Investing Start Ups

Investing with a Team: Palo Alto’s Pie Capital

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Uh oh.  Did you forget a gift?  this is perfect  –  a GREAT gift. $50 gets a piece of the pie. What’s cooler than owning part of a startup? Nada. Nothing.  Click to see what’s available and give the coolest gift.  Birthday coming up for someone? Or yours! How about owning a piece of a start up? 9 unique windows of the future – go ahead, look:  PIE CAPITAL  

Time to Invest 

So you want to invest in a startup? Good – because the innovation machine is on a roll and you might be on for the ride of a lifetime.

However if you don’t live in Silicon Valley and you don’t know anyone in a startup and you haven’t got a clue what to invest in but you want a piece of the pie what are you going to do?

First, congratulate yourself that you don’t need to find a place to live in the highest priced real estate market in the U.S.  It really is true that a 500 sq ft.  shack will cost you over a million. That topic is exiting stage left right now.

Second, here’s the good news: you aren’t stuck with the guesswork of a Kickstarter or Indiegogo (though I love them they can be confusing to an investor) in order to invest. With a new company in Palo Alto, Pie Capital, you have someone looking out for you, finding the latest and greatest startups and doing all the pre-vetting work for you.  And then, letting you in on the ground floor for as little as $100.00 and even better…letting you decide how to allocate whatever amount you decide to invest. I recently spoke with Bill Eichen, founder and CEO of Pie Capital. He explained what Pie does differently.

I am quite impressed with the vetting process the team at Pie Capital does. A start up can’t just throw together a cool video, a dubious product, make an app and say, “Give me money and I’ve got a t-shirt for you.” and expect to make it to Pie Capital’s recommended list for investment.

Let me insert a personally embarrassing but relevant  anecdote here. I had the co-founder and then CEO of Pinterest renting the studio at my house while they were  in beta.  I saw their site before it was released to the public.  But then out it went and Paul (Paul Sciarra, co-founder, former CEO) was worried one day – VC’s were going to be looking at the site’s traffic the next day and he thought they might not have enough.  I had a  newsletter I wrote with 2000 on my list.  I told Paul I would send out a notice: “Drop everything, go have fun, here’s a great new site you are going to love.”  I sent it and silently felt like a fraud. I did not really like Pinterest. I thought it was silly and due to fail.  Now you know the embarrassing part: as of May 2018, Pinterest had 200 million active monthly visitors.

How wrong was I?

Very wrong. How wrong were the local venture capitalists that funded Pinterest? Not at all.  And that’s what Pie Capital brings you. Thorough vetting and not a single mini me to make the mistake of thinking: ‘If I don’t like it no one else will’. The team at Pie Capital brings sensors, software, engineering, MIT, finance experts, CEO’s, COO’s, which all adds up to an embedded sense of knowing which startup has the brightest potential. I asked Bill Eichen, founder and CEO of Pie Capital if they have any secret sauce in how they make a decision for inclusion. They do. (This is so cool!)  They have a trademarked AI they call an Autovet engine.  Input the cap table, balance sheet and income statement of the startup to the engine and out pops the magic Bill and the team at Pie Capital use to decide who gets in. (Ok, I gave you the TL:DR version. But it is proprietary and what’s important is that these veterans of the Valley know what to do with it and what it means.)

Most importantly, they know what VC’s do: you don’t have to like the product, use it, or want it, but will the market ?  If so, you have a winner. Like Pinterest.

As great as Kickstarter and Indiegogo are, they do not make it easy to evaluate assets which means  a high barrier for entry for the public. And if you have no experience or knowledge base and don’t hang out with the founder then you need the wisdom of the team at PIE to help you evaluate.

Many seek out PIE but only a few are chosen.  We have no lack of startups today but picking the quality ones is a skill and an art. I love that Pie Capital brings this to the table.

Everyone has a different tolerance for risk but no one wants to be last out of the gate. No one can guarantee a winner but you can have a head start. With a variety of vetted startups that range from coffee shop startups to the MVP’s (they have a minimum viable product) to those with traction (they are already on the go), Pie brings you choice.

It also brings you ease of mind in a chaotic arena when faced with hard to evaluate assets. There may not be a t-shirt in it but really is this what you want? And when you look at the startups on the front page of Pie Capital remember this anecdote: Years ago, sitting at Printers Ink in Palo Alto I overheard the following: “My friend’s roommate just did something stupid: he dropped out of Stanford temporarily  to start a website based on his bookmarks.” That website based on his bookmarks belonged to Jerry Yang and he called it YAHOO. Was it stupid? No 🙂

Click the logo and check out the startups at PIE. Come back and tell us what you like and why.

 

 

PS. Bill Eichen is going to be was a judge on June 15th at this startup meetup in San Francisco – hopefully soon the videos will be up:  Live Sharks Tank

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Jose De Dios
    June 14, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    This is a very inspirational read! We’ve been bridging the gap between startups and investors for over five years and missed on a few opportunities.

    Perhaps now with Pie.capital we can make a difference.

  • Reply
    Bradley
    June 15, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    Thank you Jose. We all miss sometimes but we go on and know the next one could be the winner.

    Great website you have: https://startupsshowcase.com

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