The name “Griffon” is derived from “Le Griffon”, which is a 17th century sailing ship on which the French explorers who first discovered the site of current-day Detroit traveled (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Griffon)
We like the name Griffon Ventures because of:
+Griffon’s subtle connection to the history of Detroit (where the company’s roots are) and themes like discovery, exploration and navigation (which is what we’ll be doing everyday as venture capitalists).
+Ventures’ versatility - it gives us flexibility down the road to engage not only in financial/strategic investing, but also company incubation and/or from-scratch company creation.
We haven’t finalized the company’s mission/purpose, but we know for sure that we want to be defined by the following attributes (which might inspire a few ideas as you get started):
+Entrepreneurial - per our founders' history/track record; we’re also a “startup VC” ourselves; smart, nimble, new/fresh ideas; discoverers/explorers; we do things differently
+Different/unconventional - we’re a VC born from an advertising agency, not from a financial institution; we’re going to take a different approach that’s focused on the idea and the story (the marketing) rather than just the numbers (the financial)
+Scrappy/gritty/hustlers - we aren’t the biggest and haven’t been doing it the longest, but we’ll out-work everyone; we won’t turn our nose up at deals that other VCs perceive as too small or too risky; we’ll find diamonds in the rough; we’ll get our hands dirty/get in the trenches with our portfolio companies to make their businesses better, faster; blue-collar attitude is built into our Detroit DNA
+Partners/collaborators/dream makers - we’re in this business first and foremost to help brilliant entrepreneur’s bring their game-changing ideas/dreams to life
+Midwest values - humble, nice, down-to-earth and collaborative; not stodgy, institutional and pretentious like traditional VCs
We really think there's an opportunity to position ourselves as an "accessible" VC. Whereas the other players in this space feel so traditional/clinical/institutional/scary/intimidating/pretentious/exclusive, we are different and want to be perceived as real/human/approachable/humble/collaborative/inclusive/empathetic. We're new and not entrenched; we're from the Midwest and not Silicon Valley or New York; we're smaller and can give our portfolio companies more attention; we're going to talk in real terms and financial/industry jargon. We won't use this language explicitly, but essentially we're the friendly VC.