Hi, my name is Chris
My name is Chris Howard. I was born in the early 80’s which means a few things. First, the internet didn’t exist when I plopped out. So I had to master it (therefore *understand it*) before I ‘grew up’. Second, I sit right inbetween the ‘boomer’ and the ‘gen-z’ generations – which means I ‘get it’, so to speak, without having to ‘be it’. Cool, eh?
Since 2008, I have become an annoyingly persistent figure in the startup and entrepeneurial ecosystem. I’ve cofounded 6 companies. I’ve led 3 of them. I’ve built one of the world’s most celebrated accelerators. I’ve been EIR to the great and the ugly of startup land. I’ve had a great exit, a terrible exit, an IPO (don’t ask, it didn’t turn out well), some non-starters, and some still going strong. I launched one of the largest Web3 projects of 2022. I’ve raised 16 rounds of venture capital totalling $40m. I’ve written about 100,000+ lines of code and shipped about 10 unique products. I’ve made some great investments and had some misfires – 20 in all with my own coins. I am annoyingly good at fundraising because I take the time to understand the *psychology* of investors. I was a professor once. I taught entrepreneurship, until I felt that true entrepreurship can only be practiced – not taught. I consider myself one of the OG inventors of the ‘Venture Builder’ phenomena. But most proudly, I was MIT’s hot-wing eating champion of 2012. 1lb of the spiciest wings they could find – 1 minute 2 seconds.
I’ve screwed up friendships, relationships, and founder bonds. I’ve made money. I’ve lost money. I’m normal, really, on that front. But what makes me different to other founders, advisers, and entrepreneurs is I have no desire to be a ‘successful founder’ in the classic sense. My self worth is not defined by whether I make a ‘unicorn’ or not. I am instead simply driven to do hard things, create unique stories I can tell my grandkids, and to see the world through as many people’s eyes as possible before I snuff it. For me, being a founder is both my career path and my lifestyle – allowing me to learn an enormous number of rare skills and help others avoid pitfalls undeserving of their originality.
Outside of this startup nonsense…
I’ve gained a Ph.D in Computational Physics, I’ve conducted Post Doctoral research and MIT in Behavioural Psychology. I was the Head Teaching Fellow at Harvard University. I played in a rock band for 4 years – performing in front of 10,000 people at once. I cycled across Asia in my 20’s. I ran 150km in 30 days in my 40’s, despite never having ran before and collecting far too many pounds around my mid section. I competed on one of Gordon Ramsay’s cooking shows. I’ve been on TV, in books, in newspapers & magazines. But none of that really matters. I don’t aspire to be any one of those things. I just wanted to share, in case it matters to you.
I spend my days now communicating what I have learned to others struggling down the garden path of being a founder.
You can see my LinkedIn profile if you want a more professional version of my skills/experience. I would ‘bucket’ myself as a ‘founder-adventurer and psychologist’ who’s personal mission is to carve away the bullshit in startup-land by highlighting the heroes and exposing the frauds – whether that be investor, founder, or ‘educator’.