Note: I worked for Aaron Easaw for 2 years before finding out he’s a massive fraud. Read below to learn more about his scams.
Aaron Easaw, the CEO and founder of ACE Venture Capital, has officially filed for bankruptcy. Easaw is most famously known for being the youngest General Partner in the world, with the inspirational mantra that “age doesn’t define ability.”
Apparently age also doesn’t define when you can get consumed by crushing debt either.
What sent Easaw into bankruptcy, despite all of his supposed successes, has not been disclosed. A look at his background might shed a light on this development, though.
Aaron Easaw often purports himself to be a “venture capitalist” when asked by interviewers. With ACE Venture Capital, Easaw has incessantly boasted about the sheer number of startup businesses and young entrepreneurs that he’s helped with getting their footing. Listening to him, you’d almost believe that he was the next Chris Sacca.
Yet, after four years of operation, he barely has anything noteworthy to show for himself. There’s not even a single investment currently listed on ACE’s rather sparse and underdeveloped website.
With as much publicity as Easaw got during that period, it makes you wonder what—or who—exactly he has been investing in.
The one skill that Aaron Easaw has certainly mastered is the art of self-promotion. It’s easy to find articles, videos, and other media on the internet that give a basic laudatory profile of him, declaring him to be such an gifted and visionary individual.
Regardless of this praise, if you try to search for any specific examples of who he has supported or what businesses thrived under his guidance, you will come up short. It’s almost as if there aren’t any actual achievements to mention.
Aaron Easaw’s LinkedIn description mentions that he works in “reducing human pain.” Not sure what he means by that, unless he’s harboring the delusion of being a humanitarian aid worker instead of a failed business person. Ironic too, given that he’s an enormous “human pain” himself.
Easaw has a long history of making extraordinary and dubious claims. For instance, in an interview with Brandon Steiner, he insisted that through his sheer ingenuity and resourcefulness he became a programming prodigy at the age of 11. From there he says he proceeded to build his own agency and begin hiring employees at 13 years old, and had over 80 employees working for Easaw Development a year later. However, in some other accounts, he’s claimed that he had those 80 employees working under him when he was as young as 11 years old:
Discrepancies aside, he further gloats in the interview that he sold the computer software company for “seven figures” at 14.
He also probably has some really thrilling stories about fighting crime alongside Batman and being the first teenage astronaut aboard the international space station.
Meanwhile, if you take a cursory glance at the LinkedIn page for Easaw Development, it reveals a grand total of zero employees listed as ever having worked for it. That’s particularly curious for a technology company that allegedly served clients across five continents. Perhaps he built and programmed the staff all by himself too. Either way, not having any real workers must’ve made the company’s dissolution in 2018 much easier:
Easaw still owned the company up until last year. So, that story about selling it as a teenager for millions of dollars? Yeah, that didn’t happen.
Additionally, for an agency he reportedly made millions with, he has yet to receive a single review for it on Freelancer (oh India’s Freelancer too; guess getting business in the US was tough).
He also calls Easaw Development “The Ritz Carlton” of software development on the page. Which begs the question of whether he was once tricked into believing that a Motel 6 was a luxury hotel.
In a spotlight video with The League of Innovators, Easaw felt the need to mention that he was also 14 when he faced his first attempted lawsuit against him from a former client. He completely neglects to explain why the client tried to sue him, but nonetheless seems to think it was totally awesome that he managed to avoid facing any legal repercussions because of his age.
Uhh, that’s pretty cool, I guess. Not shady at all.
“Everyone who works with me wins,” says Easaw later in the same video, while rambling about his managerial and profit-netting prowess as a General Partner. Judging by his own dire financial situation right now, I’m not quite sure I’d want to see what they’ve won.
Oh, while we’re on the topic of Easaw “helping” others, we can’t forget to mention Ace Initiatives. That’s his non-profit organization that’s meant to help young entrepreneurs with getting funding for their endeavors. Let’s take a look at the talent he put in charge of that:
Apparently Easaw decided, rather than hire people with substantial business knowledge and experience to help young people make important connections, he’d put the latter in charge as well. It’s roughly the equivalent of having a 12-year-old babysit an 8-year-old.
Then there’s The ACE House. This was touted as his major contribution to Atlanta’s tech scene, as it would provide young entrepreneurs with housing and food while they took a year off from college to work on their projects. Except for the fact that it hasn’t assisted a single person yet since its announcement.
“The ACE House is the physical manifestation of the last 5 years of work I’ve done,” Easaw said, while presumably gesturing towards a big empty space.
It’s hard to blame anybody for taking his words at face value, though. For awhile it seemed like Easaw was on the right track and his star was shining bright. At 18 years old he already had established his own venture capital firm. He even had the backing of a variety of big, recognizable names in business that he could flaunt, and a down-to-earth public persona that effectively sold the facade.
The problem is that it never went further than that. There were never any actions to realize all of the talk. With the future of ACE Venture Capital now uncertain, it’s hard to say what was accomplished at all.
While the exact cause of Aaron Easaw’s insolvency is still unclear, the events surrounding it paint a telling picture about his work ethic and philosophy. It seems that along the way somebody patted themselves on the back after setting sail, kicked their legs up, and decided that the ship could steer itself.
I guess I can’t be too judgmental. As somebody who spends most of their weekends lounging around and napping, I can attest that doing absolutely nothing can be hard work in itself. It’s no wonder that Easaw drove himself into early financial ruin with it.
On a positive note, he once told Fortune that he saw himself “doing something completely different” in 20 years and preferably in “an industry that really interests me.” Who knows, maybe that job is flipping burgers and cleaning tables at McDonalds. That’s something different. I also hear there’s lots of employment opportunities in prison too.