How to find and invest in great ideas and great people

Investing in community and culture is good for business, says Empire Global Ventures CEO Alexandra Stanton.

How to find and invest in great ideas and great people

Empire Global Ventures CEO Alexandra Stanton tells TechRepublic's Dan Patterson how investing in community and culture is good business. The following is an edited transcript of the interview.

Dan Patterson: Where do these values of doing a double bottom-line company come from? How did you figure that this was not just good for the culture, good for the city, but also good for business?

Alexandra Stanton: So my husband and I co-founded our company together. And the beauty of co-founding a business together is that you get to determine its values, its ethos, and its philosophies. We decided that we wanted to do good while we did well. We saw that there was a wonderful opportunity in the New York landscape to attract businesses with shared values, and to help them rise.

Dan Patterson: I know you invest in all kinds of companies and all kinds of entrepreneurs. And there is, currently, if we look at Silicon Valley, there's this culture of... well, it's a monoculture. That's not necessarily inherently a bad thing, but when you have just one monoculture, you exclude all the good ideas from other cultures.

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You invest in a diverse set of entrepreneurs. How do you find the people you invest in and what are some of the challenges they face?

Alexandra Stanton: As a business-development company, we know it's important to be open to great ideas. New York is the best city in the country to do that. Inc. has named New York as the best place for female founders to get funding. Fortune named New York as the best place for women entrepreneurs to thrive and exist.

Great ideas come in all forms, and if you don't keep bias at your boarders of your business, you won't have full access to the greatness and innovation that exists today.

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Dan Patterson: So how do you find those people? What do you look for?

Alexandra Stanton: Part of it is, at this point, after doing this for seven years, we know it, when we see it. We look for disruption. We look for commitment. We look for founders who can do what we call concretize. Be really focused on a goal, and know how to build around them. And know frankly when they need great help. So that's often where we come it. We're a business-development company and we help them where they can't succeed on their own.

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