I’m pleased to publicly announce the existence of something I started thinking about roughly 18 months ago: SK Ventures.
It all began as I started to notice companies that I thought I wanted to be an angel investor in. That spark of curiosity turned into a conversation with Brad Feld, where basically I just wanted to find out if he thought I was nuts. I believe what I said to him was, “I’m gonna throw an idea out there, and if you don’t start laughing, I’ll know I’m not crazy.” The idea: I’m thinking about raising a seed fund. Brad’s response: “No, you’re not crazy. I’m your first Limited Partner.”
And with that the idea of SK Ventures (aka, “skv”) was born. (Sidenote: people ask me what the “SK” stands for. I never meant it to be the fund name, but the first name I put down on the executive summary for the fund was “Siesta Key Ventures” — the island that my wife and I live on.)
Since inception, I’ve managed to assemble an amazing group of Limited Partners that I’m truly honored to work with. The fund’s purpose is simple: to sit alongside the conferences that my wife and I run, as an investment activity.
So, a few very important things about the fund:
1. I’m also extremely excited to announce that Paul Kedrosky is coming on board as a special advisor to the fund. Paul doesn’t need any introduction to the venture community. We’ve been discussing investments and the economy for years now, and the forming of this relationship allows us to work together more closely.
2. I’m sure the issue of “transparency” will come up, and I’m happy to address this as many times and in as many places as need be. Here’s what you need to know: A) the MOST important thing when running a conference is that the attendees are happy with the content; accordingly, I will never do anything that jeopardizes that quality; B) I will always disclose when the fund has invested in a company; C) I’ve actually told the companies that SKV has invested in that they won’t get any preferential treatment at the shows — if anything, it will be *harder* for them to get on-stage; rest-assured, you WILL see competitors to the companies the fund invests in speaking. Bottom-line: anyone that knows me knows that I operate with integrity around the shows, and the fund won’t change that. If you have ANY questions at all, please ask.