Jamie Christensen is the President and co-founder of Outdoor Access. Jamie was born in Durham, North Carolina and now resides in Richmond, Virginia. When Jamie was young, he would often visit his grandfather’s cattle ranch in California. While spending summers with his grandfather, Jamie learned about the importance of land use and its ability to make money. Unfortunately, when Jamie was fourteen, his grandfather had to sell the ranch because the bottom fell out of the cattle market and he couldn’t afford his ranch on cattle alone. When Jamie was eighteen, he studied Geographic Information Systems. GIS, in layman terms, is adding data to maps; Jamie was very interested in the application of GIS to aid in understanding conservation and sustainability issues. In his mid-twenties, Jamie started a GIS software company called World View Solutions. Jamie ran the company for over twenty years, until he decided to sell it in 2018.
In 2016, Jamie co-founded Outdoor Access. Outdoor Access helps outdoor enthusiasts find private land where they can pursue their outdoor passions, while helping the landowners more effectively monetize their land without creating any additional insurance exposure or administrative strain. While World View Solutions helped large landowners, Outdoor Access focuses on helping small landowners diversify their income. Jamie believes that if his grandfather had more options to monetize his land, the ranch might still be in his family.
Jamie found VentureSouth through its investors. They encouraged him to partner with VentureSouth, and in 2019 VentureSouth started investing in Jamie’s company. “Outdoor Access is very much about working with investors who bring more than capital to the table, and VentureSouth does that.”
Jamie’s advice for new entrepreneurs is this: Anything worth doing is hard. “Founders often look for short cuts and easy ways to get things done, but if it was easy to do, someone else would have done it already. Even though there are a lot of temptations to take the short cuts, don’t. Do the hard thing. The best business strategy is identifying what the hard thing is, and figure out what your superpower is to make that hard thing happen.”