A Venture Studio For Fear
Notimor is a first-of-its kind venture studio focused on removing fear from everyday life. I started Notimor after reading the Chapman University Survey on American Fears and realizing that innovators were doing too little to tackle persistent problems.
The first project created within Notimor aims to remove the "fear of not having enough money for the future" by providing a private market solution to universal basic income (UBI). Put another way, we provide non-predatory, targeted loans to help ensure income continuity for the newly unemployed. It is our hope that never again will losing a job mean extreme anxiety and a ruined financial future.
(Notimor = Latin, No Timor (tr.) = No Fear)
I have long lived by the adage, if you can't find a job, create one. I founded my first company (UnBuyThat) at 24-years-old and I haven't looked back. From there, I developed the first-ever video news service for Silicon Alley (AlleyWire), and an insurance technology firm (Thrice). Today, I operate fear-focused venture studio Notimor, conscientious management consultancy NES Impact, and the private members' society, The Corsair. Man, I am extremely tired.
While I do some angel investing, I very much consider myself a founder and operator first, and an investor second.
I have been incredibly fortunate to create and lead a half-dozen companies, and have helped operate or co-found a half-dozen more. But let's take a moment to recognize that I could not have done this without help from a lot of people. In that way, my success is shared, and from a place of privilege. Still, I have learned a lot, worked with some incredible human beings, and it is my hope that my dance with poiesis has left the world a bit better than I found it.
I've had some amazing partners, and today, this grizzled veteran shares his wisdom with rising (and generally underrepresented) founders. Most importantly, I use my position as "Founder" to invent a future that removes the fears of economy, risk, and failure wherever possible.
SEEK OUT THE MOST COMPLEX AND SOPHISTICATED MINDS,
put them in a room together, and have them ask each other the questions they are asking themselves.
To arrive at the edge of the world's knowledge,
O'er the glad waters of the dark blue sea/Our thoughts as boundless, and our souls as free/Far as the breeze can bear, the billows foam/Survey our empire and behold our home!
The Corsair Society
I founded The Corsair in 2010 as a place to convene friends in one time and space. It has since grown well beyond that to a closely-held global membership organization of "interesting people doing interesting things."
We meet in small private salons throughout the world with a simple rule for admission: you must be willing to utilize your means and/or your mind to materially alter the world around you. The Corsair's goal is to put humans within proximity of one another who, normally, would not tread in the same room. Then we step back and watch what transpires.
The name is borrowed from J.P. Morgan (the person, not the bank), who had a similar society for his friends and confidantes. Unlike Mr. Morgan, our gatherings are highly diverse and inclusive, but with a similar intention to gather those together who have the influence and agency to shape tomorrow. Admittedly, The Corsair is a bit mysterious, with intent, but we are not secret, merely private.
1. Social Venture Acceleration: We conceive, launch, and operate high-impact startups on behalf of ideators
2. Values-Driven Growth: We design novel and ethical (data and tech) models for maturing businesses
3. Impact Experimentation: We imagine and develop new brands for established businesses and nonprofits that prove doing good = doing well
We often consult on avant-garde ways to invest, divest, model, and track social impact investment strategies. During our work with the Child Safety Pledge, we proudly created the first-ever model for social impact investment/divestment centered on Child Sexual Abuse Prevention.
We also assist with capital introduction and fundraising, where appropriate, and may invest alongside or in tandem with larger family office partners.
Recent clients include Humanified, Make Some Noise: The Museum of Sound, The Child Safety Coalition, Romio, and Cater2.me.
NES Impact was founded in 2010 (then called NES Consulting) to provide a vehicle for my consulting work. Today, NES Impact has grown into a highly-sought management consultancy and launch accelerator, working with some of the most prominent family office principals and founder-led ventures around the world. We take on select engagements, ranging from three months to three years, where the mandate has social improvement at its core. Our current mandates focus on:
A Conscientious Consultancy
But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal?[...]
We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard,
because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.
President John F. Kennedy, Rice University Moon Speech (1962)
Between 2010 and 2016, I started four companies—running two to profitability.
• UnBuyThat: A peer-to-peer marketplace for buying and reselling hotel rooms
• AlleyWire: A pioneering and award-winning video news service covering Silicon Alley
• AW|CS: This was AlleyWire's in-house branded content studio, it still operates today
• LRS Tech's Thrice Platform: An early insurtech SaaS play in the property and casualty commercial real estate brokerage space
Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
Thomas A. Edison
Over the years, I have been involved in some incredible business partnerships; whether as an early employee or founder of a new department. All of these businesses are still operating today, and I'm honored to have made a small imprint in the sands of their shores. I have recently served in the following roles:
•President, Karma Impact & Cicero's Own (Both subsidiaries of Timeless Media, where I also served as President) — Social impact media network and brand studio developed alongside Hinduja Single Family Office
•Chief Growth Officer, Vestorly — Venture-backed, artificial Intelligence-powered marketing SaaS platform
•Director of Marketing, Shepherd Kaplan Krochuk — One of the largest independent investment advisors in the U.S.
It is the excitement of becoming—
always becoming, trying, probing, falling, resting, and trying again—
but always trying and always gaining..."
President Lyndon Baines Johnson, Inaugural Address (January 20, 1965)
Impact Investor, Advisor, & Mentor
I am an equity-holder, investor, and advisor to several established startup ventures. I also mentor moment-of-inception companies through Yale's Tsai Center for Innovation (CITY) and serve as a judge for several venture competitions, including the NextGen Summit. I'm also a graduate of several accelerator programs, including serving as a venture fellow at Yale's CITY (then called the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute) through UnBuyThat (2012) and the Made in NY Media Center by IFP through AlleyWire (2014).
•ScholarMe: The common application for scholarships (Y-Combinator)
•VirtualApt: Robot-enabled virtual real estate tours and videos (Seed/Series A)
•Palgo: Peruvian-focused point-of-sale financing app for merchants (Seed)