Jack Abraham is a businessperson, serial entrepreneur, and investor. In 2013, he launched Atomic, a startup studio and investment fund that hit the news this month after revealing it had just raised $260 million to build and fund its own companies. The company has grown hugely in the years since launch: last year alone, it was creating around one new startup per month. With the new injection of capital, it looks like even bigger things are in its works. Considering its founder had already achieved enough success in his twenties to become a millionaire by the time he was 25 years old, Atomic’s success is hardly surprising. To find out more about the man behind the investment fund that’s turning the traditional venture capital model on its head, read on for ten things you didn’t know about Jack Abraham.
1. He takes after his father
Is the entrepreneurial spirit inherited? Possibly. Or at least, it might be in Abraham’s case. Abraham’s father is Magid, the CEO of ComScore, a multi-million dollar online marketing research company. He’s also the founder of the marketing software maker, Paragren Technologies. Described by Jack as the “embodiment of the American Dream,” Magid’s story is just as compelling as his son’s. After being born on a small farm in Lebanon, he moved to Beirut by himself at the age of 13 years old so he could attend the best school. From there, he won a scholarship to study engineering in France before moving to the US to study at M.I.T.
2. He always wanted to be a leader
Even as a kid, Abraham had big aspirations. During an interview with Forbes, he shared how he’d always wanted to be best at something…although, like most kids, his ambitions didn’t stay the same for long. “I always wanted to be the best at something. I wanted to be a leader, ” he explained. “There was a time when I was totally convinced I wanted to be President of the United States, when I was 8, 9 or 10. Then I really wanted to be a theoretical physicist.”
3. He cut his teeth at ComScore
Abraham’s first taste of the world of work came when he began working for his father’s company, ComScore, in 1999. At the time, he was just 13 years old. As well as spending his summers at the business, he also spent every weekend and evening there, learning how to program, how to manipulate data, and how big businesses operated on an internal level. He’s since said that the most important lesson he learned during his time with ComScore was getting used to how things rarely go to plan in a startup company, and developing the resistance to get through the low points.
4. He’s a college drop out
In 2004, Abraham enrolled in The Wharton School, studying technical entrepreneurship. But eventually, he decided that learning about entrepreneurship was no substitute for the real thing. In 2007, he decided that three years of study was enough and dropped out of college to take his first steps on the road to becoming a serial entrepreneur.
5. His first startup was Milo
After dropping out of The Wharton School, Abraham didn’t waste any time in getting down to business. In 2007, he founded Milo.com, a local product search engine company. It was a success from the very beginning, raising a total of $4.95 million in Series A funding from investors that included True Ventures, Ron Conway of SV Angel, Keith Rabois, and Kevin Hartz. Three years later, Abraham sold the company to eBay for $75 million. At the time, he was still just 24 years old.
6. He introduced an entrepreneurial mindset to eBay
After selling Milo, Abraham joined eBay as the head of local. During his time with the company, Abraham took charge of introducing a news feed to the site. According to Fortune, he can also be credited for introducing an “entrepreneurial mindset to eBay.” He eventually left eBay in 2013 to focus on the next stage in his career.
7. He founded Atomic in 2013
In early 2013, Abraham proved he was no one-hit-wonder when he founded Atomic, a San Francisco-based startup studio that’s upended the traditional venture capital model by providing small amounts of initial funding to start-ups before searching for larger input from traditional funding sources. Since its inception, Atomic has invested and co-founded dozens of companies, including Hims and Bungalow, both of which have been named as two of the top ten fastest-growing companies in San Francisco by Venture Beat.
8. He’s been called one of the most creative people in business
Considering he’s still only in his mid-thirties, Abraham has achieved phenomenal success. He’s started multiple startups, served as an advisor to Felici Ventures, and acted as an angel investor to companies like Pinterest, Postmates, Invite Media, Uber, DrOnDemand, Ampush Media and Flatiron Health. Unsurprisingly, his achievements haven’t gone unnoticed. In addition to making it to Forbes’ “30 under 30” list two times, he’s also been named by FastCompany as one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business.”
9. He thinks taking calculated risks is the key to success
Had he wanted to, Abraham could have stayed at ComScore with his father. Or he could have completed his degree and joined the other legions of graduates working the 9 to 5. He did neither. Instead, he chose to take a few deliberate, calculated risks – something he believes is the key to success for any entrepreneur. Speaking to Knowledge Wharton High School, Abraham explained how great things can happen when people move outside their comfort zone. “I think entrepreneurs take very calculated risks,” he said. “They understand the potential benefits and the likelihood they’ll be able to reap them. Some people might think that entrepreneurs take crazy risks, like leaving school early to do a start-up. In my mind, it was the least possible risky thing to do. You have to be willing to put yourself outside your comfort zone and go for it.”
10. He was a millionaire at 25
Hard work doesn’t come without its rewards. Despite being a college dropout, Abraham has built a hugely successful career by working hard and not being afraid to take risks. The result? By the age of 25, he was already a millionaire.