Author: Roger

The Seedstars Pitch That Killed Christopher LaVoie

The Seedstars Pitch That Killed Christopher LaVoie

He used charm, others’ personal tragedies and fake celebrity endorsements. How Christopher LaVoie cast his reality show and reeled in successful entrepreneurs, but not so much on the inside.

In September 2015, John and Julie Wiese were on a business trip to Boston when they had their first encounter with Christopher LaVoie.

“This is exactly what I was talking about,” he told them. “You could use a little bit of reality on the show, but not too much of it. You need to make some bold choices, like you have to make some bold choices. That’s a little like what reality television is.”

The Wieses came to find LaVoie in the middle of a major disaster, one that he’d had his hand in for five years. In 2012, he’d gotten involved with a venture capital firm called the Seedstars program, run by the investment bank Goldman Sachs. The firm had been searching for an “internet entrepreneur” to invest in its accelerator program.

For the money, the Wieses were promised, LaVoie would provide a $150,000 budget, including “office space” and “market research.” He and three others—one of them a woman—would each raise $50,000 from the investors and use the rest of the $200,000 to launch a product or service.

But when investors had heard that LaVoie had been making personal appearances all across the country in the weeks leading up to his pitch, they were shocked by the intensity with which he demanded to be considered.

And they were deeply suspicious of the two-dimensional pitch that he made to them.

“He wouldn’t let us even get to the part about the product. He kept harping on the pitch. I thought he was going to kill me.” John Wiese, Seedstars investor

“He wouldn’t let us even get to the part about the product,” said John Wiese, a venture capitalist who was

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