Chase Garbarino is CEO and co-founder of VENTUREAPP, a marketplace connecting startups and small businesses with experts and premium solution providers that will help their business. Prior to VENTUREAPP, Chase founded Streetwise Media, a digital media and events company, which was acquired by American City Business Journals in 2012.
Q: What does entrepreneurship mean to you, and what underlying characteristics do you see in successful entrepreneurs?
Chase: To me, entrepreneurship is solving a problem by creating a solution with limited to no resources.
Entrepreneurs need people skills in different fashions. You have to be a student of human behavior in order to successfully create something people need and you need to be someone who can get other people to believe in what you're doing. Finally, you've got to be tough as nails, because entrepreneurship is hard and requires sacrifice which a lot of people aren't cut out for.
Q: What are you most proud of in your professional career? If you could do something over in your life, what would it be?
Chase: The best achievement in my professional career so far was to provide a good return to the first people who invested in one of my former companies. When you receive funding from people, it is an incredible vote of confidence and an opportunity that shouldn't be taken lightly. There are many people who never get the chance to put capital to work by trying to build something they are passionate about and it was an honor to make money for the people who helped our team build our vision.
If I could, I would go back to when I was starting my first company out of college and be more patient and methodical in developing the business. While getting started we tried to do too much at once on a number of different occasions and the most important thing good entrepreneurs do is understand their limited resources and say no to the right things.
Q: Tell me about an instance where you had to go against the flow to realize your goal.
Chase: Before starting my current company VENTUREAPP, my cofounders and I worked on a project that was a mobile application focused on enabling friends to make plans with one another. Typically, the social application space is hard to get interest from investors and surprisingly, we quickly received investment offers. Going against the flow, we actually turned the money down and decided not to pursue the opportunity as it really wasn't a space we were passionate about. People said we were crazy and that offers for funding are tough to come by, but we knew it was the right decision as our hearts weren't in the project.
Q: What changes do you see coming for social networks and online platforms, the space VENTUREAPP plays in now?
Chase: The first wave of social networks online were based around these static connections of a friend or a follower. Now we're beginning to see products that are designed around intermittent connections based off of a need, so the connection is made with a person or business who can help with your need - as a consumer or a professional - right at that instant. With significant amounts of data we can leverage technologies that will know exactly who you should be connecting with for any need that you have.
Q: If you were to give advice to your 22 year old self, what would it be?
Chase: Focus and discipline are the key to success. You can't do the right things just once in awhile. Successful people develop the habit of doing the right things all the time. Small victories day in and day out lead to success more consistently than random major valiant efforts.