Former Venture Capitalist Builds New Business by Following Personal Interest

A new business doesn’t need a thrilling product or market to provide success for the entrepreneur. The only requirement is a passion to succeed. That is normally a consequence of working in a field of personal interest. This is certainly the case for Gautam Gupta, a former venture capitalist who entered the seemingly unexciting industry of snack foods.

Gupta was somewhat of a rising star at General Catalyst Partners in Palo Alto, California, at the age of 26. He was earning a large salary after arranging funding for six companies that deployed a total of $65 million. Before becoming too enmeshed in the world of finance that he joined right out of college, Gupta decided he should spend at least a few years learning the operating side of business by building a company from scratch.

Instead of waiting to start a business with a great gimmick or profound technology, Gupta and a friend from his days at Babson College created NatureBox. The new company sells a line of healthy snacks from its website. Gupta’s old venture capital colleagues provided some seed money for the enterprise.

Deciding to establish this type of business was simply based upon personal experience and interest for Gupta. He was familiar with healthy eating after trimming his 5-and-half-foot frame from 210 pounds to 145 when he was a teenager. NatureBox sends delicious but healthy snacks each month to subscribers. The principle is that people who like to snack can at least have healthier options with NatureBox.

The electronic commerce arrangement simplifies the process. A monthly membership fee of $19.95 results in shipment of hand picked snack food to member doorsteps plus tips for a healthy eating lifestyle to their email inboxes. Satisfaction is guaranteed and members may cancel at any time. Each box includes 15 to 20 servings across 4 to 6 different snack lines.

Gupta was familiar with e-commerce because funding companies engaged in e-commerce was his specialty in the venture capital industry. Still, the low profit margin business has challenges from dealing with perishable food, careful item selection by a nutritionist, and shipping costs. But Gupta likes dealing with such problems because he started a business that he genuinely likes.

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