From Extreme Sports to Venture Capitalism – Interview with CSUF Entrepreneurship Community Member Per Welinder

Per Welinder at CSUF Startup Competition Finals
Per Welinder at CSUF Startup Competition Finals

Per Welinder is a great asset for the CSUF Entrepreneurship community. He started out as a professional skater, started a business with Tony Hawk, got his MBA from UCLA, is a venture capitalist, among many other things. Per has been a mentor and speaker in the classroom and a judge at competitions like the CSUF Startup Competition earlier this year.

Recently, 818 Agency published a Creator Spotlight on their site that goes into great detail about Per’s career. The whole article is worth a read but I wanted to highlight the bit about Per’s becoming a venture capitalist:

818 Agency: You eventually moved on from Birdhouse to become a bona fide venture capitalist. You’ve just launched a new VC fund designed to invest in active lifestyle and consumer technology. What is your approach to investing in companies and what makes your current fund unique?

[Per Welinder]: Shortly after the 2008 financial crash hit, Tony bought the Birdhouse brand outright and I went full time into brand incubation and trendspotting — seeing what’s next.

Fast forward to 2016, and I partnered with Chinese venture capitalist and skate evangelist, Curt Shi to start, Welinder & Shi. We like to say it’s “where venture capital meets active lifestyle.”

We’re constantly on the look-out for super imaginative individuals that are doers and that have companies looking for growth capital. Branding also has to play a big role in the company’s vision — and if the company has aspirations of making it in China, then we really want to talk to them and learn more.

Also, both surfing and skating is going to debut in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, which definitely adds to the international credibility and growth of both the business and culture side of what we’re doing.

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