Spotlight on Brandon Maier / by Haley Smith

Meet Brandon Maier - founder of seed capital fund Quake Capital and guest lecturer at a number of universities. He created Quake Capital based off his own experience as an entrepreneur with his startup, Jozii.

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You are heavily involved with entrepreneurship communities on college campuses. Which universities do you work with, and why are you passionate about this involvement?

NYU (guest lecturer for intro to entrepreneurship at Tandon), USC (sponsor, office hours, mentor and guest lecturer), Columbia (guest lecturer and alma works mentor) and Penn State (invent penn state selection committee) I work with other Universities as well mostly coming to school to conduct office hours or tap into their networks for our University Investor Series.  I actually created UIS back inOctober 16' as I saw it was a great opportunity to save student entrepreneurs time so that they could pitch to multiple early-stage investors to potentially get first money in and save time from pitch competitions since school can be quite time intensive.  I also see the new wave of the future for Universities is the continued development of innovation.

Tell us about Quake Capital.

Quake is an industry agnostic seed capital fund and accelerator program developed out of NYU back in 2016.  We officially launched our first accelerator class in February of 2017 as part of a $5 million dollar fund, after our first year with 200% increases in company valuations we were able to do a second fund of $30 million and expand to both Austin and LA.

How and why did you start it? 

It was not planned while working on my own startup Jozii, I saw that it wasn't going in the direction I had hoped and had started trying to figure out the next move.  Another NYU Student who I had gone through NYU's Summer Launchpad accelerator with was in a similar spot and during that time the opportunity of building Quake was presented which we ran with.  For myself, I had experienced one side of the table as an entrepreneur and not every single interaction with VCs was necessarily pleasant.  It baffled me with what I felt at times was a lack of respect and or understanding for the entrepreneur's journey, entrepreneurs pour there blood sweat and tears into building a business not to mention the personal and monetary sacrifice.  I believe that all of those things even if one is not interested in investing deserve common decency.  So for me, it was about reshaping the other side of the table and create a group that felt like a family that goes to bat for there's (aka our portfolio lol).