A day in the life of a venture capitalist for celebrity founders
Day in the life: Alex El-Nemer, co-founder and co-CEO of Creative Control Ventures
Alex worked in a number of roles in financial services before founding Creative Control Ventures (CCV), an early stage 'Venture Builder'. He worked in the M&A division of Towergate Insurance and as a securities analyst for Bank of America. CCV exclusively targets brands founded by celebrities, with clients including Nala's Baby, a skincare brand founded by British rapper Krept.
5am: I wake up and check any important messages or emails that have come in overnight. I'll be up at this time most days because, when you're something of a startup in your own right, it can get very busy, and you want to keep some routine.
5:30am: I travel to the gym reading relevant undisputed industry news from both consumer and financial outlets. For example, I recently woke up to the fact that Ciroc and Diddy have split.
6am: Gym, some quiet time.
7:30am: start working through emails and internal work. Could be cleaning up a spreadsheet or looking through applicants for a new role we have out. As we're hiring for us and all of our brands, there can be 20 roles I have to keep my eye on. The rest of our staff start at 9 so, once they're in, I'll never get a chance to do that again.
9am: Our weekly internal management meeting. We discuss business development plans, status on new hires and incoming hires. We look at financial plans, which brands we will be investing and building on, and any other important events that week.
10am: catch up with my assistant on the day ahead and important things to know from the previous day. My assistant is more of a right hand; they'll sit in meetings I can't make and feed back information.
10:30am: A company-wide update meeting, also weekly. We give a top line run through of CCV updates and key updates on each brand in our portfolio that all departments need to know. We'll run through important milestones and updated timelines.
11am: On a typical day, I'm almost always revising an investment deck for one of our portfolio brands. Though we are the first ones into a brand, we also raise external capital because of how quickly things grow. Most of our portfolio is early stage (essentially in start up mode) but also don’t act like start-ups because of the celebrity aspect. Our investment decks often change on a weekly basis
12:30pm: Walk to get lunch with a co-founder and discuss any serious topics of the day and things that we need to brainstorm about. There's almost always something significant happening that day, like, if there's a now hire joining, we need to prep for it.
1pm: This is the 'don't talk to me' period. I eat lunch at my desk while doing work, head down. I'll be looking at the updated master financials for CCV that have just been sent to me from our finance director
2pm: I'll run through top line financials with the finance director and assess budgets for each department, analyzing our cash position. As a business, it’s always a fine line with cash. We’re investing heavily at the moment in growth but want to remain profitable throughout 2024, so we have to invest incredibly effectively. Cash is the most important thing you could imagine.
3pm: Get some ideas down around CCV strategy post financial meeting. Given the heavy financial impact of every strategic decision, they can only be made with a full understanding of our commercial position. I find it best to brainstorm any strategic or high level decisions in line with the most recent understanding of our financial picture.
3:50pm: Call with our insurance provider on our insurance options and how to best centralize that offering across all our portfolio brands to benefit from the economies of scale. Given the nature of our brands we have to have significant cover in place as we essentially operate as public companies
4:30pm: A U.K. Celebrity founder/business partner comes in for an update meeting and a brainstorming session in the product pipeline and roll out plan. It’s always good to have these check ins to make sure everyone is aligned, and we’re building in the right direction. We have pushed the start date a couple of months given an extremely high level of interest from retail for launch, and we want to maximize the roll-out.
The attitude of founders varies greatly from one to the next. Some are very involved, others will say nothing in an entire meeting and let their management handle things.
6:30pm: Call with a new potential founder/business partner based in the US and their team. We are discussing a potential product that fits perfectly with their audience and a category that is one of the fastest, most interesting spaces we have seen right now in consumer. There is also a lot of money flowing into this category.
7:30pm: I send any final emails to close off the day. Finish up any unfinished must do tasks for the day, (ie. things I’ve promised to send after the meetings today).
8pm: I head to dinner with another venture fund founder, an opportunity to discuss the markets. He's a very inspirational guy, investing more in the tech side of businesses. We want to understand what other funds and investors are doing. We don't see them as competitors, there's a limit to how many deals we can do anyway.
On the way, I read summarized news from my team. I need to be plugged into the latest consumer and consumer fund news at all times, as it heavily impacts everything we do.
10pm: I head home, check WhatsApp, and prepare anything for the next day.
10:45pm: I head to sleep
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