This serial entrepreneur took a lesson in an elevator and sold his first start-up to Amazon for $1.2B

Stephen Nartey May 25, 2023
Their friendship generated lessons on venture capital investing, which inspired Erik to propose the idea of selling shoes online to Tony, leading to the birth of Photo credit: Erik Moore via LinkedIn

Business mogul, Erik Moore, started his career in the late 1990s as a staff at investment and wealth management firm, Merrill Lynch. However, after climbing the corporate ladder to the position of Director at the company’s San Francisco office, he retired in 2011 when he felt his love for investing could make the next chapter of his life quite intriguing.

Prior to that, he was a Vice President at the multinational company, Gen Re, and worked there from 1989 until it was sold to billionaire, Warren Buffet. Perhaps, the acquisition of his former workplace stirred his interest in investing.

However, Erik’s first lesson in investing was in an elevator in 1999 when a neighbor, Tony Hsieh, decided to install a hot tub in his room. Tony faced stiff opposition because the idea of installing a Jacuzzi was against the building policy instituted by the homeowners. Eventually, through the intervention of Erik, he was able to finally install his hot tub.

Their friendship generated lessons on venture capital investing, which inspired Erik to propose the idea of selling shoes online to Tony, leading to the birth of As reported by USA Today, the acquisition of Zappos by Amazon for $1.2 billion thrust Erik into the limelight.

Since then, he became a serial entrepreneur, who built and sold startups. Zappos was not the only business he founded and offloaded later, he did the same with Agencourt Biosciences, which he sold to Beckman Coulter for $270 million. Over the last decade, the business genius has built several entities that have been acquired by large corporations; he sold Appstores to inMobi, Grep Data to 6th Sense Analytics, and RLJ Holdings to IPO in 2011.

The initial approach of pitching a business and sustaining it for a short period of time has rewarded Erik well, and has been a rule behind his investment. He is of the view that instinct has always been with him since college.

He did not have the best grades in school while growing up, however, he got outstanding recommendations. Reflecting on his business growth, he hopes many black business startup entrepreneurs will join the one percent who are making waves in the venture capital space. To achieve this, he wants those in that space to not only knock on the doors, but build a network and establish relationships with influential personalities.

Erik is a proud alumni of Dartmouth College, where he studied French as a major and history as a minor. He was very active in student activities and was associated mainly with Alpha Phi Alpha. He also schooled in Toulouse and Blois in France, and offered his master’s in international relations and business at the University of Pennsylvania.

He attended the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania for another master’s of business administration while learning international relations concurrently. Erik was a member of the semi-secret society, Olympus, while at the university and went to China to study for a month, according to Golden.

Last Edited by:Editor Updated: June 11, 2023


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