“Nasty Nas” went from rapping in Queensbridge housing projects (the largest public housing development in North America) to becoming a major Silicon Valley angel investor/venture capitalist. Are you not impressed? Not bad for an 8th grade dropout. Nas (Nasir Jones), is a multi-platinum selling rap artists with 8 consecutive platinum albums. He founded the venture capital firm QueensBridge Venture Partners. QueensBridge raises capital and invests it into startup companies. To date the firm has invested in over 40 startups including Silicon Valley darlings Dropbox and Lyft.
QueensBridge Venture Partners is based in Los Angeles, CA. According to Nas’ manger and QueensBridge partner, the firm is pitched over 100 times per month but is very selective in the companies that they invest in. QB invests $100k to $500k in each company and has done over 100 deals in the past 6 years. Their investment philosophy takes into consideration qualitative as well as quantitative factors including the founders’ experience, grit and life motivation, as well as market potential and the companies’ corporate governance and controls.
Nas has surrounded himself with a smart team of advisors and partners. According to their website the management team consists of accomplished entrepreneurs and Wall Street financiers, with first hand success in the startup world. Some of the members of the team include Dee and Anand Murphy, founders of Five Four Clothing, their apparel companies have generated over $50 million in annual revenue. Craig Vaughan, another partner has advised on over $6 billion of Merger and Acquisition transactions. Craig has also launched media businesses & networks for NBA, Sony Pictures and 20th Century Fox.
It’s not where you start it’s where you finish. Nas has embodied this philosophy to a tee. Whatever the circumstances you find yourself starting with play the hand you’ve been dealt as if it was the hand you wanted in the first place. Work hard, build relationships, connect the dots and the world can be yours. That’s my takeaway from Nas’ story. What’s yours? Hit us on the Gram.