There are many Wall Street executives who hope to become a big player in the business. One executive has not only become a power on Wall Street, he has become a legend in the world of transportation and sports as well. That executive, Chairman and Founder of Fortress Investment Group Wes Edens, is known as an innovator in many different industries.
As the head of Fortress Investment Group, Mr. Eden overseas over $70 billion dollars in assets from a portfolio of over a hundred companies. For over two decades, Mr. Edens has helped Fortress Investment Group go from a modest player to one of the biggest giants in the world of private equity.
Wes Edans founded Fortress Investment Group in 1998 along with partners Randal Nardone and Peter Briger. Over the next decade, the company grew by leaps and bounds. And on February 9, 2007 Fortress made history by becoming the first private equity company to go public on the New York Stock Exchange.
In addition to being a Wall Street executive, Wes Edens is also a bit of innovator in the world of transportation. Mr. Eden is the owner of Brightline, the only privately owned and operated passenger train company in the United States. The Brightline high speed train allows passengers to commute to and from Miami to Ft. Lauderdale in just 30 minutes. In addition to the quick commute time, passengers can relax in leather chairs, enjoy food service and free wi-fi.
Those who live in the Midwest may know Wes Edens as the co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks NBA basketball team. In addition to his ownership of the Bucks, Mr. Eden is also a co-owner of the Aston Villa Soccer Club. In partnership with Egyptian billionaire Nassef Sawiris, Mr. Eden purchased the Premier League soccer club in the middle of 2018.
From private equity to transportation and sports team ownership, Wes Edens has blazed a trail in many industries. Today, Mr. Edens continues to run Fortress Investment Group with his founding partners. As he enters his next decade in business, Wes Edens will seek to further expand his business interests. Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens buy Aston Villa controlling stake
Mike Baur and Max Meister are the two co-founders of Swiss Startup Factory. They both sat down recently to talk about their company and how it is running a company that helps other entrepreneurs develop a new business. One question Mike Baur asked was what Max Meister thought about the competition which also offers Swiss business incubating services. The answer was that the competition is very good and very stiff. Competition for clients is cutthroat, he said, and a lot of them don’t ask for any equity in the company’s they are helping to build as well. Some even offer subsidies to their clients to get their business.
Max Meister was also asked by Mike Baur followed this question up by asking how it felt to be a privately funded startup accelerator competing against these subsidized competitors in the industry. Meister said that Swiss Startup Factory can’t offer deficit guarantees because those are too problematic. He said both of them didn’t take a salary for the first two years in order to free up money. They also found success fundraising money for their company because it’s a great idea and they have a lot of connections to wealthy investors.
Another question Mike Baur had was why their company uses the motto, “Where innovation meets execution”. Mike Baur had actually come up with this mission statement and Max Meister explained that while a lot of Swiss people have really great ideas they often don’t have the resources to follow through. Swiss Startup Factory provides them these resources and their company is trying to catch up with what is going on in other countries in regards to startup up new tech firms.
In his own interview conducted by Red Bulletin Innovator, Mike Baur talked about being an entrepreneur. He said it comes down to starting a company and then having things go sideways the key is to get right back up, analyze the situation, and the go ahead and fail some more, just try to fail a little better next time around. Eventually, people learn what works and what doesn’t he says, and this is a process every person must go through for themselves.
Mike Baur also said entrepreneurs need to quickly get used to long dry spells because they are going to inevitably occur. He says getting through these is what separates real entrepreneurs from those who just aren’t motivated enough.
Malcolm CasSelle is no stranger to the world of tech startups. After graduating from MIT and Standford University with a bachelors degree and masters degree respectively, both in computer science, Malcolm CasSelle was ready to make a name for himself. It was in 1995 when Malcolm CasSelle became a co-founder and CTO of NetNoir, a media production company focused on Afrocentric culture.
Since the early 2000’s, Malcolm has also been involved in projects on an international scale. He was a co-founder of PCCW, a telecommunications company headquartered in Hong-Kong now worth over $35 billion. In 2006 Malcolm signed with Capital Union Investments, an investment firm also based in Hong-Kong. His experience in managing start-up companies led him to become a director at Capital Union, where he would manage private equity investments into late-stage companies.
Apart from being directly involved in company leadership, Malcolm was also an early investor in companies such as Facebook and Zynga. When bitcoin was first released, Malcolm recognized the potential of a decentralized peer-to-peer payment system.
Malcolm CasSelles present day ventures have a strong focus on the video game industry as well as being an angel investor to other like-minded entrepreneurs. By 2018 the video game market exceeded $100 billion in annual revenue of which microtransactions are a small but growing percentage. Malcolm serves as the CIO of OPSkins, a leading merchant of virtual assets within video games, as well as the president of WAX (Worldwide Asset eXchange).
WAX streamlines in-game asset purchases by powering it with blockchain technology. Previously, a “fragmented” system of different and sometimes poorly integrated technologies behind payment processors, the video games themselves, and even regional locking across different countries have led to a less than optimal experience for video gamers. WAX solves this dilemma by letting players tokenize assets in video games. This makes the asset platform-independent and therefore common for all users.
Thanks to the WAX Platform, players can buy and sell their virtual assets almost instantly without interruption or pause to their gaming experience.