Dec 17, 2017
So you’ve got a million dollars that your looking to invest right? It’s just sitting around in your side table or stuffed into the cushions on your couch but you know it should be invested somewhere so it can grow into two or three million. You could invest in the stock market or real estate but that sounds so boring. You want to invest in ideas, great ideas, and help them grow into a multi-billion dollar company like Amazon or Google.
If that’s your scenario, our guest today is the right guy to call. Serial entrepreneur Mike Trotsky has started tech businesses, sold them, and connected hundreds of investors with opportunities to fund great tech ideas. In our conversation, he breaks down the western frontier of investing into terms we can all understand.
Here’s an overview:
Mike went to college at Indiana University to be an audio engineer. He and some friends started building online donation systems for political campaigns. That business, called Worldview, grew and they became the tech behind a bunch of political campaigns in the late 1990’s.
Eventually they moved away from the consulting congressional campaigns and tried to go deeper into the dot com boom. They couldn’t scale with consulting so they shifted to a tech solution to making rent payments. This was the first tech solution they came up with that took on investors and was really scalable.
As the name implies, Sprout Box offers everything a new seed business needs to blossom. The investors are there, the expertise is there, and the services like lawyers, financial advisors, etc are there. An entrepreneur who gets in isn’t guaranteed success but he or she couldn’t be set up better for it. Most of the businesses they launched offered tech oriented SAS products. That means Software as a Service. In other words, the software that the business creates provides some kind of service. That could be connecting a driver with someone who needs a ride (like Lyft or Uber), helping a beekeeper analyze her hives (like BeeCorp), or revolutionize software billing processes like Cheddar the business Mike would engage with beyond Sproutbox eventually becoming the CEO.
Cheddar is a business that created a billing system that sits behind a ton of SAS (Software as a Service) products. It basically functions as the cash register for tech products. Their product is on the cutting edge of tech billing helping companies to bill based on use (like your water bill).
‘I’ve found this problem’ is way better than ‘I’ve got an Idea’
Every business goes through a different evolution, but here are the basic stages where entrepreneurs generally ask investors to join:
Special thanks to Mike Trotzke for taking the time to share the Sproutbox & Cheddar story with us. You can find him at:
Cheddar - www.getcheddar.com
Sproutbox – www.sproutbox.com
Learn more about us at:
Our Site - www.shineinsurance.com
Our Blog - www.shineinsure.com/blog
Our Podcast - www.scratchentrepreneur.com
Our Course - www.newhomebuyersguide.net