In 2017, Dr. Chadd Carr, Managing Partner, 6massive Holdings, LLP joined i.Invest as a judge and mentor. Bringing with him over 18 years in the fields of cyber investigations and intelligence, Carr has also founded and exited several services and product-based companies. His extensive experience in business development and dedication to youth entrepreneurship has been an asset to helping i.Invest prepare the next generation of business leaders.
Tell us about your current position, why you do what you do and how it prepares you to mentor youth and youth entrepreneurs?
6massive is a company focused on conceiving, developing, and taking to market those technologies that the world will want tomorrow. As a Partner at 6massive, I am directly responsible for a portfolio of up to 10 technologies, each with its own development cycle and market strategy, all operating in parallel. My portfolio ranges from advanced cyber threat intelligence tools, to career apps based on artificial intelligence, to learning and certification services for federal contractors, to socially-driven mobile apps. Usually, to expedite the go-to-market timeline, we often seek outside investment capital, which means I spend a great deal of my time pitching angel and accredited investors. I am also a college Professor dedicated to teaching, motivating, inspiring, and mentoring the next generation of industry giants. I have found success in converting this experience into a roadmap our younger generation can consider as they set out to capture their dreams.
What was the very first business you started and why?
I’ve been an entrepreneur for as far back as I can remember. I’m sure my parents can go even further back. From buying a bag of candy and selling handfuls to classmates in elementary school, to borrowing lawnmowers from neighbors and sharing a percentage of revenue with friends who actually cut the grass, to buying and re-selling things on eBay, I’ve always had a passion for entrepreneurship. And it was never (and still isn’t) about how many dollars I could collect that motivated me. It was the actual process of creating value where value didn’t exist before. One of my favorite quotes came from one of my favorite TV shows, Discovery’s Gold Rush, is “You’re already millionaires. The only thing is, you gotta get it out of the ground.” With imagination, perseverance, and insane work ethic, there are almost infinite paths to success, however you define it.
What three things should all young entrepreneurs be prepared for before they create a business?
#1 It’s hard work. Really hard. Entrepreneur Lori Greiner [from TV Show Shark Tank] said it best, entrepreneurs are “the only people who work 80 hour weeks to avoid working 40 hour weeks.” It’s a lifestyle, not a profession.
# 2 It can be lonely. Successful entrepreneurs are the ones trekking paths others don’t see value in. A lot of what they do doesn’t make sense to others, therefore, a lot of feedback and guidance they receive from others aren’t necessarily positive. Non-entrepreneurs like to classify outcomes as either a “success” or “failure.” Entrepreneurs typically classify something as “that worked”, or, “it didn’t work… that time.”
#3 Commit to building yourself, before you build your product. Your best brand–your most important brand–is yourself. Investors do not invest in businesses or technologies. They invest in the people behind them. Build credibility through personal and professional relationships, education, and proven history of hard work. Those three components provide the nutrients from which your “product” will eventually grow from and thrive. Also, the product you begin with, most likely, won’t be the same product you will end with. However, the two constants throughout that evolution, will be your health and your family. Protect those. Nurture those. Despite whatever path the product takes, in the end, what you will value above all else, will be those two things.
Tell us about your biggest business failure and success.
I don’t believe in failures. Even though I’ve had things that didn’t work at a particular time, under a particular set of circumstances, I’ve also walked away smarter and better prepared to tackle the next challenge. Success… failure… both are part of the journey, but neither are a destination. My wins are simply byproducts of an amazing, resilient, and incredibly patient family. If I had to name one success, it would be that I’ve been able to strike a healthy balance between my entrepreneurial insanity and helping foster a loving family.
Why is nurturing entrepreneurship important to you?
How does the saying go… in society, 97 percent of people who said it could not be done, work for the 3 percent who said it could be done? Something like that. As a father, I’ve always told my kids, “you can either spend your time aiming for the corner office or some fancy title (which someone else has built), or, you can spend your time creating those corner offices and titles.” Both paths have their own pros and cons, but I wanted my kids to grow up in a world where both were interchangeable and equally possible. Only through observable entrepreneurship can that happen.
Special thanks to Dr. Carr for his dedication to i.Invest Competitions. To learn more about the competition visit, www.i-investcompetition.com.