Andrew Jay Bart, as he puts it, “wears a lot of hats” with a variety of different technology businesses. He currently serves as a CEO, angel investor, startup advisor, fractional chief growth officer (CGO), and chief marketing officer (CMO) for a slew of innovative companies. Andrew is also a co-founder and general partner at a San Francisco-based venture capital, capital advisory, and investment banking firm.
What part of Arizona do you call home?
What was your very first entrepreneurial venture?
Starting with $4,000, over the course of seven years, I built an ecommerce, supply chain management, and lead generation technology platform that I successfully exited to a global pet product manufacturer.
What do you do now?
At the end of the day, everything I do is centrally focused around helping leadership (especially in the southwestern regional markets) accelerate and grow their technology businesses.
What type of service do you provide?
My sweet spot for entry point to working with a company is when they are positioning to raise a seed round of capital with 70 percent or more of the proceeds allocated to sales and marketing. From that point, I will assist leadership with nearly all aspects of their business ranging from helping them to locate a co-founder, executives as a service, recruiting, product design, product development, growth hacking, startup funding, and HR outsourcing.
Via my partners on the capital side of the business, we supply resources in the form of lending mechanisms for startups at the pre-seed level that range from 50K – 250K. For companies raising a seed round through series B, typically, we will either direct invest or source from over 400 relationships with banking institutions, micro VC’s, VC’s, family offices, and private equity firms. On the investment banking side, we engage in transactions with mature companies that have significant tangible assets and are seeking access to $25M – $500M in capital sourcing.
How did you come up with this idea?
I would love to provide a great answer on how brilliant I am (hardly the case), but the truth of the matter is that life and the identification of gaps in markets of interest guided me down the path. When I see needs or struggles in others, I try to determine how to help solve them.
What was the biggest challenge in executing this idea?
Time. It took my lifetime to date to build a continually scaling network of incredible relationships with people who I trust and who have proven to execute at a world class level. I’m in tech but, at the end of the day, I am in a relationship business.
What is your favorite part about running your business?
Most of all, I have been very lucky to have incredible mentors, friends, [and] business partners, and I always say that the most valuable part of me is my network of people. My tag line is that I want to do cool shit with cool people.
How did you get started in the tech industry? What did you study in school, if you attended?
After college, several of my high school friends started tech companies and because of my network, without even realizing what I was doing, I would help them organize friends and family and seed rounds of capital. On the execution side, my mentor, Jeffrey Herzog recruited me to serve on the startup team at iCrossing.
For college, I attended the #1 ranked school in the country for innovation: Arizona State University, aka “Harvard of the west” My major was American studies with a focus on civil war literature and culture.
What sparked an initial interest in tech?
My interest in tech started with a passion for reading about the significant players involved in the formation and growth of the Internet. Originally, my goal was to attend Santa Clara School of Law for Internet law, where I wanted to study the formation of laws around the Internet. The connection with Herzog and iCrossing was too good to pass up so, I elected to remain in Arizona.
How long have you lived or worked in Arizona?
In 1996 I moved to Scottsdale, Arizona. Four years later, when I entered the Arizona tech industry with iCrossing, I remember the first few angel investor conferences at the Princess Hotel. They hosted the investors on one side of the hall and the startups on the other side. It was a segregated event. Now, in my humble opinion, the strength of the Arizona tech industry versus other southwest regional markets is collaboration.
If you could only describe your city with one word, which word would it be?
Carefree is tranquil.
What’s your favorite thing about living in Arizona?
The ease of lifestyle.
What’s your least favorite thing about living in Arizona?
I don’t believe this is exclusive to Arizona, but I wish there was a greater appreciation for the arts (i.e. Ballet AZ, Phoenix Symphony, Arizona Opera, Phoenix Art Museum, Herberger Theater, etc.) and that there was more diverse culture.
In what area do you think Arizona still has a long way to go?
We need successful business leaders with exits, people who have had wins in our state, to personally donate their time to mentoring, advising, and making strategic introductions for the next generation of entrepreneurs. Mario Martinez is a model example for others to emulate.
The foodie scene is growing bigger and bigger by the day here in Arizona. What is your favorite place to get breakfast in your city?
The Grotto Café.
What’s your favorite place to grab lunch?
What’s your favorite dinner spot?
Best place for a meeting over drinks?
What’s your favorite place to work in your city aside from your office?
Terravita Country Club.
What is your favorite memory from Arizona?
I will never forget the smile that was plastered on my face as I was landing on the runway at Sky Harbor for my move from Baltimore to Arizona. I just knew I was where I belonged.
What is something about living in Arizona that only a local would know of? Or what is a common misconception about living in AZ?
I think people grossly underestimate the beauty of our state. The lushness and diversity of vegetation, climate, and landscape is often surprising to many.
Any tips for new Arizona residents?
Contact me and introduce yourself. I take pride in making people feel welcome, introducing you to solid people in the community, and showing off the hidden gems our state has to offer.
Primary Websites & Social Properties:
Chelsea’s Kitchen – ChelseasKitchenAZ.com
Terravita Country Club – TheDreamHomeGroup.com