“We are not incubation. We are curation,” Michael Loeb tells Hypepotamus.
Loeb is the president and CEO of Loeb Enterprises, a New York City-based ‘venture collective’ which functions as both venture capital and a company-building lab.
Loeb founded the group after success as a media and technology entrepreneur — he co-founded Synapse, the largest seller of consumer magazine subscriptions worldwide, acquired by Time in 2001. With his partner, Jay Walker, Loeb also was an early funder of travel platform Priceline.
The investor has seeded dozens of companies, many of which are still under the Loeb.nyc umbrella. But with a goal of continuous expansion, he has now established the second outpost of his operation, launching Loeb.atl.
Local entrepreneur/investor Christy Brown has been brought on as the Atlanta managing executive and is building out her team.
Loeb.atl will function as a full-service startup lab, providing the early-stage companies it invests in with funding, as well as access to shared services in areas like operations, sales and marketing, technology, legal, and finance.
The Loeb network at-large has almost 200 team members providing companies with these services to help them grow.
“We think of it like a toolkit,” says Loeb. “You need a hammer, we’ve got a hammer. You need a nail, we’ve got that too.”
All startups in the Loeb.atl portfolio — ideally about 10 at a time, says Brown — will work from their new offices in downtown Atlanta. The space can hold about 100 once complete this summer.
One startup is already situated in the new space — Steady, a workforce platform for on-demand employees. Loeb has known Steady’s founder and CEO, Adam Roseman, since he hired Roseman to run his private equity group in China years ago.
In 2017, Roseman began to build out one of Loeb’s many startup ideas, this time for a platform that helps gig workers find jobs, manage their finances, and streamline their professional life. That idea turned into fast-growing Steady, which raised a $9 million Series A round last year.
Brown says the team is looking to invest in half a dozen early-stage companies this year. It’s expected that companies will be in the startup lab for a minimum of two years; there is no maximum amount of time.
She is focused on developing relationships with partners such as Atlanta-based incubators and accelerators to form a strong pipeline.
“We will do the heavy lifting when it comes to capital, and the heavy lifting when it comes to talent,” says Loeb. “So the startups, they can actually focus their attention and just build.”