Brian Hollins, founder and general partner of Collide Capital, a seed-stage enterprise and consumer services fund, is not your typical venture capitalist. A current student at Harvard Business School, Brian has proven that sometimes the most impactful path into venture capital is an atypical one. While Collide Capital is Brian’s first fund, it isn’t the first organization he’s founded: he is a founding board member for BLCK VC, an organization created to support Black founders, as well as the founder and CEO of Takeoff Institute, a nonprofit supporting Black undergraduates as they transition from college to their careers. Now, with Collide Capital building its first fund, Brian is ready to iterate on his leadership skills, this time as an emerging manager.
With first-time funds only accounting for 5% of the capital raised by VC funds every year, Brian knew that he needed to find a way to make Collide stand out. That’s why he and his team came up with the idea for what they call Fund Zero, a million-dollar proof-of-concept fund that they deployed over 28 investments. Fund Zero’s purpose was to prove to future LPs that Collide Capital’s thesis—opening doors and creating value for founders—could succeed. Now, six months in, Brian has proven that emerging managers can do more than hold their own in VC: they’re changing the way funds are run, and it’s up to LPs to keep up.
As Brian observes in the podcast, “You need to be on your toes, and you need to be out in these founder ecosystems and authentically be a part of them, because you can’t just show up with capital anymore. You need to be able to authentically build relationships with founders. And I personally believe that the best way to do that is to be integrated in their ecosystems [and] to spend time with them.”
In this episode of The First Close, we cover:
- Brian’s work to change VC and the future of the workforce as founder of The Takeoff Institute and as a founding board member of BLCK VC
- Collide Capital’s Fund Zero, and what the team at Collide learned from it
- Brian’s views on emerging manager programs and the validation, access and resources they provide