It’s the People

Last week’s Innovation Breakfast was a great opportunity to observe the breadth of the local innovation community.  We had a student and an experienced entrepreneur sitting side-by-side, talking startups. 

The experienced entrepreneur had a great story about adversity and the approach his team had taken.  In November 2008, his current company was seeing the light at the end of the tunnel but instead of daylight, it was an oncoming train.  Things weren’t good, to put it mildly.

The close-knit team went home to consider next steps, talk with family and figure out their needs.  Each one delivered an assessment of their basic monetary needs.  The person with the biggest mortgage would take home the biggest paycheck.  This was about determining the minimum amount they needed to survive so they could stick together as a team.

I’ve heard it said that venture capitalists and angel investors invest in people, not necessarily ideas.  When was the last time you invested in your team like this?

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