Today, we are interviewing Matthew Helderman. Helderman is the CEO and co-founder of BondIt Media Capital and Buffalo 8. Helderman founded Buffalo 8 in 2010, while an undergrad student. Buffalo 8 has since premiered projects at Sundance, SXSW, and Berlin, as well as producing the Netflix original film “Rodney King” directed by Spike Lee. In 2013, he co-founded BondIt Media Capital and has led BondIt in the deployment of over $150M of capital in over 300+ film, television, and media opportunities, while raising $30M of equity and debt for a partial sale to Accord Financial (TSX: ACD). Helderman also managed the acquisition of 30-year-old entertainment payroll firm, ABS Payroll, and serves as an Executive Director, Partner, and Board Member. Helderman graduated from Lake Forest College with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy.
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Matthew is the founder of BondIt Media Capital and Buffalo 8.
(00:40) – Matthew tells us something interesting
- He met his wife when he was 17 years old, in boarding school in Connecticut. She then introduced him to his now business partner, Luke Taylor.
(1:22) – Matthew shares more about his company BondIt
- BondIt Media Capital provides access to capital in media; in 2007-2008, when many banks walked away from financing media projects, it allowed them an open spot in the market.
- BondIt has now financed over 325 motion pictures and tv deals.
(2:59) – Matthew talks about his other companies, Buffalo 8 and ABS Payroll
- Buffalo 8 is a production, post-production and management company in content (film and television) and has produced about 40 feature films
- Buffalo 8 is the sister company to BondIt Media Capital that Matthew and Luke founded in college; also acted as a catalyst for BondIt Media Capital, though now acts more as a security measure for their finance business
- ABS Payroll is a 30yr entertainment payroll company in LA
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(7:23) – Matthew shares how streaming (Netflix, Hulu etc.) has changed his business
- They have had the opportunity to produce content for Netflix, which Netflix fully funded, like the Rodney Kain project produced by Spike Lee
- Matthew’s business is not able to fund Netflix projects, but other companies, who have to compete with Netflix in order to stay relevant, will seek out their help and expertise.
(10:30) – Matthew shares about rock bottom
- He had to part ways with old friends as the business grew (pre-business relationships).
- Back in the beginning they would put all of their money and effort into one project at a time, a specific project left a quarter’s worth of revenue short.
(14:55) – Matthew tells us his opinion on hiring friends and family
- It was a learning process necessary to understand how to handle situations, though he says they do not hire friends and family now.
(16:55) – Why Matthew believes entrepreneurs give up
- Logistics; family, age, finances, all have a contributing factor to the success of any business, especially at the beginning stages.
- If you don’t have passion for what you are doing.
- Most people think it happens overnight and give up, but Matthew says his business did not become self sustaining for 12 years.
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(19:45) – Matthew shares what his end goal is
- To build a true 360 media company
- He says, “I feel like we’ve just hit the tip of the ice-burg.”
(24:40) – Matthew Helderman’s parting advice
- There’s nothing wrong with being the head down hustler for awhile, and then knowing the right time to look up and allow others to do the more hands on stuff so that you can take a step back and focus on the bigger picture.
- “It’s all about people”
- If you build a great culture with your employees, you build a great business.
- “Retirement is practice in getting old, thinking about exiting a business is practice in getting old” – stay engaged and in tune with the times.
Learn more about Matthew:
- buffalo8pro on instagram