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George Bandarian II is the Founder, General Partner & CEO of Untapped Ventures, a $10 million venture studio fund based in LA, that builds and invests in startups, re-imagining the New Future of Work. One where people live their best lives through the work they do. George and his team help early-stage founders with all the needed steps to grow and scale the company. George Bandarian is also a speaker, presenting at tech and startup events, incubators and accelerators, while also frequently appearing as a guest on business podcasts. He’s been featured on Business Insider, Entrepreneur On Fire, Inc. Magazine, and has had the pleasure to work with high-tier entrepreneurs such as Peter Diamandis, Verne Harnish, Ash Murya, and John Warrillow.
Finding Your Massively Transformative Purpose
Right after graduating from the Marshall Business School, USC, George Bandarian entered the family business. At the time, it was a microfilm services company that was risking to fail due to technology obsolescence, but George led the company’s digital transformation in the 2000s. AMI – The paperless Company became a B2B/Enterprise software and services company, that helped large companies eliminate paper and automate processes. The company was ultimately sold to a strategic buyer for a successful multimillion-dollar all-cash exit in 2018.
Such success also came with hardship. George had worked at his family company for over 18 years, and it was part of his identity, and after selling the company he went through a post-exit identity crisis, something not uncommon among entrepreneurs. In fact, you might be financially free, but if you don’t have a clear goal in life, you are not truly fulfilled. At the time, George didn’t have a purpose, and that’s when he started the journey to discover it. He dove deep into personal development, learned from Peter Diamandis, read several books, and even attended the “Date with Destiny” seminar with Tony Robbins. Exposing himself to all these experiences made him discover his MTP (Massively Transformative Purpose): to help millions of people achieve breakthroughs and access their untapped potential. Which is exactly what he’s doing at Untapped Ventures.
And now here’s George Bandarian II.
[3:02] Quick disclosure
[3:28] How’d it happen for George Bandarian II?
[7:18] What self-actualization means for George
[12:36] On depression and judging oneself against others
[17:56] Taking over the family business
[22:16] How the business progressed until the sale
[31:36] The post-exit identity crisis
[38:07] The speed of learning—#1 competitive advantage
[39:23] On figuring out George’s purposes
[44:56] On getting investors, Angel investments, and finding your niche
[47:40] On Mike’s experience with investments and helping new entrepreneurs
[53:40] Where is Untapped right now?
[56:06] On the future of entrepreneurship with Untapped
[1:00:26] The best place to find George
Full transcript below
Video with George Bandarian II, Don’t Swim in Bloody Red Oceans
How to go from Idea to Unicorn: 10 Must-Have Mindsets You Need in the Early Stage
Visit Untapped.Ventures to Learn More About George’s Company
Pitch Your Startup to Untapped Ventures
Visit GeorgeBandarian.com to Learn More About George
Follow Geroge Bandarian on LinkedIn
Follow George on Instagram
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Podcast with George Bandarian II. Don’t Swim in Bloody Red Oceans.
Mike Malatesta: hey everybody welcome back to the how to happen podcast today i’ve got an amazing guests like I promise you every week George Mandarian is joining me on the show George welcome to the how to happen podcast.
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George Bandarian II: Thanks Mike it’s awesome to be here so glad we made it happen.
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Mike Malatesta: yeah so it took a while, but let me tell you a little bit about George before we dig it so George.
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Mike Malatesta: Is the founding partner of untapped ventures, which is an early stage studio fund based in La that builds and invest in startups reimagining the new future of work and then some we’re going to talk about that then son because he’s got some new stuff he wants to share.
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Mike Malatesta: George and his team help early-stage founders, particularly in the B2B and the SAS space with idea validation rapid market traction to achieve product market fit.
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Mike Malatesta: fundraising as well as building a founding team partnerships, culture and any needed operational infrastructure.
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Mike Malatesta: George is also a speaker and frequent guests on industry podcasts he presents at tech and startup events incubators and accelerators.
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Mike Malatesta: George has been featured in or on business insider entrepreneur on fire Inc magazine Eo entrepreneurs organization and multiple podcasts including build to sell built to sell which i’ve been on as well, George.
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Mike Malatesta: Business business business owner success formula.
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Mike Malatesta: Exit coach radio that sounds like a cool one business owners freedom.
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Mike Malatesta: And many, many more he’s personally worked with a list entrepreneurs, including Peter diamandis vern hornish ash.
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Mike Malatesta: More more yeah.
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Mike Malatesta: How do you say that Maria Maria Maria apologize for that and john warrilow.
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Mike Malatesta: And finally george’s em tp or his massively transformative purpose in life is self actualization to help millions of people, achieve breakthroughs and access their untapped potential.
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Mike Malatesta: that’s amazing church, you can learn more about your dad is websites which which are George man darien calm untapped.vc and he’s also George van darian on linkedin and instagram.
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Mike Malatesta: And before we get started.
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George Bandarian II: On top thought ventures we didn’t get the vc there’s another untapped which actually is a buddy of mine, we went.
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George Bandarian II: home tab merging.
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George Bandarian II: yeah.
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Mike Malatesta: Well Okay, I apologize I should not have made that.
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George Bandarian II: Where we’ll talk afterwards they gotta get that corrected.
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Mike Malatesta: Okay untapped dot ventures.
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Mike Malatesta: Okay, so before we get started, just a quick disclosure George and I met at abundance 360.
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Mike Malatesta: We got acquainted there, and as a result of that introduction and our subsequent conversations I am an investor in untapped.
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Mike Malatesta: Venture his studio fun that we’re going to be talking about so I wanted to make sure I let everybody know that and now George I start every show, with the same question how’d it happen for you.
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George Bandarian II: yeah great excited excited to dive into that and thanks for that disclosure and thanks for being a partner with us as well, well, I mean I guess the how did happen the interesting one, to focus in on would be around untapped ventures.
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George Bandarian II: We could certainly go back.
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George Bandarian II: I appreciate that bio and one of the things that was missing from that was the company that I.
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George Bandarian II: grew and sold, am I back in 2018 and that one had its fair shares of ups and downs, and you know, there was points where I felt stuck in handcuffs then and so there’s a whole host of wins and learning lessons.
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George Bandarian II: But it’s been great to fight through that and really clarify on what Peter diamandis you know both of us are in a 360, as you mentioned.
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George Bandarian II: really be able to clarify my life purpose, and when I did my exit I went to I put myself in a purpose journey purpose discovery journey.
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George Bandarian II: And so you know really consumed, a lot of Peters stuff read a lot of books, I went to date with destiny with Tony robbins and spent a lot of time.
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George Bandarian II: Basically I was like the startup right, I was iterating and experimenting and putting myself in a number of different areas, to try to figure out.
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George Bandarian II: Like what it, what is it that I want like the whole naked guy right like like what is my purpose, what are my unique abilities and like what is, what can I be best in the world that basically.
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George Bandarian II: You know, some people I have friends and i’m sure you’ve probably have friends and why people like that they’ll exit one company started another company, the next day.
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George Bandarian II: And I envy those people that like you know that it just the answer was so easy or they already knew for me it was definitely a journey and.
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George Bandarian II: Having gone through that journey, I was able to really clarify what you shared in the beginning, which is like what I get off on is helping people have the breakthroughs and transformations and really just seeing like.
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George Bandarian II: How much people are it feels like without judgment but It just seems like there’s so many limiting beliefs and.
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George Bandarian II: Victim mentalities, and just people walking around and you could see that the people’s lives, including my own i’m not.
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George Bandarian II: Some exception but people could just be living such a better life and different aspects, but people struggle it’s hard it’s hard to.
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George Bandarian II: To to kind of be at peak performance all the time and and so that’s that’s that’s the field that interested me the most, I think that probably there’s some.
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George Bandarian II: thats related to the fact that my dad died when I was a baby and so when you kind of have that you already have some things you need to work through as you’re growing up.
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George Bandarian II: which we can certainly talk about.
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George Bandarian II: But yeah so that’s an area self development personal development is something i’ve been passionate in and, ultimately, what I did was create a fund a vc fund and a venture studio that’s that’s really focused around.
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George Bandarian II: This area of personal growth personal development and self actualization and.
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George Bandarian II: It and you know both helping founders live their best lives and and reach their untapped potential, but, as well as the market customer markets and people that are developing products and services and companies that are going to help.
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George Bandarian II: Humanity self actualize is the kinds of things we want to back and so and build because, as a venture studio we also build ventures, so I hope that wasn’t too long, of an answer, but.
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Mike Malatesta: it’s good, so I got a lot of questions if that’s okay.
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George Bandarian II: Okay, go for it.
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Mike Malatesta: I want to, I want to start with the with the end and and tp and then I want to work back from that because.
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Mike Malatesta: Okay, this this.
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Mike Malatesta: purpose that you’ve discovered, or maybe you have a different word for it to help millions of people, achieve breakthroughs and access their life’s untapped potential through self actualization what it.
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Mike Malatesta: What does that actually mean George self actualization and how did you finally.
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Mike Malatesta: What was the journey, I mean you mentioned some of the things that you participated in when you were trying to understand this purpose, but take us through a little bit more of the journey and what self actual actualization act actually means for you.
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George Bandarian II: actually means that.
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George Bandarian II: Yes, sure so, so I think like so just to put some parameters around that you know things like it comes from maslow’s hierarchy of needs right.
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George Bandarian II: we’re at the bottom, you have your basic needs for survival food, water, shelter and then you know as it goes up you have social kind of family and then the top.
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George Bandarian II: Of maslow’s hierarchy of needs is self actualization, which means that the person is completely fulfilled they’re living their highest calling their self expressed their.
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George Bandarian II: Their and it has nothing to do with success, it just has to do with happiness fulfillment.
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George Bandarian II: And contribution to the world that if you ask them there are 10 out of 10 basic right they are, they have in are doing the things that they want to be doing and they’re completely fulfilled and self actualize.
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George Bandarian II: So so that’s that’s what we mean when we talk about self actualize things that the sub the psychology term of that where.
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George Bandarian II: Your health is good, you know your mental health is good your physical health is good, you have good connections with family and friends you, you know you’re at your work and career is in the right, the right, everything is going in the right direction right.
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George Bandarian II: So that’s that’s what we mean by that so that allows from a from an investment thesis standpoint, you could see that we could invest in mental health physical health like.
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George Bandarian II: You know anything relating to work and we’ve spent this first year really focused on work on there, the future of work umbrella.
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George Bandarian II: But there’s a number of areas that we could go in, but how I got there, which is your question.
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George Bandarian II: I think like I kind of knew it all along, I just I just had to accept it and own it and what I mean by that is like.
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George Bandarian II: I would be so I was given Tony robbins like get the edge CDs, when I was tapes actually not CDs, when I was 18 and you know, like it’s so crazy how my friend that just randomly did that, at the time when I was in high school.
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George Bandarian II: And how that changed my life and set me on this, you know self development journey.
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George Bandarian II: And, and I remember when I would be like depressed in my 20s I would go to Tony robbins his old site, and I would love watching the interventions.
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George Bandarian II: I would be blown away by how he would just be able to pick somebody and how he used all of them like masterful techniques.
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George Bandarian II: To have them have an incident intervention and instant breakthrough and and literally change their lives forever based on this like you know one hour or half an hour even a 10 minute interaction.
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George Bandarian II: And like it’s almost like the anti of therapy right like usually with a therapist it’s like these, you know long drawn out sessions over multiple years.
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George Bandarian II: But this concept of just having an instant where everything gets clarified.
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George Bandarian II: and your life changes it’s lasting change because it’s so clear what you weren’t seeing and now all of a sudden you’re seeing it and it completely changes your life.
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George Bandarian II: that’s that’s the breakthrough, the transformation that i’m that i’m really excited about I always knew I was very passionate about that.
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George Bandarian II: But I didn’t think you could build like a venture business around that initially, but now i’ve seen that when you look at mental health, which is again in the in in the spotlight.
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George Bandarian II: You know, most recently with Simone biles when she couldn’t compete in the Olympics and.
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George Bandarian II: And I think it’ll just always be there right I think it’s just people accepting that it’s not any different than physical health like if you’re you know.
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George Bandarian II: So anyway, so I think that was my journey, it was really just kind of getting in tune asking myself a lot of questions and Peter provides.
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George Bandarian II: A lot of questions that I will also help others when I when I coach them to discover their massively transformative purpose, so I think just kind of doing those those.
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George Bandarian II: The work and the thinking and that and the asking you know Tony talks about how you know the answer is the question right So if you ask the right question you’ll get you’ll get the right answer, and so I think.
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George Bandarian II: If you, you know the how was going through the journey and being patient and asking myself a lot of the right questions and sitting with it, and then it just kind of became clearer and clearer as it went.
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Mike Malatesta: Okay, and you.
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Mike Malatesta: You mentioned depression in you know you said when I was depressed in my 20s he says, has that been something that you’ve.
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Mike Malatesta: As depression been something that you’ve experienced and had to deal with as you’ve been you know coming along through your first company and all the challenges that go along with that that that will get into.
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George Bandarian II: No, I haven’t been clinically diagnosed as depressed, so I would probably not put myself in the same category as people that have probably legitimately struggled with that and have had to really struggle with it and overcome it, I think I faced it from.
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George Bandarian II: High achieving entrepreneurs mindset of being frustrated and judgmental at himself, for not achieving the results he expected from himself and then constantly judging and getting sad and frustrated.
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George Bandarian II: And, at times, just digging myself a mental hole and that and we’re having to work myself out of it because of my own judgment, as I came to learn a lot of that was just self judgment which I actively work on.
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Mike Malatesta: George was that you do you think in retrospect that was you judging yourself against yourself, or do you think it was you judging yourself against other people or other ideals that you felt.
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Mike Malatesta: You weren’t you know, maybe achieving what someone else was or didn’t you know look the part that someone else who was successful in your world looked or something like that i’m just curious about you know how.
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Mike Malatesta: I know i’ve had that before i’m just wondering if if you thought it was just it was just you comparing yourself to you or you may be comparing yourself to other people as well.
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George Bandarian II: yeah I think it was definitely both you know that you know, there was there was comparables like a look at like similar entrepreneurs started similar times and they had a lot more success quicker than me.
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George Bandarian II: And, in some cases they didn’t feel like they were as good of people are smarter or something like that, and in fact.
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George Bandarian II: yeah reconcile that.
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George Bandarian II: So I definitely felt that.
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George Bandarian II: And then i’ve just always had my fair share of like self judgment as well you know, like just expecting the best for myself being disappointed.
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George Bandarian II: You know I feel like so like you know I think so, when my when my dad passed and I grew up without a dad I think what I think a common.
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George Bandarian II: result of that is you have something to prove right like kids grow up and either you know if they go the good path it’s very much like I am worthy right, I am enough, I am worthy and you have to prove that success and achievement.
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George Bandarian II: And so I did like I was like a you know 4.3 in high school I finished the usc in three years.
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George Bandarian II: And like I kind of had the midas touch and then, when I you know got out and I took over the family business at the age of 20 I thought I was just going to continue with like just being able to make millions immediately.
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George Bandarian II: And back then in 2000 it wasn’t like how it is now for founders, and the amount of support and mentorship and funding and and accelerators and just all of that none of that was there, like when I graduated usc.
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George Bandarian II: Like there was nothing and then like oh there’s this thing called Eo where you could be in a pure group with other entrepreneurs and.
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George Bandarian II: That was like one of the only things around, then I was in yo la, for I think close to 15 years and that was great and we built relationships with why PO and like this stage and I was a part of other Co groups are all now um but, but I think, like, for the most part.
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George Bandarian II: I might have done on a little bit of a tangent but yeah I felt like very lonely and isolated and and.
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George Bandarian II: didn’t have the help yeah like, for example, what we offer to our founders today.
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Mike Malatesta: yeah okay so so only at the top sort of thing and yeah.
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Mike Malatesta: Right, and you know, back then, and even still today, I mean you.
00:16:48.240 –> 00:16:55.770
Mike Malatesta: First of all, like the first step in any program is acknowledging, you have a problem right or knowledge and you have an opportunity that you can’t figure out how to.
00:16:56.460 –> 00:17:11.730
Mike Malatesta: How to achieve or maximize or whatever, but then you actually have to go find it right it’s not going to find you a lot of the times it’s it’s and I find it and i’m glad you, you took you maybe a few years to do it, it took me longer but.
00:17:13.260 –> 00:17:23.220
Mike Malatesta: i’m glad you found it because that kind of help, whether to or vistage or all the other groups that are out there truly built to.
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Mike Malatesta: Make it not so lonely at the top, you know to just get rid of that notion that it’s.
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Mike Malatesta: You know there’s no support for you, there are there’s a lot of support for you and there’s a lot of programs like what you were in who will help you.
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Mike Malatesta: Especially now, will help you navigate and avoid hopefully some of the things the traps or the starkness or whatever you might otherwise find yourself in.
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Mike Malatesta: So i’m glad i’m glad you, you did that i’m curious though you you, you took over the family business at 20 you said, your dad passed away when you were a child, what tell me the dynamics of the family business when you when you took it over.
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George Bandarian II: yeah definitely so.
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George Bandarian II: So.
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George Bandarian II: My my so i’m i’m of Armenian heritage my mom and dad had met here gotten married and had me and then my dad had passed all within like a few years, so my mom my dad had been here for a while.
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George Bandarian II: My mom was just new to the states, she was an immigrant she spoke English but.
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George Bandarian II: You know she was a teacher and so here she is in a new country.
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George Bandarian II: With the new husband and a new baby and then her husband passes and she’s going to use in the business right and the business was at the time it was a microfilm business micro graphics, if you remember the old kind of going to the library and putting rolls of microphones.
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George Bandarian II: yeah leader.
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Mike Malatesta: i’m seeing that unfortunately I do remember that triumph, so that yeah.
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George Bandarian II: yeah i’m you know, there are other.
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George Bandarian II: podcasts that they’re like what it what.
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Mike Malatesta: About but.
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Mike Malatesta: What kind of Internet is that I don’t know.
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George Bandarian II: Micro graph that sounds cool micro uh.
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George Bandarian II: But yeah so so that’s what so that’s what the business was and then so my my dad had passed, my mom has actually shown some incredible.
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George Bandarian II: resilience and entrepreneurial ISM by being able to take it over be a single mom become a on become a business owner, all of a sudden.
00:19:29.070 –> 00:19:36.360
George Bandarian II: be able to learn this business manage it, and then continue to get some of what turned out to be our our marquee clients.
00:19:36.720 –> 00:19:48.240
George Bandarian II: While I was just a little kid like Disney and Dole packaged foods and the Federal Reserve Bank and other like marquee clients like that so here she really turned into quite a businesswoman.
00:19:49.470 –> 00:19:56.700
George Bandarian II: And, and so, when I was going to high school I started to I mean I always kind of worked in the business but.
00:19:57.030 –> 00:20:08.910
George Bandarian II: I started to get more involved and then, when I went to usc I would be going Tuesdays and Thursdays to usc and then applying what I was learning on Mondays Wednesdays Fridays, to the business, just as a teenager right.
00:20:09.300 –> 00:20:22.080
George Bandarian II: But that was kind of when I first started getting really excited about business versus you know, being a doctor or a lawyer, the traditional paths and then, and so, then, but when I when I graduated and took over.
00:20:23.610 –> 00:20:36.510
George Bandarian II: It was already the start of disruption in that business where the analog micro film right, which was, which is think of for the listeners that aren’t familiar think of that, like the old.
00:20:37.140 –> 00:20:51.030
George Bandarian II: The old film right when you would get like you would take photos on a Kodak and then you would get that printed out on to 25 printed pictures that’s what microfilm was it was putting the paper documents onto these roles and microphone.
00:20:52.680 –> 00:20:55.200
Mike Malatesta: like this, you mean right George the stress.
00:20:55.500 –> 00:20:56.940
Mike Malatesta: That you would get okay yeah.
00:20:57.000 –> 00:21:08.760
George Bandarian II: Exactly, yet the strip and then you would put that roll back until this thing called the reader to be able to then see the documents, and that was paperless and document management back in in.
00:21:09.210 –> 00:21:15.960
George Bandarian II: At that time I would you know the 6070s and 80s and 90s and.
00:21:16.590 –> 00:21:24.870
George Bandarian II: And so, but the by the time that I got involved, it was already transitioning the digital and it was document scanning instead of document microphone so.
00:21:25.110 –> 00:21:30.930
George Bandarian II: So I brought on or whole document imaging operation I set that up that the document imaging then turned into.
00:21:31.620 –> 00:21:37.320
George Bandarian II: document management software and we started implementing Doc management software, then that became really understanding.
00:21:37.590 –> 00:21:48.060
George Bandarian II: Not just like what is that document to scan it at the end, both what is the business process that that customer is going through.
00:21:48.900 –> 00:22:00.630
George Bandarian II: Like if it’s a loan processing or student application processing or or accounts payable processing so really doing business process management business process automation so by the time we sold it.
00:22:01.410 –> 00:22:08.040
George Bandarian II: It was a complete than a software and services around helping companies eliminate and automate their document processes.
00:22:10.140 –> 00:22:24.180
Mike Malatesta: And from the time you came into the business to the time you you ended up selling as tell us just a little tell me a little bit about the progression of the business, so you had you had an old technology that was probably widely used but was going to be.
00:22:25.380 –> 00:22:39.840
Mike Malatesta: Perhaps irrelevant in the very near future, if you hadn’t made this turn you end up making the turn of the pivot or whatever people want to want to call it, these days, and then in in what happened, from then till you know till the till the sale.
00:22:41.910 –> 00:22:46.020
George Bandarian II: yeah so, so I think that’s where a lot of the ups and downs and kind of the.
00:22:47.310 –> 00:22:56.760
George Bandarian II: mini depressions and judgments and stuff happened that there was some growth and some fun and making money and great relationships, but also, there was a lot of frustration.
00:22:57.090 –> 00:23:08.340
George Bandarian II: I mean it was basically a bloody red ocean right so it’s a lot of what happened that I didn’t want or I don’t consider the winds that have led me to be.
00:23:08.670 –> 00:23:14.400
George Bandarian II: Where I am now right, it was a bloody red ocean ultra competitive you had.
00:23:15.000 –> 00:23:22.530
George Bandarian II: Everybody you know that the scanning companies everybody was dropping their price, you know when we started, you would get 15 cents an image.
00:23:22.890 –> 00:23:32.970
George Bandarian II: For you know scan and then 10 cent and then five cents and then by you know, by the time we sold it was like down to three or four cents an image so that’s how commodity scanning and become.
00:23:33.150 –> 00:23:42.870
George Bandarian II: Okay, everybody had gone into this document management software game, so all the copier companies all the enterprise companies like Microsoft and.
00:23:45.420 –> 00:23:58.530
George Bandarian II: You know Oracle everybody and then even the line of business systems all had been incorporated some document management add on like quickbooks had it so it was it became just super competitive and.
00:24:00.510 –> 00:24:13.410
George Bandarian II: So we were bootstrapped we weren’t venture scale, it was a bloody red ocean market, and those are all the things, and while we grew and you know, we had like 25 full time employees and maybe like 25 you know.
00:24:15.450 –> 00:24:26.160
George Bandarian II: part time contract kind of tamp that at times when we get busier you know I think part of what I really learned was, I want to be spending time in areas that are fast growth.
00:24:26.520 –> 00:24:40.920
George Bandarian II: That can really become big make an impact that are venture scale that deserve to receive investment and that really are creating new markets and categories are blood or you know the classic blue oceans not read options.
00:24:41.130 –> 00:24:41.400
Mike Malatesta: yeah.
00:24:42.330 –> 00:24:45.570
George Bandarian II: Okay, and that’s one of the criteria that we look for is.
00:24:45.960 –> 00:25:01.680
George Bandarian II: Is you know it is this there’s a lot of great found there’s a lot of great ideas but but there’s just no point if it’s a lot harder if you’re going to create a company that’s going into an existing market so we’re really you know.
00:25:03.210 –> 00:25:14.730
George Bandarian II: in tune with helping create new categories and markets like how uber created the ride hailing service right then airbnb created the the home sharing.
00:25:15.120 –> 00:25:21.180
George Bandarian II: Business right we you know we want those kinds of companies versus like another me to.
00:25:21.990 –> 00:25:39.720
George Bandarian II: Category so i’m just kind of tying a lot of my experience, which was almost like two decades, and I did that for about 18 years, and so, and a lot of that has now shaped how I make decisions and what I do for the next 20 plus years.
00:25:39.810 –> 00:25:49.050
Mike Malatesta: Right yeah yeah you don’t want to be you don’t want to be in a bloody red ocean right that’s a that’s a grind now I can now that gives me some understanding of the.
00:25:49.110 –> 00:26:00.240
Mike Malatesta: ups and downs, so the you’ve you’re excited about what you can do, but the core business is still getting chopped you know it seems like every day someone’s asking you to do it for less do it for less do a lesson it’s.
00:26:02.130 –> 00:26:02.610
Mike Malatesta: hard.
00:26:03.480 –> 00:26:14.940
Mike Malatesta: Right it’s hard and a lot of put in a lot of a lot of us, and a lot of business owners, they just accept that as the reality like hey I just got to keep fighting I just got to keep fighting I just got to keep fighting and.
00:26:15.480 –> 00:26:20.280
Mike Malatesta: You know, every day, that you fight takes a little bit of energy away from you that you’re probably never going to get back.
00:26:21.720 –> 00:26:24.510
Mike Malatesta: So you’re better off sometimes go ahead.
00:26:24.540 –> 00:26:34.410
George Bandarian II: yeah sorry so sometimes so then some years you say okay i’m going to start working on the other thing and then you go do the other thing, but this isn’t big enough to stand on its own, and so, then.
00:26:34.680 –> 00:26:44.160
George Bandarian II: you end up hurting the core and you end up having to come back to it and it’s it’s in a worse position so that feeds the like the vicious cycle of.
00:26:44.490 –> 00:26:56.310
George Bandarian II: not getting to where you want to get to so yeah exactly, and I think so that’s why I just got to a point where I knew I needed to sell it, I had to build I had to continue to build to sell right as john world talks about.
00:26:56.730 –> 00:27:16.050
George Bandarian II: and fortunately we found a great partner that both of the service lines that we did were a great strategic fit a were missing in their portfolio, and so it was a great strategic acquisition for them it created a nice outcome, and I was able to to move on from that job there.
00:27:16.860 –> 00:27:27.900
Mike Malatesta: So let me ask you just a couple more questions and then we’re going to move on to your life post post, am I am I first the plan you coming in to take over.
00:27:28.560 –> 00:27:41.610
Mike Malatesta: At age 20 was that something that you and your mom had talked about and decided on at some point earlier or did you have different aspirations, I mean you mentioned doctor lawyer that kind of thing.
00:27:42.060 –> 00:27:57.330
Mike Malatesta: You know, you went through usc in three years, which is no that’s no easy task, so you got brains, you know you got brains and i’m just wondering, you know was at a natural thing that you had worked out or was it more if we were with a different than that.
00:27:59.190 –> 00:28:13.320
George Bandarian II: I think I think she wanted that but wasn’t going to pressure it so she kind of like that was teed up for me if I wanted it and you know a lot of the kids graduating the hot thing at the time.
00:28:13.920 –> 00:28:25.680
George Bandarian II: was getting into a big consulting job right like the loyalty w and so like so that was with the option, I was weighing against, although that was also the time of the.com.
00:28:25.950 –> 00:28:28.500
George Bandarian II: bubble, but I didn’t really understand that at the time.
00:28:28.740 –> 00:28:38.430
George Bandarian II: It wasn’t like you, only a few percentage were into that most people were into the rest of general business it wasn’t as popular like tech wasn’t as popular as it is today.
00:28:39.510 –> 00:28:47.820
George Bandarian II: So, so it wasn’t something that we had directly talked about, I guess, I didn’t like take over day one, I was Vice President, initially, and then.
00:28:48.450 –> 00:28:57.060
George Bandarian II: And then I think somewhere within a few years it was pretty clear that that you know it was really the other way, I was calling the shots and she was taking a backseat.
00:28:57.360 –> 00:29:10.650
George Bandarian II: And then, it even got to a point where, then it wasn’t working anymore, because I was trying to take risk, and she was risk averse at a different place in your life and then it got to a point where it really wasn’t working out and I needed to buy her out to continue.
00:29:11.100 –> 00:29:11.370
George Bandarian II: There was.
00:29:12.420 –> 00:29:17.130
George Bandarian II: yeah there was some tension and learning family business kind of stuff.
00:29:18.360 –> 00:29:31.710
George Bandarian II: As part of that but, ultimately, you know we’re able to do that I was able to buy her out kind of have her get into a better place for her and i’m let me keep growing it and do what I needed to do to get to the exit.
00:29:32.160 –> 00:29:40.680
Mike Malatesta: Okay yeah I was thinking about I wasn’t thinking about that exactly, but I was thinking about as you were talking, you know, trying to find the blue ocean.
00:29:41.580 –> 00:29:54.480
Mike Malatesta: You still need the cash flow from you know the from the Red shark infested Ocean to fund that kind of stuff so there’s always this like oh gosh if we keep taking money out of here to go here is that actually going to work and that can be.
00:29:55.050 –> 00:30:01.470
Mike Malatesta: super scary even when you know that what you’re doing is being you know commodities down to.
00:30:02.550 –> 00:30:04.200
Mike Malatesta: You know something that’s no fun either.
00:30:04.890 –> 00:30:08.250
Mike Malatesta: Right and are you and your mom on okay now, or what.
00:30:08.310 –> 00:30:09.570
George Bandarian II: yeah yeah yeah.
00:30:09.780 –> 00:30:19.710
George Bandarian II: Okay, she I mean she I think she resented it initially she she couldn’t understand why I was doing that and she she didn’t see it, she was completely out of blind spot.
00:30:20.100 –> 00:30:31.410
George Bandarian II: To how much of a problem, it was and how it was affecting my ability to see her as my mom because I just saw her as this.
00:30:32.820 –> 00:30:43.710
George Bandarian II: slacking business partner that was frustrating me daily and I couldn’t get past, seeing that and go back to seeing her true essence.
00:30:44.040 –> 00:30:55.020
George Bandarian II: which was you know which was unconditional love, she was my mother, she is my father, she was my brother she’s my sister right when my dad died she rate, you know, I was an only child I didn’t get a chance to have siblings.
00:30:55.350 –> 00:31:03.060
George Bandarian II: She she she did everything for me and we were so close and now this business relationship had completely tarnished that.
00:31:03.330 –> 00:31:08.700
George Bandarian II: And so that was probably one of the more important things about about buying her out and getting out of the business was.
00:31:09.000 –> 00:31:13.590
George Bandarian II: To be able to go back to that relationship which took some time because, like I said initially.
00:31:13.920 –> 00:31:28.080
George Bandarian II: She was frustrated, but then she was able to find some boards and other volunteering and other things, and she was able to move on to the next chapter, but we just needed to kind of cut this off so that she could do that she wasn’t able to do that on our own.
00:31:28.530 –> 00:31:28.890
00:31:29.970 –> 00:31:36.750
Mike Malatesta: Well, thanks for sharing that and then getting back to kind of where we started with your mtp you.
00:31:37.410 –> 00:31:45.420
Mike Malatesta: You sell the business and it sounds like it was a good outcome for for everyone, the acquire and for you and your family and your teammate you know TEAM members and all that.
00:31:46.140 –> 00:31:51.600
Mike Malatesta: But it but what’s interesting to me, is most I think most people see that.
00:31:52.200 –> 00:31:59.940
Mike Malatesta: If they’re looking at you kind of like you, are comparing yourself to yourself to other people before if they’re looking at you, they say to themselves.
00:32:00.600 –> 00:32:12.570
Mike Malatesta: wow George just you know, has the world right where he wants the right he sold the business, it was a great outcome, you know be set right and.
00:32:13.680 –> 00:32:25.290
Mike Malatesta: But you said you know you really after that point you needed to find your purpose, and I think that’s a really interesting thing that a lot of people don’t understand is that.
00:32:26.160 –> 00:32:43.110
Mike Malatesta: or can’t comprehend that someone who had something financially good happen, you know their life’s work or their 20 years of work or your mom and you and you know, maybe it’s 35 years of work that you know that combined that got put in.
00:32:45.660 –> 00:32:58.230
Mike Malatesta: You know that’s like that’s like what everybody wants out of life, but having sold a business myself there is that part of it, but i’m interested to hear more about what you were feeling there afterwards, because.
00:32:59.400 –> 00:33:06.840
Mike Malatesta: yeah that’s great, but you then kind of also and i’m put on talking now here about me, maybe not this may not be for you, but you tell me.
00:33:07.590 –> 00:33:18.570
Mike Malatesta: You know you got a lot of identity wrapped up and that work that you’ve done in that company that you’ve bought and that team that you’ve built and when that identity kind of goes away.
00:33:19.980 –> 00:33:31.380
Mike Malatesta: can become a little difficult to understand what’s next for me what this is great outcome i’m really happy, but what what’s next because a lot of us don’t plan for that kind of the next.
00:33:33.150 –> 00:33:35.970
George Bandarian II: Right yeah no you’re right and and.
00:33:37.170 –> 00:33:47.460
George Bandarian II: So I I call that the post exit identity crisis, and I think it’s it’s real and I coach other entrepreneurs that that have exits.
00:33:48.540 –> 00:33:55.650
George Bandarian II: That when I was figuring it out, so the way it hit me the panic of the post exit identity crisis was.
00:33:55.920 –> 00:34:06.570
George Bandarian II: Because the built to sell tool, the value builder system from john warrilow with some helpful when I saw that was like the first thing I picked up just to like just to be able to earn income and do stuff.
00:34:06.810 –> 00:34:26.460
George Bandarian II: So, like so I started helping other entrepreneurs with exit coaching right like helping them like get their business ready and be able to sell for top dollar but I quickly realized this is exactly what I don’t want to do, I don’t want to be working at the end of the life cycle on generally.
00:34:27.810 –> 00:34:45.300
George Bandarian II: Generally traditional businesses that are going to sell for three to five times ebitda I want to be working at the beginning of venture scale unicorn potential businesses that are being valued at 10 to 50 X top line revenue.
00:34:45.390 –> 00:34:45.720
Mike Malatesta: Right.
00:34:45.840 –> 00:34:58.980
George Bandarian II: I want to, I want to be working with the smartest and most capable founders and and and and supporting them getting started and really having impact and doing things that are going to.
00:34:59.670 –> 00:35:09.360
George Bandarian II: make the world a better place, I felt like I spent 20 years close to 20 years just helping companies eliminate paper and automate workflows.
00:35:09.720 –> 00:35:15.870
George Bandarian II: And some people say like Okay, well, we save the environment, a little bit by helping trees like not really like.
00:35:16.320 –> 00:35:20.640
George Bandarian II: I ultimate yes, a little bit, but in terms of like making real impact.
00:35:21.030 –> 00:35:31.380
George Bandarian II: like leaving a legacy and having something that I could be proud of and felt like I contributed to this planet and I was able to help people actually move the Needle, on their lives.
00:35:31.860 –> 00:35:40.920
George Bandarian II: And you know not just have their paper at their computer versus having to go to a file cabinet, but like real real impact.
00:35:41.190 –> 00:35:48.270
George Bandarian II: If I hadn’t even scratched the surface so you’re right I I did pause to celebrate because that was a great accomplishment.
00:35:48.570 –> 00:36:06.300
George Bandarian II: At that point in my career, but I knew that that was just it was almost like just step one get some chips off the table and then like let’s really start the real thing and and it took me a little longer than I would have expected, but it’s actually gone relatively.
00:36:07.410 –> 00:36:21.660
George Bandarian II: better than expected, like if you asked me February 2018 when I sold, you know I don’t think I would have thought that three and a half years later I would already be a vc have launched my fun have a venture studio.
00:36:22.410 –> 00:36:32.910
George Bandarian II: Have a brand and with untapped that’s very quickly below growing being recognized in La in the US, and you know, one of studios in you know.
00:36:33.750 –> 00:36:42.510
George Bandarian II: g ssn global startups to do network, and you know and all the things that have happened it’s all happened a lot quicker than I would have expected.
00:36:42.840 –> 00:36:51.510
George Bandarian II: At that time, but I think it’s a lot of it is because I was slow and intentional I you know, one of the things we teaches go slow to go fast.
00:36:51.780 –> 00:36:59.130
George Bandarian II: So I went slow to figure the right things out so now i’m going fast last year has just gone so fast.
00:36:59.820 –> 00:37:08.370
George Bandarian II: With executing because we’re clear on the mission, you heard it in the beginning, right like helping people live their best lives tap tap their untapped potential.
00:37:08.760 –> 00:37:20.760
George Bandarian II: You know so we’re clear on what our mission is we’re clear on who we want to work with, as far as the founders and and I think it just people get attracted to the mission they hop on board and and were able to to execute.
00:37:21.810 –> 00:37:27.030
Mike Malatesta: I love that you talked about the go slow to go fast and the intentionality because.
00:37:28.710 –> 00:37:44.400
Mike Malatesta: I think a lot of people, a lot of entrepreneurs in particular feel like you know speed is the most important thing, and it is important, speed is important but speed can kill when you don’t have you know sort of this idea of where you actually want to go right.
00:37:44.460 –> 00:37:44.730
Mike Malatesta: Right.
00:37:44.760 –> 00:37:53.130
Mike Malatesta: you’re just if you’re just taking every turn as fast as you can take it, and just you know stomping on the gas all the time, without a destination, you can.
00:37:54.240 –> 00:38:00.030
Mike Malatesta: drive yourself and your business right into the ground because nobody knows who’s going to follow you they don’t know where you’re going.
00:38:00.870 –> 00:38:08.820
George Bandarian II: Right yeah and I think like in today’s hyper competitive kind of globalized economy it is speed, but its speed of learning by.
00:38:09.390 –> 00:38:18.300
George Bandarian II: The speed of learning is the number one competitive advantage so running rapid experimentation cycles to learn what you need to learn.
00:38:18.600 –> 00:38:29.700
George Bandarian II: To make the decisions, whether you’re a big corporate or your early stage founder that’s the kind of speed, not necessarily the speed of just trying to execute or the speed of trying to hit goals.
00:38:30.030 –> 00:38:46.020
George Bandarian II: Because many times like things are changing so fast it’s really get getting clear on what you need to learn and then learning that as quickly as possible, through experiments tests studies, research, whatever the case, might be right.
00:38:47.010 –> 00:38:57.660
Mike Malatesta: And you mentioned, you know this, three and a half years, and how far you’ve come, and that was it mean you mentioned, you said earlier that you didn’t have any.
00:38:58.170 –> 00:39:14.220
Mike Malatesta: You know outside capital in nami so so you’re you’re not really i’m assuming you weren’t really known in the vc Community either, because you were an entrepreneur business owner, you know you weren’t somebody out doing deals are taking money so.
00:39:15.690 –> 00:39:26.220
Mike Malatesta: How did you I guess first off let’s talk about the intentionality of when when you decided what your purpose was how you when you figured that out, and how you actually have moved from there.
00:39:26.820 –> 00:39:35.460
Mike Malatesta: To where you are now with with your first fun, you know closed and investments being made and and and everything else that untapped is doing.
00:39:37.050 –> 00:39:43.500
George Bandarian II: yeah you’re right, so I I felt like I had a prolific and angel investing courier.
00:39:43.920 –> 00:39:55.950
George Bandarian II: Like when I was at am I, so all of it came just by virtue of committing myself to it fully and then you know, one of my Christian five top five is learner right and as I just jumped in.
00:39:56.490 –> 00:40:10.320
George Bandarian II: And I was you know wanting to learn everything and see how I could win one of my other clifton top five is competition right, so I like to compete, I like to win so.
00:40:13.140 –> 00:40:30.240
George Bandarian II: And you know a lot of great things along the way, so like, for example, I was able to get into founder institute’s vc lab program and I was in their second cohort and that kind of like an accelerator for emerging vcs so that helped me about four months.
00:40:31.260 –> 00:40:43.410
George Bandarian II: was a tremendous help in having me kind of like accelerate my learning of EC and and all that you know, so I just put myself in different positions of.
00:40:43.770 –> 00:40:58.290
George Bandarian II: Learning from others and learning from the best and not just reading, but actually participating and programs and groups and things like that and and then I you know I started immediately when I exited I had some money, so I started immediately making investments.
00:40:59.460 –> 00:41:03.630
George Bandarian II: I learned how you know, and I think one of the things is that.
00:41:05.010 –> 00:41:21.210
George Bandarian II: My judgment which probably came from some element of my limbic brain from not having my dad and and then like growing up just needing to be really good at judging the scenario and and really being able to kind of fend for myself.
00:41:22.470 –> 00:41:33.780
George Bandarian II: You know, so I think that that’s coming around to be really helpful in a vc career, because you know i’m able to harness that the ability to.
00:41:35.010 –> 00:41:44.580
George Bandarian II: You know quickly assess a situation, whether that’s a person or a business opportunity and be able to get a good sense of.
00:41:44.910 –> 00:41:51.600
George Bandarian II: of you know what the opportunity might be, and you know what are the upsides downsides and things like that.
00:41:52.020 –> 00:41:59.550
George Bandarian II: And then that combined with like a love for coaching and life coaching business coaching i’m able to eat quickly ask questions.
00:41:59.910 –> 00:42:07.260
George Bandarian II: And you know I think generally have like good good good advice for the thoughts that I could help found there, so I think.
00:42:08.010 –> 00:42:13.860
George Bandarian II: It fell i’m picking wisely where i’m picking thing you know, an area that.
00:42:14.850 –> 00:42:22.500
George Bandarian II: I have a natural hardwiring to be good at and we’re seeing that now it hasn’t been long but we’re seeing that i’m.
00:42:22.950 –> 00:42:37.320
George Bandarian II: Early in my career i’m getting access to great deals i’m making great PICs and we just need to keep replicating that and keep showing that it’s scalable and we’re making some more investments now, and I think will show continue to show that.
00:42:38.940 –> 00:42:43.440
George Bandarian II: And then, where the whole venture studio slots and you know venture studio accelerator is.
00:42:43.830 –> 00:42:56.760
George Bandarian II: It you know I, it was my lack of fulfillment of being an operator, so, while the operator chapter closed and I sat an exit I didn’t just want to be a vc like I didn’t just want to.
00:42:57.120 –> 00:43:07.740
George Bandarian II: I felt that I had more to give in terms of what my capabilities word that I wasn’t able to best express at Am I that you know, being a builder and being.
00:43:08.250 –> 00:43:17.460
George Bandarian II: A true helper so I didn’t just want to put money you know typical vc portfolio, you know you make 30 bets you know 20 of them are going to fail.
00:43:17.760 –> 00:43:22.560
George Bandarian II: And then, out of the 10 you want like one or two or three to be a unicorn as long as that happens that’s great.
00:43:22.980 –> 00:43:32.580
George Bandarian II: they’re really just kind of you know it’s horse racing right it’s betting on the jockey and the worse and sitting back giving some advice being helpful making some introductions.
00:43:33.030 –> 00:43:37.680
George Bandarian II: I didn’t want to be low touch vc I wanted to be on the other end of the spectrum.
00:43:37.980 –> 00:43:53.790
George Bandarian II: High touch high value add, I want to dig in I want to help you, I want to get involved and that’s essentially like what an accelerator and adventure studio is a venture studio is basically i’m like your co founder right i’m going to act like a Co founder to you.
00:43:54.750 –> 00:44:00.600
George Bandarian II: To help you in the most highest sense that I could possibly help you in your journey.
00:44:02.730 –> 00:44:09.600
George Bandarian II: And stuff like that so so that’s another area where my past is reflected in the design of the current.
00:44:10.770 –> 00:44:22.950
Mike Malatesta: And when you, you went through this accelerator program yourself, you know started building your credentials and went out started raising money, how did people.
00:44:24.180 –> 00:44:25.740
Mike Malatesta: How did people react.
00:44:25.920 –> 00:44:31.950
Mike Malatesta: To you, George so you’re successful business person you sold a business now you’re going to be, you know.
00:44:33.000 –> 00:44:43.110
Mike Malatesta: Venture capitalist but you’re going to do it and studio model, which means you’re going to actually use the operational experience that you’ve had from running a business and the financial.
00:44:44.280 –> 00:44:53.370
Mike Malatesta: Experience as well, but you’re going to put that to work, actually, and not just be someone to be like oh yeah i’m dustin this best nap but how do people take that did they were they like.
00:44:54.570 –> 00:45:02.970
Mike Malatesta: you’ve never done this before, why would I you know why would I back someone that’s unproven or did what did they say.
00:45:03.840 –> 00:45:15.300
Mike Malatesta: George this is, you know the greatest thing why didn’t you come to me or you know what what was the reaction and I know there was probably a broad range of reaction, but i’m just interested in the process and the reactions and how you dealt with them.
00:45:16.230 –> 00:45:22.530
George Bandarian II: yeah so so one of the great things that that the seal of course kind of taught us was.
00:45:23.100 –> 00:45:29.790
George Bandarian II: That like the thesis you came up with on day one of the program was not going to be that thesis that you raised, your fund word.
00:45:30.330 –> 00:45:38.100
George Bandarian II: Almost just like a startup concept like your idea today is not going to be the one that finds product market fit and so.
00:45:38.640 –> 00:45:56.670
George Bandarian II: So so we’ve been on that i’ve been on that journey and really just taking a lot of feedback, so I think there’s been a lot of learning and feedback, I think our investor deck is on version 8.5 going to version nine with with kind of a massive change coming up.
00:45:57.750 –> 00:45:58.650
George Bandarian II: And so.
00:45:59.670 –> 00:46:13.290
George Bandarian II: yeah I think I really found my niche and you’re what we call like the angel co right so that they’re an entrepreneur their CEO they have success they.
00:46:14.160 –> 00:46:26.430
George Bandarian II: They do some angel investing and they look at it, they say Okay, I can make another angel investment and I get one deal and I guess if I follow all the angel books, I should expect that nine out of 10.
00:46:26.850 –> 00:46:39.000
George Bandarian II: Times if that’s going to fail, or I can make that one investment in George he’s putting it in deals that he’s actively working on and diligence seeing some are from his studio some are from with the corporate partners.
00:46:39.330 –> 00:46:47.430
George Bandarian II: You know others are from his accelerator program and and that way i’m going to become a part owner in 10 deals and.
00:46:47.880 –> 00:46:56.790
George Bandarian II: i’ll probably get to learn a little bit more i’ll see how George does it and you know I kind of like what he’s doing I like what he represents because mission I believe in him.
00:46:57.150 –> 00:47:07.350
George Bandarian II: And let’s go and I think that’s where I ultimately found my fit for found fun one is fellow entrepreneurs that are angel investors that.
00:47:08.430 –> 00:47:17.250
George Bandarian II: Think of this as a smarter better than just making another single and not that they shouldn’t but just this is an alternative to making another single.
00:47:17.280 –> 00:47:32.340
George Bandarian II: angel investment right and we have the opportunity for them to be involved, for them to be investor advisors and maybe if they like one of the portfolio companies, they want to mentor and things of that nature.
00:47:32.850 –> 00:47:44.940
George Bandarian II: So that’s my impression of it, but you know, I guess, we could turn the tables on this one and and maybe ask you Mike you know what What was your experience and what led you to want to get involved.
00:47:45.540 –> 00:47:54.810
Mike Malatesta: yeah i’ll tell you I I grew up in a in a waste business that was my industry still is my I mean industry, so I.
00:47:54.930 –> 00:47:56.760
Mike Malatesta: did a start up in 1992.
00:47:57.660 –> 00:48:00.480
Mike Malatesta: ran the business for 22 years sold it.
00:48:02.040 –> 00:48:08.430
Mike Malatesta: You know, for good good good exit for everybody kind of similar to your story and.
00:48:09.720 –> 00:48:13.170
Mike Malatesta: I had been investing in venture capital.
00:48:14.340 –> 00:48:17.040
Mike Malatesta: Private equity and a few.
00:48:18.870 –> 00:48:21.270
Mike Malatesta: individual companies George but.
00:48:22.350 –> 00:48:22.680
Mike Malatesta: After.
00:48:23.880 –> 00:48:26.490
Mike Malatesta: I started looking at the universe of.
00:48:27.540 –> 00:48:43.140
Mike Malatesta: possibilities and I felt and i’m not going to say, this is my empty mtp because i’m still working on that, but I felt like I owed it to the entrepreneurial community to help support in any way I could.
00:48:44.160 –> 00:48:44.790
Mike Malatesta: New.
00:48:46.260 –> 00:48:50.400
Mike Malatesta: Entrepreneurs new founders new companies new ideas I also.
00:48:51.600 –> 00:48:59.490
Mike Malatesta: You know i’m from the Midwest and we’re you know it’s not it’s not you know la or Silicon Valley it’s not Boston.
00:49:01.110 –> 00:49:10.200
Mike Malatesta: We have a we have a fledgling but growing startup Community here but there’s this is this is really a a.
00:49:11.640 –> 00:49:19.350
Mike Malatesta: You know i’ll call it a regular business type environment, you know what like the Eva da you were talking about you know we’re we’re we’re building.
00:49:20.070 –> 00:49:32.880
Mike Malatesta: we’re building real companies not you know and the mentality here there’s a lot of mentality here around that and I think it’s great because those companies do become can become exceptionally valuable as well, but when it came to investing.
00:49:34.560 –> 00:49:44.220
Mike Malatesta: I did not, you know, first of all, a lot of those companies don’t need money if they need money it’s coming from private equity or something, and you know you could be in a fun there, but you don’t get a direct.
00:49:44.970 –> 00:49:55.620
Mike Malatesta: sort of involvement right, so I was looking around and I wanted to support entrepreneurs and I wanted an education George I wanted to be educated on.
00:49:56.310 –> 00:50:06.720
Mike Malatesta: The things that were coming down the road that would never get in front of my screens, you know my vision here in milwaukee or Wisconsin where where it was or it would take a long time for it to happen.
00:50:07.410 –> 00:50:14.010
Mike Malatesta: So I started investing in startups first and I did it through through syndicates mostly and then I made a couple of.
00:50:14.610 –> 00:50:29.520
Mike Malatesta: You know, larger startup investments, but then some guys from ipo actually put something on this deal network site that we have about adventure studio which I had never heard of this was probably five years ago and they were out of San Diego.
00:50:30.690 –> 00:50:37.740
Mike Malatesta: And operating you know company in new Mexico and I started talking to those guys and I really, really, really liked.
00:50:38.490 –> 00:50:57.840
Mike Malatesta: This idea that that they would bring their expertise to these founders, and the startup companies, including taking over the founder role if they had to and earning additional equity for themselves and for their investors as a result of this operational role.
00:50:58.860 –> 00:51:00.990
Mike Malatesta: So I got involved in that, and then.
00:51:02.820 –> 00:51:13.020
Mike Malatesta: That was my first venture studio and then i’ve done two other since then yours, being one, the reason I got into yours with simple one, I had this good experience already to.
00:51:14.010 –> 00:51:26.370
Mike Malatesta: It fit with what you know this support, and this education that I was looking for three you know I met you through a very credible source at a 360 and you actually.
00:51:26.940 –> 00:51:35.280
Mike Malatesta: Were were were you know just the kind of person that put stuff together we did a zoom with a bunch of people first and you kind of explained your.
00:51:35.790 –> 00:51:43.200
Mike Malatesta: thing, and you let people explain their thing, and it was a very relaxed no sales pitch no i’m going to you know change.
00:51:43.860 –> 00:51:47.790
Mike Malatesta: The world today, but you know you should invest no hard sell nothing.
00:51:48.720 –> 00:52:00.240
Mike Malatesta: And I just got very comfortable with you and your experience and what you wanted to do and I was already a fan of the studio model and backing you know startups and early stage, companies and so.
00:52:00.780 –> 00:52:06.270
Mike Malatesta: When you finally you know got it all put together, it was an easy decision for me to come along.
00:52:07.500 –> 00:52:11.940
Mike Malatesta: Because it it just just hit all the marks that I had established for myself.
00:52:13.020 –> 00:52:14.370
Mike Malatesta: cause that work.
00:52:14.400 –> 00:52:18.330
George Bandarian II: yeah no that’s that’s actually super helpful that’s great to.
00:52:19.350 –> 00:52:29.640
George Bandarian II: learn about the backstory that led to it because you’re right after that showcase that I put on and yeah we had a few startups we had a few other funds.
00:52:29.940 –> 00:52:36.060
George Bandarian II: Right, I was just the event organizer and I was also presenting a little bit, but then, when we did connect after that.
00:52:36.420 –> 00:52:46.080
George Bandarian II: You were probably one of the quicker decisions and it makes sense now because you kind of knew, you were clear on what you were looking for.
00:52:46.440 –> 00:53:00.270
George Bandarian II: You you you you’d already kind of like you knew what to sniff out you knew what your radar was tuned in for you already had some experience with the venture studio model so that’s that’s actually super helpful.
00:53:00.750 –> 00:53:08.670
Mike Malatesta: yeah and another thing about midwesterners is we’re we’re not a lot we’re generally not tire kickers or meeting takers you know for interested in something.
00:53:09.600 –> 00:53:15.270
Mike Malatesta: we’re gonna you know we’re gonna go ahead and we’re not if we’re not we’re not so it’s we’re not going to like.
00:53:16.020 –> 00:53:21.030
Mike Malatesta: drag you along you know, like i’m kind of interested and anyway, for whatever that’s worth.
00:53:21.150 –> 00:53:23.040
Mike Malatesta: yeah my last plug.
00:53:24.750 –> 00:53:28.590
Mike Malatesta: So you had mentioned at the beginning, or I did you know, as I was reading through the bio that.
00:53:30.000 –> 00:53:44.610
Mike Malatesta: You know you, you had this thesis you know this idea that you were starting the fun with, and then you just mentioned version 8.5 version nine what is Where are you right now with with with untapped and what you’re trying to accomplish.
00:53:45.420 –> 00:54:00.090
George Bandarian II: yeah definitely so, so I think when I was and to your point earlier since given, where I was at that I have like people questioning experience and track record and credibility, so what I had done was I taken this mtp that I shared with you on helping humanity.
00:54:00.330 –> 00:54:12.780
George Bandarian II: Self actualize and I combine that with my trap with my lane my experience, which was in B2B enterprise SAS and my workflow automation so I kind of combine.
00:54:13.080 –> 00:54:21.600
George Bandarian II: You know, like self actualization and B2B and it was future of work, and it was cold and the pandemic was disrupting everything.
00:54:21.900 –> 00:54:33.360
George Bandarian II: And like where we work, why we, when we work, who we work with and why we work was all changing and so that’s what we started the thesis around was this future.
00:54:33.720 –> 00:54:44.580
George Bandarian II: of work and helping people self actualize at work, and I think that now where we are is we just have more investors and we have more founders that.
00:54:45.210 –> 00:54:57.540
George Bandarian II: want to work with us and and and I even think that I didn’t need to do that, or maybe I needed to do that limiting before, but I no longer need to do that because.
00:54:57.960 –> 00:55:13.050
George Bandarian II: What I what i’ve been saying this whole time is it’s really about personal growth and self actualization it didn’t need to be constrained to the workplace, so all we’re doing is just removing the constraint that was almost like blocking.
00:55:13.470 –> 00:55:21.990
George Bandarian II: 80 to 90% of the founders the startups and the investors and so that’s kind of the pivot from 8.5 to nine if you will.
00:55:22.500 –> 00:55:41.280
George Bandarian II: And we’re really excited about that we’re just in the middle of that and we’re really excited about what that opens up as we get to be able to serve a much wider audience of founders and investors and advisors that all are aligned on this mission.
00:55:42.660 –> 00:55:45.450
George Bandarian II: And so yeah so that’s, the main thing there.
00:55:45.930 –> 00:55:58.650
Mike Malatesta: Can you, are you willing to talk about a couple of the companies that you’re you’ve already invested in so people get a sense of you know what you’re actually talking about when it comes to making your selections, for example on what you hope these companies do.
00:55:59.640 –> 00:56:04.740
George Bandarian II: yeah definitely there’s some that we can discuss and some that we count but i’m happy to.
00:56:04.980 –> 00:56:06.390
Mike Malatesta: will skip the ones that we can.
00:56:07.830 –> 00:56:08.370
George Bandarian II: yeah.
00:56:09.720 –> 00:56:24.960
George Bandarian II: And then also that there’s going to be a whole new batch that comes through in our in our future of entrepreneurship program that we’re going to be starting soon, and so I could talk a little bit about what we’re hoping for looking for out of that as well.
00:56:25.890 –> 00:56:27.630
Mike Malatesta: yeah take it wherever you want to go charge.
00:56:28.680 –> 00:56:29.160
George Bandarian II: yeah.
00:56:30.810 –> 00:56:34.260
George Bandarian II: Okay, so on on the.
00:56:35.460 –> 00:56:42.690
George Bandarian II: So, in terms of the program which I just brought up so we’re we’re pretty excited about that we earlier this year, we ran the future of work.
00:56:43.470 –> 00:56:52.260
George Bandarian II: program and that was great for that thesis right, but the one that we’re going to do now is the future of entrepreneurship and basically the thesis on that is that.
00:56:52.590 –> 00:57:11.670
George Bandarian II: The old way right that you know one or two or three founders, with little to no experience get together and then they get you know five to 10 angels, to take a chance on them and write them a check and then they do something they’ve never done and then.
00:57:12.840 –> 00:57:22.020
George Bandarian II: You know this is happening nine and then this is happening millions of times around the world and nine out of 10 times, it fails like that’s broken.
00:57:22.380 –> 00:57:32.160
George Bandarian II: Right, we can we can admit that that’s a broken system it’s a royal waste of human time energy potential money.
00:57:32.550 –> 00:57:40.080
George Bandarian II: For the founders the angel investors anybody that was in that umbrella, there are early employees that that came in.
00:57:40.410 –> 00:57:47.130
George Bandarian II: Right, so it just doesn’t make sense and and and that’s one of the things that’s broken about entrepreneurship and vc is that.
00:57:47.400 –> 00:57:56.490
George Bandarian II: That model actually works perfectly fine for vcs because, like I said as long as they make 30 investments and three are unicorns they don’t care about the other 27.
00:57:57.000 –> 00:58:09.810
George Bandarian II: But what we want to do with this future of entrepreneurship program is create a new way right acknowledge that the old way is not working and create a new way where we support the founders differently.
00:58:10.860 –> 00:58:20.820
George Bandarian II: Like in some of the value add that you’ve mentioned about what a venture studio does really support the founders teach them the right way, from the beginning and then have the right.
00:58:21.180 –> 00:58:28.770
George Bandarian II: ecosystem members that they’re going to need the right mentors advisors investors customers talent interns.
00:58:29.310 –> 00:58:35.760
George Bandarian II: put as much of that right from the beginning and help match them to the right resources.
00:58:36.090 –> 00:58:49.350
George Bandarian II: and almost like reduce the burden or the responsibility that these one or two or three people that have never done this before are have to kind of figure it out and make it happen like have it be more of a.
00:58:49.890 –> 00:58:55.260
George Bandarian II: communal thing and I don’t mean like a local community, but I mean a community of entrepreneurship.
00:58:56.790 –> 00:59:05.640
George Bandarian II: we’re calling it like co entrepreneurship or venture co building things like that which is this, you know and so we’re going to run.
00:59:05.970 –> 00:59:12.240
George Bandarian II: we’re going to run the program if it goes well, then we’re going to expand it and add more of what i’m saying.
00:59:12.540 –> 00:59:23.550
George Bandarian II: In the in the upcoming versions, but this could really change the face of entrepreneurship like it could really change how we built companies going forward and so we’re very, very excited about it.
00:59:25.230 –> 00:59:27.240
Mike Malatesta: And that’s happening when.
00:59:28.350 –> 00:59:37.890
George Bandarian II: we’re going to be opening applications, like in November and then initial kind of prepping December and go full force in January.
00:59:38.520 –> 00:59:38.970
00:59:40.080 –> 00:59:48.270
Mike Malatesta: Yes, so um before we end here, George is there anything that I haven’t brought up that you want to talk about.
00:59:51.030 –> 00:59:53.100
George Bandarian II: I think we’ve had a great conversation.
00:59:54.810 –> 00:59:55.350
George Bandarian II: yeah.
00:59:55.950 –> 01:00:01.470
Mike Malatesta: Okay, and at the beginning, I mentioned your websites I got one wrong on tap dot ventures.
01:00:02.670 –> 01:00:16.410
Mike Malatesta: gave your linkedin your instagram is there any other information you want people to know about you how to people, you know that are interested in investing people that are interested in having you, you know becoming a founder who wants to become part of your.
01:00:17.490 –> 01:00:23.760
Mike Malatesta: studio or wants to meet you or Whatever the case may be, what where do you want it where’s the best place to send people.
01:00:24.600 –> 01:00:33.540
George Bandarian II: yeah definitely so the best one is just my email it’s George at untapped ventures on top dot ventures so George at.
01:00:35.400 –> 01:00:38.460
George Bandarian II: dot ventures and then.
01:00:39.600 –> 01:00:46.890
George Bandarian II: If it’s I have an assistant that helps me either myself or somebody will get back if it’s not me and.
01:00:47.640 –> 01:00:57.210
George Bandarian II: Take it from there, but yeah we’d love to hear from your listeners if they’re interested in learning more about any of what we talked about whether it’s about investing advising.
01:00:57.780 –> 01:01:13.560
George Bandarian II: Being a founder or just kind of getting involved if they’re into the whole future of work or if they’re into like trends, you know personal growth any of those things always love connecting with align people and exploring collaboration opportunities and synergy opportunities.
01:01:14.460 –> 01:01:20.160
Mike Malatesta: Alright sounds good, and if you’re in a 360 abundance 360 mixture you look up towards as well.
01:01:20.850 –> 01:01:24.990
George Bandarian II: yeah we’ll see each other in January yeah la yeah sounds good.
01:01:25.350 –> 01:01:34.080
Mike Malatesta: hey George Thank you so much for being on the show it’s been really fun to explore your story and get to know you better I mean i’ve had a couple calls with you, but we we covered a lot of great stuff here that.
01:01:34.740 –> 01:01:44.160
Mike Malatesta: I didn’t know and that I think this tremendous value for for the listeners and you’ve had such a great experience and i’m really, really thrilled to be part of this new on.
01:01:44.580 –> 01:01:57.540
Mike Malatesta: With you so thanks for the work you’re doing for supporting entrepreneurs, for helping them for co entrepreneurial with them and for making a really, really big difference in helping people self actualize I appreciate, I appreciate you and what you’re doing.
01:01:58.320 –> 01:02:00.030
George Bandarian II: Thanks Mike thanks for having me on.
01:02:03.450 –> 01:02:04.050
Mike Malatesta: There we go.
01:02:05.070 –> 01:02:05.760
George Bandarian II: awesome.
01:02:06.930 –> 01:02:09.600
George Bandarian II: let’s go 321.
01:02:10.680 –> 01:02:14.760
George Bandarian II: hey guys is George van darien founder and CEO of untapped ventures.
01:02:15.270 –> 01:02:29.940
George Bandarian II: I had a blast recording this episode with Mike on the how did happen podcast I think you guys definitely will enjoy it we Mike took me back and really dug into my story and how ultimately we got to this.
01:02:30.510 –> 01:02:40.230
George Bandarian II: point of having this great venture fund and venture studio so excited to share that with you, if I can be of service to anybody feel free to reach out I dropped my email at the end of the episode.
01:02:42.630 –> 01:02:43.170
Mike Malatesta: perfect.
01:02:44.250 –> 01:02:44.790
George Bandarian II: Good.
01:02:45.000 –> 01:02:45.960
Mike Malatesta: That was good yeah.