Like many VCs, I own a couple of properties.
Most property doesn’t generate a return until you sell. I seek alpha returns while-I-hold-the-property. It is what makes my LPs smile.
You see, I use my property to woo entrepreneurs. No, I don’t host parties or do BBQs the way that other firms GPs do….
How do I do it?! I troll business plan competitions losers’ brackets. College towns like those around Georgia Tech, Carnegie Mellon, and Evanston all produce them at least once per year. Yes, they’re tier 2 or tier 1.5 depending on whom you ask, but I like the chip that comes attached on each shoulder.
By romancing the rejects of business-plan rodeos, my goal is to find teams of CS majors. I move the pre-existing teams out to SF. They get to live in high-style in my house #3.
This year at Princeton, they are doing a "business model" competition. So progressively anti-Business-plan. It is oh-so Eric Ries / Steve Blank! I even wedged in an egregiously self-promotional award: The Remington Oxley Loser’s Bracket Award. It’s actually called that. And it goes to the CS major that gets kicked out first along with a nice four-digit cash sum.
You see, the worst CS major is still extremely useful. If they’ve got the balls to fail at a venture competition, they’ve taken the hardest step already.
Worst-case scenario, I plug them into any of my portfolio companies. I’ll say it again: Pre-existing teams of CS majors kick butt.
After they live in my house, they tell all their CS friends what a great summer they had in Palo Alto. My cost is three round-trip, coach-class tickets, some ramen, a keg-erator, frozen burritos, an extra-extra umbrella insurance rider, and of course, a pest fumigator. My benefit is getting labeled a VC superstar in every CS lab that has pre-loaded templates of HTML5, CSS3, and a version of Ruby on Rails you’ve never heard of.
In Palo Alto, I’m just another shark in a sports jacket, but in Pasadena (Caltech), I’m *huge*.
P.S. If you’re a VC and want to be a co-pilot when I judge a VC panel in Philly, Berkeley, or Gorges, comment below or wire $3k into my account at Wells Fargo (yeah they do all the things that SVB does, but they host better parties and take you on golf trips to Troon). The $3k is for your portion of the jet fuel—we fly private to rinky-dink college-town airports!
Don’t miss these other entries by our very own Remmington Oxley V:
Buy Entrepreneurs Yogurt
Be a Beta Male
How To Source Deals from Silicon Valley’s Gay Mafia
How to Outmanuever Another VC