Alexandre Mars started his first business at 17, organizing concerts at his high school. He then bought two computers and launched a web agency before moving on to found several different companies, including Phonevalley (sold to Publicis) and Scroon (sold to Blackberry).
The French entrepreneur is now founder & CEO of both the Epic Foundation and Blisce. In Epic, he created a new model for philanthropy that involves backing a portfolio of highly-vetted nonprofits, offering donors innovative ways to support them and guaranteeing impact through data analysis and reports. Blisce, meanwhile, is the first B Corp certified growth-stage transatlantic VC fund.
For years, he notes, entrepreneurship was stronger in the U.S. for two main reasons: more capital to invest in startups and bankruptcy laws that made it easier to fail and bounce back. That made it easier for U.S. entrepreneurs to adopt the late South African leader Nelson Mandela’s mindset of always feeling like a winner because you’re either winning or learning. Europe-based entrepreneurs, in contrast, had to fight harder for money and dealt with laws that made the consequences of failure devastating. That’s changing—as is the definition of success and how you achieve it.
In Mission Possible, the serial entrepreneur writes about his own experience and offers advice to others who want to launch a company. Check out our conversation by clicking on the link above.