By Rob Runett, Venture Investing
Since being founded as a two-person startup in 1994, The Motley Fool has always been a champion for entrepreneurs, both globally and in its home state of Virginia. Just one example: when searching for stock recommendations, Fool analysts pay special attention to founder-run businesses. Those founders have poured their lives into the companies they’ve built from the ground up, just like our own co-founders, David and Tom Gardner.
The latest example of The Motley Fool’s commitment to entrepreneurs occurred on Dec. 11, when we hosted the “Virginia is for Entrepreneurs” launch event at our Alexandria, VA headquarters. The initiative focused on connecting venture capital investors with promising companies throughout the state. Ross Baird, founder of impact investing group Village Capital, introduced the program’s goals to more than 120 attendees in our brand-new “Foolitorium” space. Baird was joined by a host of Virginia officials, including Governor Terry McAuliffe, Senator Mark Warner, and Governor-Elect Ralph Northam.
The Motley Fool’s co-founder and CEO, Tom Gardner, explained our local roots as a provider of printed investing newsletters, before making the jump to Virginia-based America Online in the mid-1990s. The Motley Fool raised venture capital and ultimately paid back its investors to remain privately owned, a different twist to most startup stories: Companies with venture backing typically are acquired, go to the public markets, or (gulp) shut down. Over the past seven years, The Motley Fool has invested in a small number of startup companies, sharing its operating expertise and cultural innovation with founders to help them prosper.
Learn more about the “Virginia is for Entrepreneurs” program by clicking here, and enjoy these snapshots from Monday’s event!