Beyond the Checks: How Helping Entrepreneurs Succeed Became a Passion
Blake Patton, Managing Partner at Tech Square Ventures, shares insights on how his perspective shifted as a VC.
In the beginning, everything was about technology. Viewing the world through the lens of a product was the norm. But oh boy, did that perspective change quickly! It became clear that it’s all about the people and the market opportunity.
The Obsession with Potential
At first, the focus was on the potential seen in the opportunity for a product or technology. If you'd asked about an investment thesis, the answer would probably have been something related to intellectual property (IP) and technology. Being active in Georgia Tech's alumni association and board of trustees, the perspective was very tech-centered.
The Realization: It's More Than Just Writing Checks
Writing the first few checks to entrepreneurs was easy and fun. But after about four companies, a new job emerged: helping those investments succeed. It took time and effort, and it led to a realization.
Entrepreneurs needed more than just money. They needed access to markets and customers. Building a platform that could help them achieve that became essential, even though at first, it was unclear what that meant. Maybe it was about introducing them to a few people, but it had to be more.
The Value of Being a Good Operator
What made you valuable to these initial ventures? It was the ability to relate as a good operator. The journey from being obsessed with technology to understanding the human aspect of business was a profound transformation.
This is a story of growth, learning, and recognizing that success in the tech world is not just about the product but the people behind it.