Mac Conwell, founder and managing partner of RareBreed Ventures, is on a mission to change how pre-seed funding is done. Known to many through his Twitter presence, Mac often uses social media to amplify the voices of others, highlighting the founders who are building outside of the coasts.
When Mac Conwell was a fund manager at the Maryland Technology Development Corporation, known as TEDCO, in Baltimore, he met a founder who inspired him to start his own fund. She had an idea for a hair care product that would transform an industry that hadn’t seen innovation in decades, but she couldn’t afford to build a prototype. Without a working prototype, Mac couldn’t successfully connect her to investors. His efforts went on for years, but investors wouldn’t take a chance on the founder. Mac realized that if he wanted to support founders like this entrepreneur, he would have to start his own fund.
In September of 2020, he founded RareBreed Ventures, a seed-stage fund that invests in founders outside of the major U.S. tech hubs. Before starting his own fund, Mac worked as a software engineer and contractor for the Department of Defense. He founded two companies before stepping into the investment world through TEDCO without any prior investing experience. Now, Mac has structured RareBreed Ventures as a 506(c) fund, which allows him to raise capital for his fund from accredited investors leveraging social media and his website.
In this episode of The First Close, we cover:
- Mac’s early career as a software engineer and entrepreneur
- His strategies for staying disciplined and organized when building a network
- Investing in founders outside of major tech hubs
- Why he chose a 506(c) fund structure for RareBreed Ventures