North Carolina welcomed famous venture capitalist and ABC “Shark” Chris Sacca with meat sweats, an inspiring transgender coder and a room full of entrepreneurs hungry to hear his experience funding and guiding high-growth tech companies. 

The lawyer turned-Google director-turned venture capitalist is proprietor of Lowercase Capital, a California fund with a portfolio of 80 startups including some of the biggest names in technology. So, when he agreed to a fireside chat Monday with HQ Raleigh co-founder and entrepreneur Brooks Bell, dozens of local innovators flocked to CAM Raleigh to take part. 

Sacca greeted the audience by joking about his “rib sweats” from a big lunch at The Pit. He also gave a shout-out to the transgender coder he met during lunch, who he called brave in the face of NC’s new, controversial House Bill 2. The room broke out into applause.

But most of his time was spent letting entrepreneurs in on his unique, but successful, model of venture investing.

Sacca had a modest upbringing and his fair share of failure before finding Silicon Valley success. One of his most formative moments came during a difficult dilemma upon graduating from Georgetown Law in 2000. After using his student loans to start a company that ultimately failed, he found himself with a great amount of debt. Because he never considered quitting as an option, he fought his way out of the situation. He worked at a corporate law firm by day and took odd jobs by night, including writing terms and conditions for websites and recording a voiceover for a book.

This time was pivotal because he learned something about himself—what set him apart from others was his skill of figuring out how to get through difficult times. He looks for this same quality in entrepreneurs.

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(C) ExitEvent

Note: ExitEvent is a news partner of WRAL TechWire.