Members of The Refinery team have a broad spectrum of venture-building 
experience; from the basement-offices of fast-paced startups to the boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies. We have 
also collaborated with every archetype of business innovation, from the romantic creator to the energetic billionaire. It is through these formative experiences that we have not only sharpened 
our understanding of 
the type of founders we wish to collaborate with, we’ve also 
created just the kind of dynamic venture-building platform these founders need in order to 
efficiently achieve optimal growth.

The Refinery refers to these individuals as The Others. The Others are non-traditional, first or second-time startup founders. They lack a certain pizzazz, they’re unlikely to be 20 year-old Ivy league 
drop outs or trust-fund babies. If Silicon Valley investors were to organize a founders’ draft, The Others would likely be picked last, if picked at all.

But what The Others may lack in traditional founder appeal, they make up for in intelligence, valuable industry exposure (acquired through hard work and an insatiable curiosity), and a unique mindset (
forged through their embrace of the differences that define them). They have grown quietly in the shadows, not the spotlight. They do not fold under adversity, as they have become accustomed to it, and, in fact, they thrive in it. They are outsiders. In startup circles, they are often overlooked and dismissed.

The Others do not fit the still powerful description of what most assume is the “destined-to-be-successful” entrepreneurs: the Harvard drop-outs, who’s gained insider status via their network and socio-economic origins. The hunt for this ideal profile still permeates the startup landscape.

Further compounding the issue is the sheer volume of “long shot” founder 
stories ending in failure — somewhere between 95-99%.

While these may serve as compelling arguments against The Others, they are egregious misconceptions. A careful examination reveals that as a whole, statistically and financially, the current popular founder archetype does not succeed, never has and likely never will. For every Bill Gates, there’s an army of his peers who have lured billions of dollars of investment with relative ease…only to end with expensive and often skillfully-concealed failures.

While it’s true that entrepreneurship initiatives are, in large measure, characterized by failure — it’s important to distinguish the failures which were inevitable from those that could  have been avoided through a more realistic business outlook and better execution. By diagnosing the origins of failure in many of those promising ventures, we glean a more accurate understanding of the true value created by The Others.

They’re from the real world — they haven’t been shielded from it; they’ve been molded by it, tempered by the challenges and formative opportunities it offers.

This real life catharsis ensures that they are fit to contend, excel and ideate. 
The world they see and understand, the world which compels to act in 
hopes of improving it, exists.

As outsiders to those who have traditionally dominated business, The Others constitute some of the most valuable business creators which our societies have to offer.

They are the dormant capital our societies need to tap into to ensure prosperity. Their energy, lucidity, vision, humanity, honesty and hard work are essential elements in the building of high-growth, disruptive, and profitable ventures that address real problems and impact vast ecosystems of beneficiaries.

The Others inspire us to match their personal investment with our best measure of smarts, heart, vision, and dedication. We are proud to help them solve powerful problems through elegant solutions, and to grow truly enriching ventures.

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