The Combine exists to make great companies from good ideas. Is that vague enough? Here’s the more appropriate answer. There’s over a trillion dollars of very interesting intellectual property sitting on the shelves of enterprises. Any business created around the best of that IP will fail if its founders don’t execute well.
Inexperienced Founders; IP on the Shelves
We saw over and over and over again inexperienced entrepreneurs take what might be a great idea and fail at making it into a sustainable business. Yes, those entrepreneurs learn a lot from that experience. They may even go on to create successful businesses from what they learned. But how much capital is lost when more than 90% of all startups fail?
We also saw the fact that less than 2% of all patents held by enterprises ever get monetized. Enterprises are wise to build up a war chest of patents to defend their core business, but they also patent thousands of ideas that have nothing to do with their core business. Whether they ever intend to monetize that intellectual property or not, now that IP is sitting on the shelves. Most often, the enterprise either tries to create a side business and fails because that’s not what they do, or the IP continues its life on the shelf.
We put those two facts together. There’s a ton of defensible enterprise IP sitting on the shelves and a lot of inexperienced founders raising angel and VC money. Ninety-nine out of 100 of those startups fail. We founded The Combine to put experienced startup founders and entrepreneurs together with enterprise intellectual property and create great, sustainable businesses.
Experienced Founders; Interesting IP
We attract experienced founders, executives, and entrepreneurs to do proper diligence to determine the viability of “interesting” IP. Our team does rigorous financial and market analysis and deep customer discovery. We form new companies when we will have an unfair market advantage. Then we put experienced founders in control of the new company. We take a 20% equity stake and a board seat in the new company, and move the needles towards a Series A investment.
The Combine exists to start new companies from defensible IP with experienced executives. We build companies that have a far better probability of success by putting great talent in charge of great IP.