After talking to people working in the tech industry who did not go to Princeton, Armour found that colleagues who attended other schools had a much clearer sense of where they could go to raise funds and who they could turn to for company and career advice. And that’s when the light bulb went off, Armour says.
“I saw an opportunity to build a company with a strategy that focused exclusively on Princeton founders, many of whom I had already connected with,” he says.
So Armour left his job in early 2015 to found Chaac Ventures, a seed and early-stage venture capital firm that focuses on investing in startups that have at least one founding member with a degree from Princeton. And through a large database of Princeton alumni — generally founders, investors, and advisors to startups — Chaac also helps facilitate introductions between alums from all sectors of the tech industry who are looking for advice on their companies. And the Princeton theme doesn’t end there. Chaac’s team is primarily made up of Princeton alums and Armour says that in the future, the company is looking to hire interns and analysts from the Princeton alumni network.
“That’s really what makes us different,” he says. “Most people on our platform bear this common bond, and there’s a real family feel to what we’re building at Chaac because of that.”
At 27 years old, Armour is younger than the average venture capitalist. He has immersed himself in the company, overseeing all facets of the business, from leading investments, to fundraising, portfolio management, and administrative and accounting processes. A typical week may include dozens of meetings and phone calls as well as travel, and Armour meditates twice daily and practices yoga at on a weekly basis to keep himself grounded and focused.
He says he already sees the importance of mentoring the younger generation of tech-oriented Princetonians. Last spring, he traveled to campus to give a talk with Kristen Sonday ’09, co-founder of legal industry-focused startup Paladin, to encourage students to consider careers in entrepreneurship.
“My path was uncanny in that most of my friends [from Princeton] moved to New York to work on Wall Street or at banks … and we want to inform students about different career paths,” Armour says. “I think that the next Jeff Bezos [’86] or Tim Ferriss [’00] does exist in the current student body.”