Investing in Your Vision by Investing in Great People: A conversation with Jumpstart Foundry CEO & Founder, Vic Gatto.
Talk a little bit about why you founded Jumpstart Foundry.
“I was a traditional VC for 15 years, and did healthcare and technology early stage investments at two different traditional funds here in Nashville. I left that, and joined with Marcus Whitney to create a new approach to early stage investing. We had the idea that we could give the startups that we invested in an unfair advantage and change the risk return profile. So, for instance, instead of it being 1 out of 5 companies being successful, we would turn the tables and have it be a 75% success rate.
Marcus and I then started Briovation with the idea that if you provide the right support, guidance and tools to entrepreneurs, they are much more likely to be successful, which is better for the entrepreneurs and better for our investments.”
How does Briovation & Jumpstart Foundry view talent & culture, and how did that impact how you built the companies?
“So, I have seen a ton of startups both succeed and fail. And I think the entrepreneurs that are successful create a group of people around them that are true believers in the company’s vision. And in doing so, really talented people who could do lots of other things, and possibly make more money than in a startup, pass on those other opportunities to join that startup. And, that becomes self-fulfilling: more and more talented people will then be attracted to the organization, which enables you to do greater things and grow as a company. It sort of mushrooms, and you create a sort of movement that a company is at the heart of.
I think to build this foundation of people to found this movement by your side, it’s about storytelling, painting a picture of what could be, and giving people something to believe in that they get excited about. So we’ve built a company where we hope to attract really talented people to join because the work is more impactful, and they can make more of a difference.
So, talent & culture is that really hard to achieve secret weapon that entrepreneurs need. But unfortunately, most of the time entrepreneurs don’t know how to build it, or they don’t have time to really focus on it.”
What value do you see OhanaHealth bringing to startups?
“So I think there’s a small percentage of entrepreneurs that are naturally really gifted in being able to attract talent. But, there’s a lot of entrepreneurs who are able to learn how to approach and develop a culture that is empowering to young, really talented professionals, how to paint an image of what their company is trying to achieve that is emotionally charged and connects to people enough so that they can find their own story and meaning in the vision. And so I believe that OhanaHealth empowers entrepreneurs who have the potential to be great leaders & motivators & recruiters through teaching them those skills & approaches to attract and retain those really talented young professionals to find what they’re passionate about in building that exciting vision of the future together.”
How do you see millennials impacts the future of health, and how does that play into startup culture?
Millennials don’t realize the impact that they are going to have on American Society, yet. They’re still trying to figure out their identity as a generation. But my view is that they are going to change the country, similar in the way that you can follow the baby boomers through the 60’s and 70’s and 80’s and watch the political, social, and economic waves of impact. And millennials are an even larger group than the baby boomers. They, as a generation, are just coming into their own and starting to see the power they can exert. I think that millennials will come around to creating a better world for themselves and for their children.
I believe that health, with energy and water as a close second and third, is one of the three biggest things that our planet has to solve in the next 20 years. And we’ve started to see, and will continue to see millennials being attracted to health, because they have the ability to make a positive impact. A lot of people in this generation are not working simply to find a way to pay rent and to buy food, but are working to really make a difference. Health is one of those areas where the world needs a lot of assistance, and millennials are and will start to migrate to that.”
Any last thoughts?
"I don’t think you can build anything of real impact without building a team and a culture that is supportive. I think an organization that is able to create an environment that the vision the founder has and lets people go off and create their own iteration of that vision that is exciting and compelling to them, that is supportive of the original vision was, but also multiplies that, will be the successful in the end. One person doesn’t scale; it takes a team."