Founder of Gas Station TV Mark Alhermizi Launches New VentureBy Amanda Lewan on September 11th, 2015 /
Mark Alhermizi’s energy is magnetic and daring, as is his newest venture IZI Ventures.
The founder of Gas Station TV sold his company to Billionaire Dan Gilbert’s private equity group Rockbridge last year. Now he’s taking his wealth and entrepreneurial energy to focus on finding and investing in new innovations made in Detroit.
His new fund IZI Ventures aims to be more than a venture capital fund. They plan to be instrumental bringing new ideas to market with their growing team in Birmingham.
“We’re using the fund to invest in preferably digital based opportunities in Detroit, but even more so to invest in ideas our team and I develop and build,” Alhermizi said. “We’re always open to outside ideas and partnering, too.”
Mark Alhermizi describes himself as always being an entrepreneur. He grew up in Metro Detroit and went to law school practicing law for five years before entering the world of business. He opened a bar in Troy, got into investment banking, then eventually media where he launched and grew Gas Station TV. The company just recently move to Downtown Detroit and employs over 80 people.
One thing Alhermizi has learned along the way is to think big, and to be aware that life doesn’t stop for your startup. At the time he launched GSTV his first son was born. Now, onto IZI Ventures, his family just welcomed twins along with the new company.
“Once again I’m taking on a full plate. The businesses we are investing in are as important as my kids,” he says. What keeps him motivated to handle it all? Having faith and thinking big.
“You have to have almost blind ambition,” he said. “People who are always nervous or worried are not the entrepreneur.”
Alhermizi is looking to invest in and build the large, scalable ideas that have the opportunity to make a billion dollar impact. He’s very passionate about the opportunity he sees in the digital space in Detroit. Through investing in new companies, he hopes to create the next big innovations and new jobs along with it.
“There’s a really big opportunity here in Detroit to make a mark nationally and globally in the digital arena,” he said. Alhermizi cited the local talent here, and the need for innovative approaches to help attract and keep the top minds here.
“We’re all having a hard time hiring. Because Detroit is lacking the innovative, new media companies that attract people,” he said.
IZI Ventures aims to help change that, and with Alhermizi’s success story, he’s already showing us the way.