I'm a founder.
Sure, I'm an investor, too, but I started Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, the firm I invest out of. That means that in addition to thinking about what kinds of investments I'm going to make, I need to think about where I'm going to work, payroll, business cards, all that stuff.
As we've seen, the "business stack" of a variety of services entrepreneurs run on everyday has changed dramatically over the last few years. Google Apps enabled e-mail on demand without a server, Uber enables transportation on demand, and WeWork offers space on demand.
The reason why WeWork became so successful was because they realized that space wasn't just about space. It was about support--how could they make your work life easier? That meant over-investing in technology to improve convenience and connect their members.
In this way, space is something more than just a room with chairs and a table.
Founders know that space needs to be something more when they interact with clients and customers, when they onboard people, and when they focus on culture through offsites and events. It's not just about people in a room, but a particular environment they want to create. Just last week, I had a meeting with my Limited Partners at the Highline Hotel--a beautiful building that used to be part of a seminary built in the early 1800's. The room was eclectic and cool, and afterwards I adjourned to its beautiful outdoor courtyard to meet up with a potential new investor that I had invested to come to the meeting.
It was exactly the kind of vibe I wanted. High quality, but interesting and comfortable.
And yes, I closed that investor. I also closed on a seriously great sandwich at the hotel bar. The food their is excellent.
I got the space through Bizly, a company that I invested in that just launched to the public today. Bizly takes advantage of the vast supply of conference space in some of the best and coolest designed hotels in the world, as well as the top notch staffs that run them.
With a Bizly room, you get all the benefits of doing your meetings in a hotel--food and beverage service, someone to help you with A/V, and the ability to hit up a lobby bar or restaurant before or after--without all the hassle. No faxing, phone calls or contracts required.
Businesspeople know how important all these amenities can be, because it's more than just a room that closes a deal or that inspires a team to come up with a new insight at an offsite.
I'm excited to work with Ron Shah on this company and it's a testament to the kind of long term relationships that have building the deal flow pipeline at Brooklyn Bridge Ventures. I was introduced to Ron almost three years ago by one of my investors as someone I should invite to my annual Shake Shack party. He was an investor at his own firm at the time--a fund that had a lot of international LPs. He had a lot of insight into the business travel market from the perspective of a small fund trying to impress a lot of big names--and after a year plus of talking with him through various iterations of the business, I decided to back what became Bizly.
It just makes sense--take advantage of the best existing supply without the overhead of needing to own or rent that supply yourself.
I'm excited to see it come to fruition and I'll offer up a discount code. Use "BBV" and get $25 towards a very cool meeting space at Bizly.