In biology there are generally two strategies for creating offspring, “r-selection” and “K-selection”. r-selection involves having as many kids as possible hoping some survive (think: baby turtles all hatching at once and scrambling to the sea). The K-selection strategy has very few offspring, but invests heavily in them (think: humans). I am the latter kind of investor. Which, many better investors than I will tell you is a bad strategy.
Since 2011, I’ve only made 3 investments: Neurio (exited this year to Generac Power Systems), Particle (now Series B and swinging for the fences), and now Civic Eagle.
My prior investments have all been in connected hardware — a market I have 20 years of experience in and can help in. Civic Eagle is different. Civic Eagle is all about people.
I met founders Damola Ogundipe, Yemi Adewunmi, Shawntera Hardy, and CTO Jesse Mortenson shortly after my own company, Parabol, joined Techstars Anywhere class of 2019. The 4 of them made an immediate impression as the highest quality founding team I’d met since 2011 and ones who are building a future that I believe in. They’ve pivoted when they’ve needed, adapting their civic engagement product to serve government affairs market departments within organizations in a novel way.
Most impressive has been watching the way CEO Damola works: he’s an incredible read of people (never challenge him to 2 truths and a lie), he always comes prepared, and knows how to seize the moment. I watched him elevator pitch and close a request for a meeting with former CEO and Chairman of Starbucks Howard Schultz (former CEO and Chairman of Starbucks). I saw him practice closing an investment with Techstar’s founder David Cohen and be “thanked” for being too well practiced to make an example of. When stepping up to the plate, Damola will hit the ball.
Civic Eagle is a bet on people. And, if that strategy is a good one this team can’t lose.