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Stargate Ventures

Stargate Ventures — A Success Story

He was just a senior in high school when the light bulb went on for Stargate Ventures owner, Robert (Rob) Lavine. Like many teens, he was watching YouTube and finding ads popping up showing the glitz and glamour of making money online. And, of course, there were videos to show you just how to do.

“I remember being in class and just kind of skipping lunch,” says Rob. “Everybody laughed, and I watched that whole entire video. And that was really, I would say the change, the light switch that for me, I was like, ‘Alright, I really want to pursue becoming an entrepreneur’.”

Rob started his college career at UNH where was learning about personal finance, investing in stocks, and everything that goes with it. That’s when his roommate said, “’Hey, we should get into the next bitcoin, Ethereum’.” Rob says, “That’s what took me down the rabbit hole of crypto.”

So, he dove in, learning all he could about it. Rob and his UNH student colleagues met with SBDC Seacoast advisor Warren Daniel, and presented at SBDC’s Pitch & Strategy Clinic, where client businesses that are looking for angel or venture capital funding or are looking for strategy help can make a pitch to SBDC advisors and receive critical feedback. At the same time, though, the ambitious undergrad had already created an app called Campus Connect (like Uber, but for college campuses).

Rob explained that he did a lot of things like that during his college career, but he always had crypto in the background. “It was the plan B,” says Rob. “I was always learning about it every day. I never thought that I would end up starting a crypto type business, but yeah… now we’re here.”

After completing college (UNH and Rivier University), Rob graduated in 2018/2019 and continued to work on launching Campus Connect. Then, the pandemic happened. No one was going to school, which meant there was no need for his ride app. “It had gone on so long,” says Rob, “I was like, ‘you know what? It’s really time to bring my plan B into plan A.” To support himself while working on his business, Rob started a job in finance, but come 2021 when crypto gained interest and popularity, Rob took the leap, leaving his job to go full time into building Stargate Ventures.

Stargate Ventures offers cryptocurrency education, as well as trading software. Rob and his team share his software and strategies to guide and teach others how to navigate the crypto market in the best way possible.

Rob’s Stargate journey began in a barber shop after his barber asked him if he knew anything about bitcoin and invited him to set up shop there to educate people about it. So, he taught his first clients from that barber shop until he got a bad case of COVID and decided it was time to shift his business to media only. He says, “At first, it was tough because it’s basically starting from scratch.”

What made it easier was talking with the SBDC, who taught him about website flow, creating a good digital sales funnel, and the best ways to use social media. Rob comments, “Right after that meeting, it was like boom, I went from like 50 followers on TikTok to now 12,000.” In just a little over two months, Stargate now has over 3 million views on Tik Tok, and his YouTube channel went from 150 views a month to 150,000 views a month, with a subscriber base that has grown from five subscribers to 3,700.

Rob participated in the SBDC program FAME (Financial Accelerator Marketing Expeditor + Legal), which connected SBDC clients with Financial, Marketing, and Legal consultant partners for up to 5 hours at no cost, with CARES Act funding. Through FAME, he worked with Jenny Ballanger who he refers to as “the website guru,” saying “I followed her straight advice to a T. The website was a mess before, but she leveled it up.”

In addition, Rob received business advising from SBDC Southern Regional Director Julie Glosner, who he still checks in with today. “Julie is always willing to assist me with any connections I need or any kind of just small things as far as questions I have,” comments Rob. He appreciates Julie’s straightforward approach which helps him to see what’s important and what isn’t. “She just gets right to it, and I love that about Julie,” says Rob. “It’s no sugarcoating. She’s there to help you. She wants to see you become the most successful in your business.”

As things move forward with Stargate Ventures, Rob looks forward to more viral growth and mainstream awareness.

“They (NH SBDC) really helped me understand what goes into starting a business. The steps to take for that and then just having them as a lifeline for any question you have, or any hiccup you have. They're really there to assist you along the way.”
Robert Lavine
Founder and CEO of Stargate Ventures

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