The tech boom of the 1990s was largely driven by “business guys” with MBAs or career experience as well as entrepreneurs that crossed over to tech from unrelated industries such as real estate and consumer packaged goods. As the tech boom euphoria rose, venture capital and angel investors showered these business types with capital based on their pedigrees and beautifully-designed business proposals rather than the merit of their innovations in meeting customers’ needs.Read More
As the managing partner at Beta Boom, a high-touch seed fund that focuses on emerging tech hubs, I have had the great fortune to speak to scores of entrepreneurs, tech workers, investors, and civic leaders in over a dozen emerging startup ecosystems in the United States as well as in regions such as Indonesia, Uruguay, and Nigeria. Through these conversations and numerous visits, I noticed that some ecosystems that seem replete with resources fail to meet the needs of local startups while others with smaller communities and fewer programs have thriving, successful tech scenes.
The leaky tech pipeline issue has been well documented and largely acknowledged by the industry. As various companies struggle with how to attract more women and minorities in their hiring process and how to train their personnel in “tolerance” (please don’t call it this!), I’d propose that we examine this problem through the lens of growth hacking as I think there is much to be learned from this approach. In essence, the problem that growth hackers are trying to solve is identical: how do you attract and keep people using your product? The question that executives at tech companies ask is similar: how do you attract and maintain a diverse workforce?
If you have ever tried to book a venue for a larger event such as a birthday party or a corporate event, you probably spent days calling venues, emailing, and pursuing dead ends. Venulist is making it possible to book event spaces in a matter of minutes with 3D tours and instant AirBnB-like booking! Venulist is a truly transformative innovation in the $200B venue industry.
When students take and pass AP courses, they can save as much as $19,000 in college tuition and other costs. Unfortunately, many students lack both access to AP courses as well as support outside of the classroom, which can greatly improve students’ course completion and test outcomes. Amanda DoAmaral, the founder of Fiveable, has intimate knowledge of this reality having taught AP History in Oakland, California as well as from her experience with Teach for America. While this gap is greatest in school districts with fewer resources, this is a wide scale problem across the United States.