Entrepreneur Dan Nickchen has been working with Venture Best since 2010. Back then, he was co-founder and CTO of Liveality, winner of the 2010 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan contest. “It was kind of cool when we won the Business Plan contest, not the least because Venture Best Of Counsel Paul Jones actually wrote the plan for us,” Dan recalls. “That was a pretty good example of how much more the Venture Best team brings to the table than great legal counsel.” Liveality went on to raise $4 million of venture capital.
Today, Dan is founder and CEO of OrgPix, a company that repurposed and further developed Liveality’s software to allow people at all kinds of events, big and small, to create personalized virtual memories of their experiences that can be shared with friends and across social networks in real-time. “When Liveality wound down, I believed that the technology we developed was really good, and that if we went after the right market and kept a reign on the spending, we could do something really good,” Nickchen says.
Venture Best lawyer Dan Gawronski has worked with OrgPix (which, ironically, does business under the name Liveality) for several years. “Working with Dan Nickchen has been great,” Gawronski says. “Re-starts – where you basically take something that didn’t work and re-purpose it – are challenging but also really rewarding. And they create some issues, business and legal, that you don’t see in the typical start-up scenario.”
Nickchen notes that pivoting, whether within a start-up or (as in the OrgPix case) via a re-launch under a new team and ownership, is something a lot of entrepreneurs go through. “Working with lawyers who get it, who understand the business ups and downs of the often chaotic start-up environment, is always important,” he says, “and all the more so when you are making start-up lemonade out of what most people thought was just a start-up lemon.”
As for Paul Jones: “I obviously thought Liveality was a good start-up play. And when it didn’t work, I still thought there was something there. In fact, through an angel group I advised, as well as personally, I even put some capital into OrgPix.”
Venture Best represents start-ups and other companies. But at the end of the day, it’s really about working with good entrepreneurs like Dan Nickchen, because they will eventually get it right, even if the journey to success involves some detours along the way.