If you’re excited by technical terms, we’re going to continue building an API to venture capital and functional expertise outside Silicon Valley and NYC. If you prefer plain english, here’s our plan for 2017.
Results Junkies = Tour + Content + Investments + Network
North American Tech Tour. We visited 42 cities, drove 26,141 miles in 2016, primarily focused on cities with less than 250,000 people and I learned a lot — personally and professionally — along the way. We’re going to do that again in 2017 and we’re going to reach 10X more people on the ground. I hope you’ll join us on the road.
Ramping up the content machine. We really dropped the ball on this in 2016 — we shook hands with over 20,000 interesting people. We should have been collecting more stories along the way and sharing them with you. We’re going to do this right in 2017: think blogs, vlogs and maybe even a book.
More investments. We closed only a handful of the ~40 investments I would have like to have made through 2016 and I was the bottleneck. I’m hopeful that we’ll still be able to close most of those deals this year (check your emails, founders!) but we’re going to streamline the investing process in 2017 (back the syndicate, investors!). Based on what we’ve seen this year, there are great companies emerging in the smaller cities around North America and I want us to be the most active early-stage investor in those regions.
The Network. One of the biggest learnings of the 2016 tour: most cities now have an intra-city network of entrepreneurial resources but there’s more we can do to connect them with their peers around the country. We’re going to build a series of weekly events and workshops that can be dropped into any coworking space or accelerator cohort around the country. There’s no reason that ambitious entrepreneurs in Tulsa, Butte, Grand Junction or anywhere else shouldn’t have access to the same level of resources as their peers in Silicon Valley or NYC.
So that’s the plan. We probably won’t get this right on the first try — or even the second try — but we’re going to make it happen.
I’ll share more details soon. 🙂
Also published on Medium.