While many startups struggle to find the right investor and funding to support growth, Lee Arthur of Blenheim Chalcot is helping entrepreneurs find success through the venture building firm.
Lee Arthur is the general manager of the U.S. operations of Blenheim Chalcot, the U.K.’s leading digital venture builder.
Arthur recently relocated the New York office to St. Petersburg, at 200 Central Ave., where he is actively building ventures and bringing them to the city. The firm matches people with the right ventures and the right role while providing financial and internal support.
Venture building differs from traditional venture capital, as a venture builder creates the concept of the business, builds it, and then develops a team to support it, Arthur explained. Blenheim Chalcot has built over 40 businesses.
“If you think about venture capital, 80% fail and they [venture capitalists] know that because they are betting on the knockout wins. With venture building, we are expecting a majority of them to succeed. We are a lot more patient in the way we grow ventures,” Arthur said.
Arthur formerly served as CEO of the New York Institute of Finance, which he sold in 2017. Arthur was also the founder and CEO of Streetbroacast, a UK outdoor advertising company, and held positions at Dow Jones in New York.
“During Covid, after being in New York for three-and-a-half years, we were getting ready to scale and we thought St. Petersburg was a better location for recruitment and the business environment,” Arthur said regarding the move to the city. “St. Pete is a cool place and has such a great culture, good businesses. It’s full of potential.”
Blenheim Chalcot has a strong focus on building businesses in the fintech, education and entertainment sectors.
One of the companies Arthur is working with is Hive Learning, which relocated its operations from New York to St. Petersburg several months ago.
Hive Learning, founded in 2013, started when Sir Clive Woodward, a well-known rugby coach, and digital venture builder joined forces with Blenheim Chalcot to disrupt the digital learning sector.
Hive’s goal is to create a scalable group-based learning model that puts the responsibility of inclusion and resiliency into the hands of its employees to stimulate everyday learning and collaboration.
The platform works by taking a pulse to measure the behavior at a certain organization, then building awareness and thus taking action and recommending behaviors and habits the organization should adopt.
EnglishScore, an English testing platform, is another business that will have a growing St. Pete presence. EnglishScore is a joint venture between Blenheim Chalcot and the British Council, one of the world’s most recognized and respected names in English language teaching and assessment. The platform has four million users.
“St. Pete is a great place to find Spanish-speaking talent,” Arthur said about establishing a U.S. location.
Arthur said the sales team will be in the St. Pete office. The other locations are in London and Asia.
He said a lot of the business activity for EnglishScore is derived from universities.
Additionally, another business through Blenheim Chalcot is Fospha Marketing. Fospha identifies what marketing platforms are successful and the platforms that are not performing well, creating savings for companies and forming stronger marketing strategies.
Fospha, among the other numerous companies in Blenheim Chalcot’s portfolio, is expected to have employees in Tampa Bay, Arthur said.
Blenheim Chalcot has roughly 90 employees in the U.S. as some employees work remotely. Arthur said he expects that number to double over the next few years, and that a large chunk of the new hires will be based in St. Pete.