Episode #56: An Incredible Philadelphia Entrepreneur: Buck Buckley
I am super excited to share my podcast with Buck Buckley, an incredible and powerful Philadelphia entrepreneur! Buck grew up in Bethlehem, PA and went to Episcopal Academy for high school and UNC for college. He now resides right outside Philadelphia with his wife, Susan, and two children.
Buck began his career as a loan officer and then joined Safeguard Scientifics at age 27 where he started from the bottom and quickly climbed the ladder to Vice President of Acquisitions. For anyone not familiar with Safeguard Scientifics, it was founded by legendary Pete Musser. It was a venture capital firm and they were the first to invest in companies such as Comcast and QVC. Pete is often credited with creating the venture capital community in Philadelphia and so many of its successful entrepreneurs.
In the 1990s, Buck spent a significant amount of his time at Safeguard on the west coast and became familiar with “the internet.” At that time, no one quite knew what the internet had the capacity to do to our world but Buck had an inkling it was going to be huge. As a result, in 1996 he decided to launch his own venture capital firm: Internet Capital Group with Ken Fox. In August 1999, the company went public and was trading at $12 per share. By December 1999, the company was trading at over $200 a share which is equivalent to $50 billion and Buck was considered one of the most influential leaders in the early internet age. Then in 2001, the dot-com crash happened and the stock plummeted to $12 a share. Everyone told Buck to file for bankruptcy but he didn’t give up.
Instead, he pivoted his business model and had an incredible comeback. He transitioned the company to Actua Corporation and instead of investing in multiple companies, they only invested in a few core companies. In 2017, the company sold its 3 majority-owned businesses and doubled its investors’ shares. Today, he is now building his new company called Seminal Capital. Please enjoy!
- “His Excellency: George Washington” by Joseph Ellis
- “The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO” by Bob Iger