Kelly Perdew is a Co-Founder and Managing General Partner at Moonshots Capital, a seed-stage venture capital firm that invests in extraordinary leadership. Kelly has served in every capacity: Founder, Board Member, CEO, COO, CFO, Business Development, and Sales. He has raised institutional financing, grown businesses, down-sized businesses, and sold businesses for 8-figure exits.

Kelly was the winner of the second season of The Apprentice. This granted him access to work with the Trump brand across its different businesses. He holds an MBA and JD from The School of Law UCLA and graduated from West Point.


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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Kelly Perdew talks about how he missed the opportunity to invest in Oculus
  • The opportunities that an investor can see in the world of augmented reality
  • How winning The Apprentice impacted Kelly’s entrepreneurial journey
  • Kelly shares what it was like working with Donal Trump after The Apprentice and the people he got to meet because of the show
  • Kelly looks back on the most challenging Trump-owned companies that he worked with
  • The Moonshots Capital’s criteria for investing in early-stage startups
  • Kelly discusses some Moonshots Capital brands and why they stand out for him

In this episode…

Imagine yourself proving your entrepreneurial mettle, riding on fame, and going on to build and invest in exceptional brands—that would be like a snapshot of Kelly Perdew’s story. When Kelly won the second season of Donald Trumps’ The Apprentice, you’d think the journey would be a smooth sail from there. But in Kelly’s case, it wasn’t a straight line: there were a few twists, turns, and kicking yourself experiences before he was able to set down his roots and get to where he is today.

Learn more about the inspiring entrepreneurial story of Kelly Perdew, Co-Founder and Managing General Partner at Moonshots Capital, on this episode of Dr. Jeremy Weisz’s Inspired Insider Podcast. Kelly recalls what it was like working with Donal Trump after winning The Apprentice, how he became an investor, his biggest investment miss, and how his company determines which early-stage companies they should invest in.

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Episode Transcript

Jeremy Weisz

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here, Founder of InspiredInsider.com where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders. I’m excited to introduce today’s guest Kelly Perdew. Before I do I just want to point people to Kelly, I always like to point out a couple episodes that will be interesting. And they should everyone should check out the David Mann and Derrick Smith interview I did. And that’s why I have Kelly on today, introduction from the Firefly Group, and check them out. And, you know, I was looking through your list of portfolio companies, Kelly, and one of them it looks like was acquired by Atari. So one of the interviews I had was with the founder of Atari Nolan Bushnell, who was Steve Jobs, his mentor, and people should check out that interview, he talks about when Steve Jobs offered him 33% of Apple for $50,000. And why he said no, and I’m wondering if you have one of those stories based on your investments, oh, kicking myself, kicking myself, sorry,

Kelly Perdew

I have a kicking myself, right,

Jeremy Weisz

formally introduce you go ahead and go off. And that’s all great. I

Kelly Perdew

love Nolan, too. I’ve known him for probably 15 years here in the LA ecosystem. He’s awesome. I mean, how many people can you know, say I’ve found in companies like Atari or Chucky Cheese, exactly. He’s a, he’s a very dynamic, individual, and still going strong.

Jeremy Weisz

So go ahead, go ahead with a kicking yourself story. And I’ll formally introduce you in a second. But

Kelly Perdew

My, my you know, as an investor, you know, you’re gonna miss deals here and there, right. But I got invited on this really, really hot deal in this new space, you know, called augmented reality. And it was the only way I could get in, and this is an angel investment, so only, you know, like a $25,000 check or something. But the meeting where I was gonna go cement it and be able to, you know, write my check into it was in Orange County on a Friday afternoon, pre COVID. Obviously, this is a while ago. And for anybody who lives in around the Los Angeles ecosystem, saying anything that has to do with, you know, more than one mile away from your location on a Friday afternoon in Los Angeles is like saying, that’s the rest of your day. And I did not go meet with the founder of Oculus on a Friday afternoon, to probably have put my $25,000 check in that I didn’t do the multiples or the math on it. But it was an extraordinarily large dollar amount of missed opportunity and kicking myself.

Jeremy Weisz

You know, I’m researching the Oculus two right now to purchase. I don’t know, do you did you look into or do any of your family owned Oculus?

Kelly Perdew

Yeah, I don’t typically get product recommendations, but I’ve heard good stuff.