￼What we believe:
80amps is an optimistic place.
Where others see challenges, we see opportunities. When others are frustrated, we are motivated. Presented with problems, we seek answers.
In the last 20 years, a new age of entrepreneurial activity emerged. Fueled by technological advances in consumer electronics and the internet, everything digital has exploded with endless possibility.
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You cannot look at a business magazine without seeing a report of the net worth a 20- something technology entrepreneur or nascent companies with valuations exceeding the GDP of small countries. A recent report indicated that at least 25 businesses in Silicon Valley enjoy values exceeding $1 billion. The same report suggested that by the end of 2014, the number of billion dollar companies in the valley may grow to nearly 100 (if true, the Valley would have collective value exceeding the GDPs of more than about 40 of the world’s largest economies.)
Technology is alluring–seductive in its potential to create great wealth. It’s the latter day gold rush. Legions of the best and brightest are chasing the dream. Venture capitalists pour billions of dollars of investment into sector. Yet, of all the startups formed to swing for those fences, only about .0001 will ever reach $100 million dollars in sales. And, among those receiving venture financing, only one or two out of ten companies will survive past year four.
There are only a couple of places in the world that consistently spawn these outlier companies. Among those, Northern California stands head and shoulders above the rest. Why? It’s the ecosystem. It’s the culture. And, it’s the access to capital. As a magnet for talent, the region has become a revolving door of opportunity. Fail this morning, and land this afternoon at another high-flying startup. Seeking to revitalize their local economies, cities and towns across America seek to replicate the vibrancy of this tech wonderland. The problem is, it doesn’t work very well. Why? The ecosystem just is not sufficient to regularly nurture outlier tech companies. Sure, you will find anecdotal success. But not enough to turn many cities into new tech hotbeds.
The problem isn’t in the desire to ignite the entrepreneurial spirit. It is in the notion that somehow “startup’ is synonymous with technology–that technocentricity is the answer and only disruptive ideas are worthy of pursuit. Put simply, attempts to become the next facebook or Amazon or Google–to build the next billion dollar company– don’t work very often. In fact, they succeed quite infrequently. That’s Ok if you have bet wisely across a portfolio of ten or twenty companies having great promise. One or two huge successes can make a career. In most places, there simply aren’t that many world changing technology companies being built.
That’s where 80amps comes in. While we embrace technology (our founders and mentors have built and exited tech companies), we believe it’s time to celebrate the products and services that are being created in places other than Silicon Somewhere.
80amps grows brands, products, and the technologies that enable them.
While we would love to change the world, changing lives seems like a great start. Building communities. Employing workers. Making life a bit more enjoyable. As a result, 80amps’ investment focus doesn’t look like the ubiquitous accelerators popping up around the country. Our investment interests include:
> Content and platforms beyond traditional media
> Contemporary consumer goods, often enabled by or enhanced with modern technologies
> B2C technologies and communications that can be reapplied to B2B
> Under-exploited opportunities within university primary research
> Identified consumer needs left unfulfilled by existing advertising and technology models
Just as investors in the Valley focus on technology because that is where they can add the greatest value, 80amps focuses on opportunities that take advantage of our team’s background and our investors’ contacts. If you need an audience to demonstrate the ￼latest search algorithm, Silicon Somewhere is the place for you. But if a concept relies heavily on design and marketing expertise and benefits from access to distribution, manufacturing, and the retail trade, 80amps may be a better bet. Whether a physical product or service, or a digital platform with a focus on content or advertising, 80amps stands ready to help build a successful company–one with growth, revenue, profitability, and enduring value.
￼We Grow Companies.