After my first #nscm Coffee morning in Sydney last week and all the interesting folks I’ve met, I decided to attend the Melbourne Pitch Club event this evening. To my pleasant surprise the event was merged with an Anthill magazine Entrepreneurial evening, so there was lots to learn, listen to and contribute, as well as meeting a few more interesting people. Four entrepreneurs were on stage talking about some lessons learned, with James prompting them to distill the essence of their journey to date. The mix of people was great as was the discussion around ‘ageism’ ;-) and funding approaches. It seems there is an opportunity for more experienced folks (in the corporate sense) to work with, for or mentor the brains trust — the ‘younger’ crowd who have the energy, vision and guts to create these amazing businesses , without them having to learn some of the business basics the hard way.I’m not being patronising here at all, but I do believe there’s a point where your experience, energy and passion collide to create some value for those around you.
A common theme seems to be the access to someone able to coach and actively participate in these businesses as a sounding board and, as James put it, someone to work for and be accountable to in terms of deadlines.
Once the startup has funding, the board and directors often play this role, but I’m seeing an opportunity to support start-ups in the very early stages. How to make this viable will require some creativity, but some things you do for the love of it and to see bright people and ideas succeed. Maybe the ‘pay it forward’ approach pays off in the longer term. The birth of the Crowdsourced COO? Time for my thinking cap…
These theme came up this evening and it was good to hear that it’s a common issue. I have always considered myself an Intrepreneur (see my LinkedIn Profile), as I’ve spent most of my working life inside enterprises as a change agent, always swimming upstream or at least across the current, driving change. A very rewarding and at times frustrating experience, as often ideas are stillborn as the nature of the corporate is that they lag innovative thinking by a few years. The Intrepid Intrepreneur, however, has vision, determination, foresight and influence and this, combined with the Entrepreneurial opportunity and community, can be a powerful combination. Your thoughts?