Our Manifest Mornings virtual event series continued today with coffee and a conversation with Nick Mathews, a marketing and operational strategist who co-founded and serves as CEO of Mainvest, a platform where people are encouraged to invest in their communities and support the Main Street economy.
Nick began his entrepreneurial journey back in college, where he and a few friends decided to create an event aggregator application that could display a map of what was going on in the coming 6-8 hours. (Remember, he was in college, so planning ahead wasn't too much of a priority for his target audience.) He and his co-creators ran the app for a year following graduation and then split ways for Facebook, Google, and Uber.
Nick joined Uber at a critical time, the fall of 2011, when the company was launching its fifth location in Boston. During his tenure there, he helped Uber grow from a 30-person company to 22,000-person company. The following are some of his most important takeaways from working in big tech:
- Economic empowerment is a powerful foundation.
- No two communities are the same - hyper local focus is key.
- Connect on a personal level.
- You’re only as strong as your community.
With his whole career focusing on community marketplaces, Nick found himself asking, “Why isn’t there a marketplace for people to invest in their communities?” This is the aha-moment that led to the creation of Mainvest. Through Mainvest, small businesses can raise capital typically between $50k - $250k while agreeing to give returns to investors. Both parties win, as entrepreneurs can grow their businesses while investors are repaid with a portion of the revenue that the small business creates.
We were impressed to learn that 95% of businesses on Mainvest are on track for repayments with $2.5MM invested to date and an average investment of $1500. These statistics serve as a testament to the idea that when you offer the community the opportunity to invest, "you’re taking that market validation and moving it up the cycle," said Nick.
In this uncertain time, supporting the small businesses in our communities is more important than ever. You can get involved by taking a look at Mainvest's platform, browsing its businesses, and asking them questions/engaging with them. On average, Mainvest onboards six new businesses every week, so you'll want to check back regularly to see what's new.
If you missed out on the meeting, you can watch the full conversation in the video below. Then, remember to register to join our next session with Olympic photographer John Huet on April 23.
Loved the conversation? Planning to invest in one of the small businesses you found on Mainvest? Let us know in the comments below or on social media @manifestboston on Instagram and @manifestbos on Twitter and Facebook.