After leaving Pendo, the Raleigh-based unicorn that he helped found, Eric Boduch has a lot in store for his next act. Namely, a startup venture studio dedicated to helping co-create companies from scratch with talented entrepreneurs.
The startup venture studio, 24 and Up, is something Boduch has been interested in doing for the past decade. Based in Raleigh, 24 and Up will be open to CEOs based elsewhere, but a concentration of the resources will likely go to companies located in the Triangle, Boduch said.
Boduch’s departure from Pendo comes after eight years of helping the software company grow into a literal fixture on the Raleigh skyline alongside his three fellow co-founders—Todd Olson (CEO), Erik Troan (CTO) and Rahul Jain (VP of Business Development). Boduch said he could have stayed at Pendo forever, but the time felt right to leave and begin this new venture.
“At a certain point, you just have to make the decision to go,” Boduch said. “It’s always hard to leave something, specifically in Pendo’s case, that’s just amazing.”
In the first half of 2022, Boduch will be putting together a key team of investors, advisors and team members with domain expertise for 24 and Up. He will also be looking for entrepreneurs with startup ideas to bring onboard as 24 and Up’s first “cohort.”
Ultimately, 24 and Up is looking to bring 15 companies to life over a period of five to seven years, or three to four companies a year.
“The big thing about 24 and Up is, is how can we make the first 24 months of a startup as productive as possible,” Boduch said.
Over the first two years, 24 and Up will help these co-created companies improve their execution speeds by providing engineering, design, recruiting, finance and legal help from day one.
“It brings early-stage companies the ability to impact early-stage mortality,” Boduch said. “A lot of startups fail. A lot of startups make fatal mistakes. I think the experience that the studio can bring is going to make it less likely that a company doesn’t make it to that Series A round or become successful.”
Boduch said 24 and Up will seek entrepreneurs with strong domain expertise in a particular area, whether that’s a technical background or in sales or marketing. 24 and Up may open doors to a rarer type of founder as well—one that’s already established a career.
“I think the interesting thing about the studio model and the entrepreneurs we can attract is that we have the ability to attract more experienced entrepreneurs and get them to take the jump, because it’s a safer jump than starting a company on your own,” Boduch said. “We’re going to be behind you with a team with engineers, with designers, with recruiters, with finance and legal help, and with capital.”
There are more unknowns involved when a founder decides to start a company with no financial or team backing. It can be even scarier if you have a spouse or family to make the leap to bring your company idea to life. But with 24 and Up, founders will avoid some of the risks associated with launching a startup by receiving more support.
“I think entrepreneurs tend to skew a little bit younger, and I don’t necessarily think that’s because more experienced people don’t want to be entrepreneurs,” Boduch said. “I think a lot of that is that there’s a higher associated risk with starting a company (for them), and we’d like to take on some of that risk for these entrepreneurs.”