a calendar invite for an hour or every month. Just to do it and that way you do it.

Jeffery:
Yep, agree. All right Scott, let’s jump into our rapid fire questions and then we’ll have like one final big question for you, maybe two. And then we’ll move from there but some of them we’ve answered so but we’ll jump right into them. So what’s your favorite part of it of investing in startups?

Scott:
Working with founders.

Jeffery:
How many companies or dollars do you invest per year?

Scott:
In the fund?

Jeffery:
Correct.

Scott:
We do about six to eight deals a year. Probably three to five-ish million a year an invested total.

Jeffery:
Personally?

Scott:
Personally, it’ll vary pretty widely. It depends on what deals I’m seeing.

Jeffery:
Okay, do you do follow-up investments?

Scott:
We do. I do too.

Jeffery:
Okay any notable portfolio companies you’d like to share?

Scott:
Oh yeah there’s tons. I always like to talk about the portfolio. there’s one called osmosis health which is out raising right now on in october probably closed by november or december but it’s on the same airs. there’s one called round trip health which is based in philly which I’m really bullish on major clarity which is in richmond. one called nia Health which is partly in LA partly in baltimore that’s out raising now which will probably be closed in the next couple weeks. I mean there’s a number of companies I’m really bullish on. a number of them in the early light portfolio some of my own portfolio but they all have a lot of them first time founders they’re really. they have that chip on their shoulder they have that great they’ll push through anything and they have pushed through anything and they’ve done really Well I’m really happy and proud for them.

Jeffery:
I love it. Any verticals you focus on outside of health? Because it looks like you focus on health quite a bit.

Scott:
We do a lot of health tech, we do some cyber, we do basically anything in b2b SAS. Does the right metrics, whether it’s churn, whether it’s sell cycles, anything in between. It just comes down to the right founders, the right opportunity, can this thing go from eight or so million in post money? Or a million in are up to about 10 or 15 an ARR and 100-120 in in exit? If it can get there, I don’t care if it’s construction technology. If it’s health deck, if it’s cyber, I don’t care.

Jeffery:
I love it. Do you have any preferred terms on your investments?

Scott:
We do very clean terms. We don’t do anything out of the ordinary. Nothing Eexotic, mostly templates. I don’t like spending money on lawyers and most companies I tend to prefer priced rounds versus safes or notes but we’re flexible.

Jeffery:
Okay, any crazy stuff that you look for in due diligence?

Scott:
We do a lot of diligence behind the scenes. A lot of people will do reference calls which I actually find are really overrated. They can be valuable but a lot of the stuff, you’ve discovered behind the scenes was actually more valuable, and we’ve discovered actually one company was complete fraud going through diligence. And we did that on our own without actually even telling anyone in terms of like we didn’t actually interface with anyone that the company knew we were interfacing with. We did it without the company’s knowledge and we discovered, is actually a fraudulent company. You can discover a lot behind the scenes without actually even interfacing with the founder, without actually taking their time which is good for them and good for us.

Jeffery:
Big time. Well that was a good catch then.

Scott:
It was. We saved a couple family offices a couple million dollars.

Jeffery:
Love it. You mentioned that you guys lead rounds, that’s great. You mentioned that you’ll take board seats based on value. What other ways do you look at helping startups outside of the money?

Scott:
So we try to be helpful and we also try to get out of their way. So as a founder years and years ago, I valued the ones that actually helped when I needed help and then got out of the way when I didn’t want them in the way. So we’re not, I’m not proactively reaching out to them usually every week or every you know two weeks or every day like some funds are like, “Hey, what’s going on? Who’d you close? What’s going on? It’s what do you need help with? Do you need a customer? Do you need a COO? Do you need a CFO? Do you need a partner? What do you need? You need someone to do marketing collateral for you? We’ll find it. So it’s kind of plugging in where the founder needs help. You raising around you need help with that and then getting out of the way.

Jeffery:
I like it. Last question in the rapid fire, do you recommend mentorship or coaching for your founders?

Scott:
We do. we have a lot of LPS that do want to mentor the companies and want to be advisors. The one thing I’m a little cautious of if a mentor is not adding a lot of value, meaning they don’t have a lot of credibility in industry, they’re not going to be hands-on. I don’t love seeing mentors take equity or take warrants. I want to see them just help the company and if they get something out of it that’s great. I don’t love seeing them giving something to get an advisor unless it’s someone very significant, but we do try to look for mentors with the company to help them. Usually they’re one or two or three off type opportunities. They’re not continuous because in most of those cases, they’re looking for equity which I don’t necessarily love founders giving away.

Jeffery:
Oh, I agree. I like that. Okay, so the rapid fire questions are done. You did very well, good job! I give you four stars out of five. I’m just kidding you get five out of five. I didn’t want to create any stress there for you but so is, there’s really two more questions. This question is, there a heartfelt story that you have around a startup that you were working with that maybe you didn’t invest in? Maybe you did that you just saw that just went through hell and high earth to get back to something and then they just found their groove and took off but they were on the verge of sinking, they were on the verge of victory and then they sunk? Like is there some story that just blows your mind and you were like so impressed by anything that occurred just something that the audience can really get excitement about?

Scott:
There’s a couple. Nothing super dramatic. I’m trying to think of a couple, there is most of them have actually been pretty smooth sailing in terms of starting the company, scaling in. They’ve been obviously bumps in the road but most of them are pretty smooth. I mean there’s- I actually can’t even think of any of that are super emotional or any I had a lot of drama. I mean there’s a couple companies that are having a lot of societal impact which is good. I mean major clarity for one is having a ton of impact on kids that are in high school. Trying to figure out their career pathways, trying to figure out what they want to be in life, changing their career pathways, taking the right courses, getting people to actually get jobs. They’ve had a lot of impact, that’s great! But I can’t say that they’ve had any you know, dramatic twists in the road or anything crazy happening.

Jeffery:
That one’s still impactful. That’s good. I like things that are making a change and helping people’s lives improve, so that’s pretty good. I like it. Sometimes we’re always looking for impact because then we can relate and the reason why we go for that hard-hitting one is because you’re sitting at home, having a tough go trying to figure out how to make your business work and you know, someone comes along and gives you that push-up story which is you know, why I was living on food stamps and I was able to convert this and change this. And you know, sometimes those work. But I think at the end of the day, it just shows that somewhere in there that we all find diversity, we all fight through things to get where we need to be, and sometimes you got to reach out, and ask someone for help and that’s gonna help you get a little bit further ahead too. So you can’t be afraid of those things.

Scott:
I mean there is one round trip health in Philly Mark. The founder I have, called me. It’s now probably two years ago. I can’t even remember two and a half years probably two and a half, maybe three. No, two and a half years ago I think and he had a great company. He had some traction, he had a great product that actually, I mean, they had people in hospitals calling him literally crying saying, “This is saving my life. This is the best thing I’ve ever seen. I can actually do what I need to do for the patients in the hospital. I can get them to their appointments. I get them the care they need, like this is unbelievable. It’s revolutionary! This is you know 10 seconds of work versus a five-page word document I have to work through this is so much better.” So there are stories there and he was potentially raising his series As. this is I think two and a half years ago I can’t even remember. And I got a call from him and he’s normally really upbeat, really energetic, and he’s kind of a little downcast like, “I don’t really know what’s going to happen here. I have some trouble raising like got any ideas?” and told them, “Send me your pitch deck and I’ll figure something out,” cause I really believed in them and still really believe in them and send it off to a couple funds to know the lead rounds, delete series and I said that, “This is the deal you have to do now.” Sam’s the three funds specifically that I knew were all looking at deals and went back to Mark and said, “I’ll figure something out for you.” You fast forward a couple weeks later, all three of them were interested. One of them gave a quick term sheet. It was a great term sheet and they ended up taking it. And they’ve actually followed on in their series B and the company’s doing extremely well through COVID, before COVID. But he was you can see Mark again really upbeat, really energetic, first time founder knew the problem firsthand. But he kind of down on himself because he was having trouble raising money.

Jeffery:
Yeah.

Scott:
And he needed to raise that money and it was kind of dark for him at that moment. But you know, gets bright eventually. He just had to keep pushing and pushing and pushing and he was solving a really big problem and he was doing it the right way and just had to keep going.

Jeffery:
I love it. But he didn’t do one thing, he reached out and asked for help.

Scott:
Yep.

Jeffery:
That’s where people will always step in to help out when you do that. I think the fear for founders is that they tend to forget that asking for help is a good thing versus a bad thing. Pride steps in but asking for help can really generate some really good turnaround because people are tend to be inclined to help, right? And I think it just takes a few minutes to do it and you’ll find, hopefully the right person you reached out to will be able to guide you at least a little bit further than where you were.

Scott:
Yeah and I was happy to do it, and I really believed in what he was doing. And you know, found a VC that believed in what he’s doing too.

Jeffery:
Yeah, no. That’s Awesome! All right, so the second last question and this is something that I’m- we’re just throwing in new today. Something a little different because I was listening to a podcast from a startup company that we’ve been working with. I really love their podcast and I really enjoyed their approach on this, so I’m kind of in a way borrowing their approach on this because I love the fact that it made it somewhat more personable. So favorite card game?

Scott:
(Laughs). That’s a tough one actually, I’d say probably poker although I don’t play a lot of cards. I’ll play Monopoly. I actually played monopoly for the first time in like 20 years at my girlfriend’s parents house on Sunday that’s pretty interesting- Saturday that’s pretty interesting.

Jeffery:
Monopoly? All right! So you’ve got monopoly, you’ve got poker. Favorite sports team?

Scott:
Probably college, I gotta go UVA.

Jeffery:
Nice! College is good. I just spent some time I went to- I watched, I was actually a year ago now. I went down to watch some football games, crazy football games was actually super amazing. By the way you guys put on the best show ever when it comes to college ball and like literally they were playing metallica the whole place. Hundred thousand people stomping up and down cheering. By far none, I was like, “Man you take this and put this in Toronto. The whole city would shake it would be intense” (Laughs). Brilliant! All right, the one they used was and I this is the one I’m going to borrow from it and I will come up with something more original, but this was on the spot right now coming up with this. Your favorite movie and what character would you play in the movie?

Scott:
That’s a tough one. It’s hard to pick one because there’s so many movies I like, really hard to pick one. I mean I think the favorite movie is probably Forest Gump (Laughs). It’s hard to pick a character because I’m not really [ inaudible 53:20 ] I’m not knowing who I actually need in that movie.

Jeffery:
Yeah.

Scott:
It is hard to pick one of those actually. The more I think about it, it’s hard to pick one character that I really relate to or kind of go back to. But yeah it’s hard to pick one. I don’t know that I’d pick on for that movie, that’s definitely my favorite movie.

Jeffery:
All right, well you can think about that one and then when we do a follow-up interview in a couple years. We’ll go back on that one and figure out what character that you’d fit into.

Scott:
Well the funny thing is I don’t watch a lot of movies anymore. I don’t really have the time unfortunately. I’ll watch like watch the trashiest reality shows I can find.

Jeffery:
Yeah.

Scott:
Usually, I’m even dinner girlfriend will watch like “Married At First Sight Australia,” which is amazing show. It’s so trashy, it’s so much fun to watch. Probably don’t relate to anyone on that show but it’s an amazing show to watch. You just completely zone out or like “Below Deck and “Bravo” or “90 Day Fiance,” like the trashy stuff you could find because I can turn my brain off and it’s just fun to watch.

Jeffery:
Yeah, well that’s good. I like that it’s a good approach and my brain’s trying to think of all these shows and what show do I like and where would I fit in. So I can’t even answer my own question but I still love it. So I want to thank you, Scott, for obviously sharing. I thought it was a great discussion, I learned lots, and I always take lots of notes. Old School but really at the end of the day, I think that you provided a lot of great value to the ecosystem. So thank you for that and what we’d like to do on the show is we like to give you the last word. So anything you want to share to the investors or to startups? Anything, advice, comments, feedback, whatever you like. I give it to the floor to you and then again thank you very much for your time today.

Scott:
I’d say if there’s any good companies especially up North and Canada that are fitting our criteria, definitely reach out. We’re always looking around and we don’t have any Canadian companies in our portfolio. I’d like to have a couple.

Jeffery:
Done. Well, November 26th, they’re going to join our event and we’re going to get to a couple of those companies. (Laughs)

Scott:
(Laughs) Sounds good to me!

Jeffery:
I like it, all right. Scott have a fantastic day and thanks again for your time!

Scott:
All right. See you, thanks again!

Jeffery:
All right man, cheers!

Scott:
Bye.

Jeffery:
Well, that was Scott Garber, fantastic man. Who’s putting so many cool investors that I get to meet nowadays. You know, this job if you call it a job, this investment opportunity that we’ve been working on and doing has gone from being amazing, talking to amazing startups, so that would be even more amazing. Talking to so many cool investors, and I learned a lot today from them. I think Scott brought a lot of great things from great startups that they’re working with that he’s passionate about, but talked a lot about the product side. You know, how you get your product to market, focus you know, instead of having 10 products have two or three, figure out which one works best, make that investment work for you, focus and spend the money and the time and resources in the right spot that makes a big difference. You know, they’re out of the US, they’re in Baltimore, they’re doing a lot of things in the Washington State DC area. First-time founders which is what they’re a big fan of and they look for people with personality. Man, they want people that are driven chip on their shoulder, going hard. So I don’t think they could have said it any better than that. So they’re looking for Canadian companies, fantastic but at the end, they’re just looking for great investments. So they kind of gave you the criteria which is what we all got to work towards and finding a way to get our businesses into a position that they’re going to want to have an interest to invest in. so great chatting with Scott and you guys are awesome. Have a great day!

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