Marshall Sandman is the founder of Animal Capital: A Gen Z focused capital.
They have partnered with some of the biggest influencers in the world and have seen incredible results.
And this is no small task. It’s a crowded field, and they’re no longer just dealing with traditional venture capital funds. They are also competing with athletes and celebrities who have their own funds.
But what separates Animal Capital from their competitors is their focus and deep understanding of the Gen Z space. By working alongside some of the world’s biggest influencers, they provide access to a world that other companies cannot.
“We love working with builders,” Sandman said. They are naturally hungry. The market is crowded, so if they have come this far. It is because of this that they have been able to attract the attention of the audience for a long time. This hunger and drive to succeed, and their often innovative approach to business, are things they share with the founders we invest in.
It’s easy to look at creators as one-dimensional characters that pop up in your social media feeds. But if you look behind the scenes, successful people run their own multi-million dollar companies.
They know how to generate revenue, how to hire the right people, how to manage employees, how to keep costs down, etc. They have already established and run a successful business.
And these big influencers aren’t just writing checks to Animal Capital. They actually work side by side with Sandman and his team.
“Our influencers do all kinds of things for our profile companies: from making phone calls to help close a deal or helping venture capital firms to let us in on their deals by showing them what they can do to add value,” he said. Their business they really dig their feet in and get the job done! Often times people, like Noah Beck, have ideas for brand new businesses that we need to be a part of.
“Noah Beck just signed a deal with Casper, the number one D to C mattress brand in the world,” Sandman continued. And to be able to reach the CEO, COO, and COO of Casper and get them to do a deal with one of my small startups is really special. The way our influencer partners can help founders is what sets us apart from our competition.”
And for young entrepreneurs looking for funding, Sandman has some great advice.
“The reality is, you’re 50 percent of everything you do in your business and 50 percent you’re a fundraiser and a salesperson and a marketer,” he said. Therefore, you really need to be good at selling your business to investors.
He recommends learning from what works for others. If you see something from another founder’s design that you like, incorporate it into your own design.
And finally, he has some great advice that can be applied in both business and life.
“Have those tough conversations early,” Sandman said. In business, it’s probably even more important than in your personal life to tear off the duct tape because it’s other people’s money. Your livelihood may be your child’s tuition money. “You might put off those tough conversations for six months, but I guarantee you they’ll be worse than today.”