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Steven Hoffman, also known as Captain Hoff, is the CEO of Founders Space, which is a global startup accelerator with over 50,000 entrepreneurs and members in 22 countries. Founders Space was ranked the number one incubator for overseas startups by Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazine.

Every year, Steven mentors hundreds of startups, helping them overcome their biggest challenges. Steven is also a venture investor, serial entrepreneur, and best-selling author of several books, including Make Elephants Fly, Surviving a Startup, and The Five Forces That Change Everything.

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

  • How Steven Hoffman became the entrepreneur he is today
  • Steven shares how he got into game development and the story behind his first game, Gazillionaire
  • The early days of multiplayer games online — and how Steven got MTV to fund his company, Spider Dance
  • Steven’s first big success
  • The struggle to get funding for an innovation
  • Steven’s pitch that motivated his early team to work for free before raising capital
  • How Steven became a Venture Capitalist and why he started Founders Space
  • The story of how Founders Space became popular in China
  • How Founders Space helps entrepreneurs
  • What Steven looks for when investing in a startup

In this episode…

What do you do when you run out of money, no investor is showing interest in your business, and your team has taken so many pay cuts they’re now working for free? Even worse, how do you come out of a meeting with an investor who promised to invest, but seeing that you’re desperate, they want to cut your valuation by half?

While you’re thinking about how to come out of those situations, you get a chance with an investor who’s willing to give you more money than you asked, but there’s one problem: you need the money in two weeks. How do you pull that off? Steven Hoffman’s startup went through those same situations — and survived. So how did he do it?

Listen to this episode of the Inspired Insider Podcast with Dr. Jeremy Weisz, featuring the CEO of Founders Space, Steven Hoffman. They discuss Steven’s entrepreneurial journey, his foray into the game development space, lessons learned, tips for raising capital, and what he wishes every entrepreneur would know.

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Episode Transcript

Jeremy Weisz 0:19

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here, Founder of where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders. And here with Captain Hoff or Steve Hoffman, before I formally introduce Steve, Steve, I always like to mention past episodes that are interesting people check out and since we’re in the kind of the VC universe with Founder Space, there is one with Uri Adoni and who was a part of Jerusalem Venture Partners in Israel and he has some interesting advice on the whole startup world and VC world and y’all Yossi Vardi of Israel also invested in a lot of different startups. So check those out, and other ones that, and this episode is brought to you by Rise25 and Rise25 we help businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 relationships and partnerships. And we do that by helping you run your podcast. And for me, Steven, and I know I could tell already, you know, this is how you are to the number one thing in my life is relationships. I’m always looking at way to give to my best relationships. And I’ve finally found no better way over the past decade to have people on my podcast profiled them their thought leadership, their company, what they’re working on and share it with the world. So if you’ve thought about starting a podcast, you should, if you have questions, you can go to email us happy to answer any questions. My business partner and. I have both been podcasting for over a decade now. So check it out. Today’s guest I’m super excited. And a big thank you to Michael DeLon, who from Paperback Expert and he introduced me to today’s guest, Steve Hoffman, also known as Captain Hoff. He’s the CEO of Founders Space and Founders Space is a global startup accelerator with over 50 partners in 22 countries 50,000 entrepreneurs and members. Every year he mentors, hundreds of startups and helping them overcome their biggest challenges. And Founders Space was ranked the number one incubator for overseas startups by Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazine. He also is a Venture Investor, serial entrepreneur, I don’t know how you have the time. You know, Steve to basically author books, he has several award winning books Make Elephants Fly, Surviving a Startup, and the Five Forces. Thanks for joining me.

Steven Hoffman 2:35

Fantastic to be here.

Jeremy Weisz 2:37

So I want to start off with early on. And what led you to be an entrepreneur and we’ll talk about some of your early entrepreneurial endeavors. And what I found out was interesting is your dad was an MIT rocket scientist.

Steven Hoffman 2:52

He was he trained the early astronauts.

Jeremy Weisz 2:55

That’s amazing. So what led you to being an entrepreneur?