Thursday, September 05, 2013

A Chat With Howard Tullman About His New VC Fund G2T3V

Amina Elahi

A Chat With Howard Tullman About His New VC Fund G2T3V

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News broke this week of a new VC fund taking root here in Chicago. The man behind the enterprise is none other than Howard Tullman, the serial entrepreneur, Inc. contributor and chairman of Tribeca Flashpoint Academy. (And these are only some of his titles.)

Storied as Tullman’s career is, his next move is certainly worth noting. Along with a gaggle of unnamed associates, he is launching G2T3V LLC, a $2 million venture fund. Investments will range from $25,000 to $50,000, although Tullman says some of his partners may go as high as $250,000, according to Crain’s.

I caught up with the notoriously busy businessman to find out more about how he prepares for this kind of work, what sort of companies interest him as potential investments and just what G2T3V means.

Why are you opening a new VC fund?
HT: It's a great time to start and fund new businesses and to support young entrepreneurs. Low costs of entry and development, early inexpensive trial opportunities, modest marketing costs, [and] quick failures or exits.

How do you prepare for this sort of enterprise?
HT: I have run a venture investment fund for more than a decade and invested personally in start-ups for 25 years.

What's behind the G2T3V name?
HT: No one knows the derivation of the name except The Shadow. [Writer’s note: Yes, I’m as intrigued and confused by this response as you are.]

What sort of companies will you be investing in?
HT: Companies in areas and industries where we have substantial expertise and operating experience to add value to our investments. Industries include media, entertainment, insurance, automotive, education, data analytics, customer satisfaction management, etc.

What do you hope to achieve through running G2T3V?
HT:  Great businesses, passionate people running them, healthy returns for our investors.

At 68, Tullman is long past the age many consider right for retirement. But with G2T3V only just starting, it’s hard to imagine this titan slowing down anytime soon. He says five years is his ideal amount of time to spend on any single venture, which makes you wonder what he’ll be doing in 2018. Knowing him, it’ll be something big.

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