This week on Thursday, February 17th, Mark Hasebroock will be coming to CEO to speak about his experiences. Mark is a very well versed investor and venture seeker and is not afraid to look back on his mistakes. He will be coming into Mammel Hall room 228H and will be speaking from 5 to 6. Below is an excerpt from his website: http://www.dundeeventurecapital.com/mark-hasebroock/
While attending the University of Nebraska I started a business that sold colorful moccasins to sorority girls, brilliantly called “Bored Feet.” It worked well enough to finance a spring break trip, however, I returned to dozens of disgruntled girls that had multicolored feet. Turns out I didn’t understand my supplier very well. Lesson learned.
After graduating I became a commercial banker learning the ins and outs of lending money to small businesses. This era predated computers and all analysis of financial statements was by hand, white-out was in high demand. It was pain staking but I learned to break down financials from the bottom up.
I left banking and started a business selling ready to eat gourmet popcorn to grocery stores. The hardest job selling you can possibly have is selling to a grocer. It’s a zero sum game and they have no space for your product unless they displace something else. It wasn’t long before I sold the popcorn business
Not too long after this I met a guy who was starting an investment bank. His name was Mike McCarthy. I was intrigued, especially since Wall Street was a popular movie and I had a strange fascination with suspenders. Mike became my mentor.
I feel very fortunate that I was able to meet someone that’s been such a difference maker in my life, cue the sappy music. To be honest it’s large part why I want to make Dundee Venture Capital a reality. I want to play the roll of mentor to a few folks the way Mike mentored me.
I also have been a co-founder of two dynamic startups: giftcertificates.com and HayNeedle.com. Each time we recognized an untapped niche, acting upon the void and developed a scalable business. I was very lucky to have two amazing co-founders in Doug Nielsen and Julie Mahloch.
If I get the chance to meet anyone as energetic, focused and knowledgeable as them, I will bet it all again.
In my life I have been an investment banker and commercial banker. I’ve been a small business owner and have co-founder of two ecommerce businesses. I’ve stubbed my toe on lots of rocks, fallen and then got back up. The mistakes were building blocks for me. I’ve raised money and know the steps, the time and the effort it takes. I bring experience needed to take a start up to the next phase.