Blaine is the founder of Vess Capital and has been investing in startups and funds in the US and Asia for about ten years. Blaine uses his twenty years of experience as an entrepreneur to support and advise fellow entrepreneurs in their journeys.
Prior to focusing on Vess Capital full-time, Blaine was the CEO (until 2015) and chairman of Student Brands, an edtech holding company that he co-founded as a college freshman in 1999. Blaine and his co-founders built the company without an office or employees for the first twelve years of the company's existence, and used its profits to acquire about fifteen competitors. He and his co-founders bootstrapped Student Brands for eighteen years and it was acquired by Barnes and Noble Education (NYSE: BNED) in August 2017.
Blaine was also the CEO and co-founder of Solve, a service that helped people quickly get through immigration and customs when traveling overseas. Solve was in Y Combinator?s summer 2017 batch and it was acquired by Blacklane later that year.
Education, Personal, and Fellowship
Blaine graduated from San Jose State University with a bachelor's degree in marketing. He's a self-taught software developer and coded for eight years. He's also a graduate of the Hoffman Process.
Blaine serves on the board of Founders Pledge, a nonprofit community of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists who have committed to giving a portion of their personal proceeds from an exit to charity. Blaine is passionate about human rights and serves on the board of Liberty in North Korea (LiNK), a nonprofit that helps rescue and resettle North Korean refugees. He also serves on the board of the The Wende Museum of the Cold War, which is dedicated to preserving the art, history, and culture of the cold war.
Blaine is a supporter of the Sundance Institute and invests in independent documentaries and scripted films.
As a member of Class 25, Blaine is serving his fellowship at Vess Capital under the mentorship of Steve Sarracino and William Hsu.