Kumospace develops a software platform for virtual offices, spaces, and virtual events. Its platform enables users to fully customize their virtual environment to suit their personal or company style. It was founded in 2020 and is based in Long Island City, New York.
Latest Kumospace News
Dec 29, 2023
Startup Reporter . We chatted about his journey in the startup world, touching on everything from venture capitalism to founding a startup. Brett shared some real gems on staying true to oneself and unleashing untapped potential in the ever-evolving landscape of entrepreneurship. Oleksandr Komarevych (StartupReporter.eu): – Can you share your journey with us from being a VC, a professor of data analytics at Columbia University, and a startup founder to an active surfer? Brett Martin: – I was born in Ocean City, Maryland, a small beach town with a population of 7,000, which swells to half a million during the summer. My dad was an entrepreneur, and I engaged in small businesses from a young age. One of my early ventures involved buying seashells from fishermen, cleaning them, and selling them to tourists at a significant markup. After studying economics at Dartmouth, I won a business competition at Tuck Business School for creating a collapsible snowboard, now known as a split board. Following a brief stint in investment banking, I’ve spent most of my professional life either building or investing in tech companies. Oleksandr: Brett: – I always knew I would pursue entrepreneurship. After banking to achieve financial independence, I sought adventure. While my affluent friends declined, I found a willing companion, an English major, and we sailed the Caribbean for nine months and visited 20 different countries. Upon returning, I joined a small venture capital fund, AppFund, making investments. When they expressed interest in incubating companies, I seized the opportunity. This led to my first startup, Sonar, which gained recognition in 2012; we launched at TechCrunch Disrupt, where we were runner-up but faced challenges as the industry changed. I continued growing in venture capital, working at Primary Venture Partners in New York City and managing a substantial seed fund of nearly a billion dollars before launching Charge Ventures. Oleksandr: Brett: – Kumospace originated while running Charged Ventures, a pre-seed New York-based venture capital fund. While content with my role, I grew disillusioned with the impersonal nature of venture capital during the peak of the market in 2021. Zoom meetings felt lifeless, prompting the idea for Kumospace. I wanted in-person interaction, so I teamed up with Yang Mao, my co-founder, with whom I had already built two companies. He presented a prototype within two weeks, and we embarked on this journey together. Originally intending to angel invest, I ultimately joined him in founding Kumospace, rekindling my passion for entrepreneurship. Brett Martin, the Co-Founder and Investor at Charge Ventures, and the brains behind the startup Kumospace Oleksandr: Brett: – I follow a philosophy I developed at 23, creating a “Spreadsheet for life” with long-term goals like living on a sailboat, becoming a venture capitalist, starting a company, learning Italian and more. This long-term view helps me recognise opportunities aligned with my goals, even if they’re not immediate. I listen for opportunities that can make small moves toward my long-term goals and ensure that everything I do reinforces each other. For example, at Slush, while promoting Kumospace, I start meetings by asking about the top goal of the other party. If they’re seeking financing, I leverage my VC connections, creating a synergy between my VC and Kumospace endeavours. This way, each effort complements the others, simultaneously making progress on multiple fronts. Oleksandr: – If you could display on a big board one phrase for a million people to see, what would it be? Brett: – I would choose the John Burroughs quote: “A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.” I find it relevant for the startup audience, emphasising the importance of taking responsibility and focusing on problem-solving instead of blaming others. Yesterday, during a fireside chat on founder dynamics, this message resonated as it’s easy to point fingers in the intense startup environment. Ultimately, blaming others provides no solace, and it’s crucial to focus on fixing the problem. Oleksandr: – Given your work in Kumospace, a future-of-work platform, and considering the trends for 2024, what do you foresee in terms of technology and areas that will demand more attention? Brett: – One fascinating trend I see is the integration of bots in meetings. I predict that in three years, every work meeting will involve a bot. Notetaking apps, rare just a few years ago, are now becoming commonplace, and I believe this trend will escalate exponentially. People will start questioning the necessity of attending every meeting in person, considering the effectiveness of sending a bot in their place to gather relevant information. That’s why we’re incorporating AI into our platform at Kumospace, focusing on what I call “information orchestration” — ensuring the right information reaches the right people at the right time during conversations. While consumer algorithms guide our preferences, I believe similar algorithms will revolutionise workplace communication. Oleksandr: – Shifting to your role as a professor, what aspects do you enjoy the most when teaching students? You mentioned being a giver and staying connected with the community. Could you elaborate on that? Brett: – I enjoy being around young people and absorbing their energy and optimism. As we age, we tend to become more cynical and rigid. The belief that one can change the world, often seen in the younger generation, is refreshing. While some may view it as naivete, it’s a prerequisite for positive change. The enthusiasm and belief that they can make a difference keep me young, and I learn valuable lessons from them. Oleksandr: – Regarding sports, besides surfing, do you engage in any other physical activities, and what does participating in sports bring to your life? Brett: – Absolutely. Given the amount of time spent staring at screens, especially in my role with video conferencing software, I cherish moments where I can be in my body and be physically active. Whether it’s dancing, surfing, or my recent interest in mountain climbing, like our upcoming climb of Mont Blanc for my bachelor party, I find joy in anything that makes me feel alive. Oleksandr: – Do you have any recommendations for books, podcasts, or anything you’re currently enjoying and would suggest to others? Brett: – While I generally gravitate towards fiction, I have a go-to book for entrepreneurs, especially during challenging times. It’s called “Endurance,” detailing Henry Shackleton’s failed Antarctic expedition. Despite facing countless obstacles, Shackleton didn’t lose a single team member. This book is a motivational guide for entrepreneurs navigating tough situations and needing a reminder to persevere. Oleksandr: Brett: – I want to emphasise the importance of being fully self-realized and embracing individuality in the entrepreneurial journey. In a world where innovation and outliers drive success, I encourage aspiring entrepreneurs, especially the younger generation, to notice and overcome self-limiting behaviours. The key takeaway is to be authentic to oneself, even in the face of potential judgment or challenges. Entrepreneurship, which thrives on uniqueness and innovation, often demands stepping away from the norm. If you try to be like everyone else, you’re, by definition, going to fail. So, you might as well take the risk. As we navigate the entrepreneurial landscape, let’s remember the power of embracing our true selves, unlocking our full potential, and contributing to a more vibrant and innovative entrepreneurial community. Wishing you continued success on your entrepreneurial journey. Oleksandr and Brett at Slush Share this!
2 Team Members
Kumospace has 2 team members, including current Founder, President, Brett Martin.
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