Venture Hollywood is a venture of ventures. We build high tech startups from scratch to sell them. We’re not taking pitches competing for whatever happens to be in the market. We define the market by leaping ahead.
Venture Hollywood director Robin Rowe did this successfully before at a Fortune 500 as director of their innovation lab. The process… Use internal R&D funds and research grants for initial development, build a working product, then spin-off a profitable enterprise.
Like an incubator, we’re striving toward a great demo day that will close rounds for each of our startups. Unlike an incubator, our startups aren’t limited to what a couple students working in a garage can do. For investors bored by cookie-cutter startups developing bland products based on incremental technology improvements, we have the antidote.
About Robin Rowe
As chief technologist, enterprise manager and innovation lab founder at Fortune 500 technology company SAIC, I mastered the technique of building ideas into profitable ventures. My mandate was spinning off my DARPA-funded innovation projects into highly profitable commercial and defense divisions. I recruited the teams, directed the innovation, and led new ventures to become highly profitable enterprises by bringing new products to market. A proven innovation business model.
Robin Rowe Bio
Innovation maker to Mattel, AT&T DirecTV, GoPro, DreamWorks Animation, Time Warner, DARPA and startups. CEO and founder of Venture Hollywood, an innovation lab and startups foundry or venture studio with more than a dozen high tech startups and a mandate of creating unicorns.
An organizer of the 2018 USC Innovation Conference. As chief technologist and enterprise manager at Fortune 500 technology company SAIC, founded their innovation lab and spun off his research there into highly profitable commercial and defense divisions. Created DARPA crisis detection system installed at NORAD and integrated with the Pentagon. Designed anti-submarine warfare training game integrated with navy destroyers. As a navy research scientist, built the first realistic 1st-person shooter VR game for battlefield simulation.
Created remote non-linear video editing and asset management system sold to Time Warner and installed at more than 100 TV stations for editing broadcast news. As an NBC-TV technical director of broadcast news, produced live nightly newscasts. Built the robotic television studios at NBC Chicago, the first with autonomous news studio cameras, no camera operators.
The Market Mogul has ranked him in their top 100 media influencers. Writes policy on M&A cyber risks for The CFO Alliance. He’s created Fortune 500 and casino financial systems.
Technology advisor to the City of Beverly Hills, currently deploying the fastest city-owned gigabit residential fibre Internet in the world, digging a new subway, and planning a smart city with autonomous vehicles.
Taught C++ object-oriented software engineering at the University of Washington to Boeing engineers. As an adjunct professor at the Naval Postgraduate School, taught Advanced C++ to military officers, faculty robotics advisor and wrote software for a SLAM robot.
Robin can be reached via LinkedIn.
Venture Hollywood, monetizing innovation by spinning off profitable startups.
Venture Hollywood is an innovation lab and startups foundry driving high tech ventures in AI, AdTech, autonomous systems, blockchain, consumer, energy, enterprise, fintech, games, healthcare, media, mobile, OTT and robotics. Based in Los Angeles. Founded in January 2018 by USC Innovation Conference organizer and Fortune 500 innovation lab director Robin Rowe.
Unicorn question: Are we thinking big enough? Defining moment, 10x better product than the current market leader.
Oracle selected Venture Hollywood in May 2018 as one of the first Los Angeles companies to be in the Oracle Scaleup Ecosystem driving cloud-based innovation.
Venture Hollywood combines aspects of a corporate innovation lab and a venture accelerator. Like an innovation lab, Venture Hollywood builds new technologies from scratch.
Unlike a corporate research lab, such as Xerox PARC that inspired Steve Jobs to make the Mac, Venture Hollywood is building products to go to market, to monetize. Unlike an accelerator such as Y Combinator, Venture Hollywood doesn’t take pitches. We define innovation goals, raise capital, create a new state of art, build a new company from scratch to implement product, bring it to market, generate revenue and guide the new company to profitability.
Why the Venture Hollywood strategy is all unicorns…
Unicorns so dominate successful venture funds that the also-rans add no significant value. By definition, unicorns are startups valued at over $1 billion. Unicorns have impact, transform the world and produce enormous financial returns. In the wide world are a total of 200 unicorns worth $700 billion. Let’s make more.
A unicorn product is 10x better, not merely 10% better. It defines state of the art. Unicorns may launch new markets (Uber) or humble “invincible” market leaders (Google vs. Yahoo search). Unicorns may be open source (EOS, which raised $4.2 billion in the most successful ICO ever). Unicorns often embrace risk (Tesla). Unicorns are often inspiring, offer an exciting emerging technology. Don’t expect a unicorn technology to be completely finished or some app made in a garage by students. Not the biz plan of, “All we need is a marketing.”
Investment Strategy: Unicorns
Venture Hollywood is an exciting alternative to low tech me-too investments that don’t move the needle. For intelligent investors who dream not only of big unicorn returns, but of technological adventure, business fame and making a difference to future generations.
If you’re an investor who’s sat through as many pitches as we have, you may have thought to yourself, why do so many startups seem so lame? Investors are rarely getting to see future unicorns because the venture experts doing the vetting are trying to minimize risk rather than maximize gain. By the time a unicorn looks safe to the typical venture associate, it is way past the time an investor wishes he or she had invested in it.
How Much to Invest
For the ultimate safe bet, wealth managers may keep their portfolio 100% in consistent, dividend-paying stocks like Johnson & Johnson. More aggressive investors put some or all of their funds into high tech. Investors seeking a balanced portfolio may want to place 15% of AUM in potential unicorns. How much is that?
|Small Family Office||$50,000,000||$7,500,000|
|Large Family Office||$150,000,000||$22,500,000|
Investing in future unicorns seems higher risk, but also has the potential to outperform the other 85% of a portfolio that’s in real estate and stocks. All high tech ventures are relatively high risk. Unlike real estate, there’s no physical asset to sell if a venture goes sour. When evaluating startups, look for the big upside, not the low risk. The winning strategy in the hits-based business of startups is finding unicorns, not minimizing risks.
Venture Hollywood is capitalized through research grants, founders funds and private equity.