Transitioning from serial entrepreneur to serial venture investor
In a recent interview with on the podcast, “What’s Working in Washington,” co-founder of Aldrich Capital Partners (ACP), Mirza Baig, discussed his transition from serial entrepreneur to successful venture investor. Mirza started three startups of his own, giving him insight into what is missing in the Washington D.C investing culture: the difficulty in attracting investments compared to Silicon Valley. This inspired Mirza and his partner and friend, Raz Zia, to found Aldrich Capital Partners.
Mirza said his identification with the entrepreneur’s journey was the reason why he stayed in the industry, even after selling several successful businesses. His understanding of sacrifice and feeling comfortable in the unknown — in the process of building a successful business — is what motivates Mirza and ACP to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses and make money at the same time. Being a founder of a business is a different role from that of an investor or coach. Mirza bridges this gap using his experiences in scaling his own businesses to help entrepreneurs reach their potential.
Distrust in the intentions of typical venture capital firms may be common among founders, depending on the judgment of whether the firm is just in the business of placing bets or truly dedicated to helping companies grow to success. Aldrich Capital Partners’ interests are fully aligned with that of the entrepreneurs: “If you tell them, here are five practical ways to increase revenue, here are two where we can be helpful, here are three you should go explore, and here’s one where maybe you’d bring in some outside resource to help you, they appreciate that,” said Baig when referring to his approach to working on the investment side of entrepreneurship.
Baig and Zia, have defied industry norms by contributing more that 10 percent to the fund from their personal assets. Most private equity and venture capital funds have between one to three percent of its committed capital from the team, meaning Baig and Zia committed an amount 10 times higher than the norm. This resonates with entrepreneurs who understand that their investments are not just coming from ultra-high net worth, anonymous individuals.
Aldrich Capital Partners looks for founder-run companies that typically have more than $10 million in revenue in healthcare, IT, fintech, or applications software.