May 14, 2024

Get to know Craig Chambers

A little about Craig Chambers:

I was one of those kids who loved math and science, read Scientific American from cover to cover, and knew the names of every Apollo astronaut.

My first full-time job was as a reactor control officer on a nuclear attack submarine, where I got to see how really smart people in small teams could accomplish amazing things with technology. Since then, I have always gravitated toward opportunities where that same dynamic was in place.

USS Nautilus, SSN-571

That interest led me from helping large corporations develop and market new-to-the-world products to leading a handful of technology-based spinouts and startups, and I am now working with some very talented folks in the venture capital arena.
Also: I married a doctor. I was a contestant on Jeopardy!. I met Audrey Hepburn and Hyman Rickover. And I have three wonderful grandchildren.

Tell us about your work at PS27 and why you love the company.

At PS27, I get to see the latest ideas in business and technology from around Florida, across
the US and around the globe. I have the excitement of continuous learning and the privilege of
hopefully helping the next generation of innovation leaders to succeed.

Left to Right: Shannon LoGiudice, Craig Chambers, Ron Burgess, Neal Anderson

Favorite moment in the innovation ecosystem so far?

My favorite moments: three so far – #1 Attending the Black Founders Forum and seeing how to
put on a first-class event with world-leading sponsors, speakers, and entrepreneurs; #2
Watching a couple of early-stage space tech founders light off their cold gas thruster system in a
warehouse in Alachua; #3 Participating in PS27’s weekly “sales calls” and seeing founders in
real-time building their businesses customer by customer.

Tell us about your vision for the future and Jacksonville’s innovation ecosystem. Hopes and dreams for 2024?

The right ingredients are falling into place to make Jacksonville and the First Coast area the
next great nexus of venture growth and investment – investable wealth, an expanding university
presence, growth industries (financial services, aerospace, health care), and a deep local spirit
of entrepreneurship. 2024 looks to be an exciting year as the venture economy comes out of
the doldrums and returns to the healthy pace that it was on before the pandemic.

Photography by Craig Chambers

Advice for young professionals interested in
venture capital?

Get a “real job” first. Try to get as much responsibility as you can handle. There is no substitute
for seeing firsthand how a business works and learning how to tackle problems as a business
owner before trying to understand and advise others.

Advice for founders raising capital?

Venture investors are here first and foremost to provide a substantial return for our partners.
When asking for new capital from a potential investor, be able to state clearly to what you
expect do with the money and how that will directly contribute to your growth and value
objectives. If you’re looking to apply for funding from PS27, click here.

What’s your favorite thing about startups you’ve discovered so far, and what do you want to see next?

My favorite, and the most fascinating, thing about startups is the magic that happens when a
brand or a product that didn’t look distinctively competitive finally catches on. I want to see
more startups understand how important a path to breakout growth is to an investor and how
critical building a strong sales and marketing capability is to achieving it.

Craig with his wife Linda

What’s the best thing startups can do to help build the innovation ecosystem, and why should they do it?

What’s the benefit for all?

Stay laser-focused on your own company’s success.

But if you do succeed, remember how you got there and help the next generation of entrepreneurs to do the same. Unselfish innovation ecosystems are the only ones with a long-term future.

Learn more about Craig Chambers and connect on LinkedIn.

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