Today marks my first day with Corigin Ventures. And after nearly three years in the trenches at my first startup, Category Five, I can’t begin to describe how excited I am to be sitting on the other side of the table.
Although my chances of becoming a venture capitalist were about as good as me becoming a professional baseball player (which we all know wasn’t going to happen thanks to my subpar athletic genes), I’ve quickly come to realize that the VC world provides me with an opportunity to utilize my strengths, along with a passion of mine in life.
Now, I’ll admit that although I never imagined being a VC while studying entrepreneurship at The University of Miami, I’m definitely fired up to become a VC because of these four reasons and so much more:
- Adding Value to Entrepreneurs — Growing up, I was always told to pay it forward. As a result, I’ve become the type of person that would rather add value to someone else’s life or career far more than my own. Luckily, a huge piece of my job now is finding incredible entrepreneurs that Corigin and I can add value to. From making introductions for early stage founders to executing projects for portfolio companies, I’m being put in a position where it’s my job to add value all day, every day. Furthermore, my entrepreneur self is still telling me that value add/strategic investors are the best type, so you better believe I’ll be taking this part of my job seriously.
- Hyper-Learning about Industries—Alright, now is probably a good time to admit I’m a huge nerd. Growing up I used to write business plans for fun and one of the most intriguing parts about that process to me was learning about the industry. Thus, you can understand why I’m basically drooling about diving into seed stage investing. Virtual reality, artificial intelligence, marketplaces, e-commerce, healthcare and education are among some of the verticals I can’t wait to get my hands on. Add in the fact I’ll be learning about the industries from deeply passionate founders and seasoned executives, then you can appreciate why my 10-year-old self is jumping in excitement and asking if this job is a real thing.
- Meeting Interesting, New People—If you know me personally you know that I love meeting new people. A big fan of Tim Ferriss’ interview approach, I’m the type of person who wants to figure out what makes people tick and so good at what they do. While trips abroad and Category Five gave me this outlet over the past few years, I believe that VC is going to feed my appetite for this on a daily basis. Additionally, something along the lines of what Chris Sacca touched on during the Startup Podcast, I can’t wait to meet founders and CEOs that I wouldn’t consider to be normal people in any way. In a good way, I’m sure they’ll all be as weird if not weirder than me.
- Investing in the Future—I’m no sci-fi guy, but the fact that I now have the ability to do my part in investing in the future (although small) is pretty epic. A new generation of founders are out there starting companies every day a la Travis Kalanick, Neil Blumenthal and Mark Zuckerberg. So it’s my goal to find those people and help them achieve their vision. Then, once the vision is achieved, I hope these founders have been able to change the way the world functions in a similar manner to the Ubers, Warby Parkers and Facebooks of the world.
As I move to a new city and transition into a new job, I’m looking forward to updating people about my experience. Follow me on Medium or Twitter “@BoatShuman” to read a fresh take on a young entrepreneur’s transition into the world of venture capital—and the occasional tweet related to incredible BBQ skills, Boston sports and inspirational quotes. (Yes, I’m that guy.)
Live in NYC and want to talk startups? Shoot me an email at JShuman@Corigin.com.