That photo is not from a fashion show. It’s not a concert. It’s the TechCrunch LA Meetup I went to last night.
For those not versed in speed pitch events, it’s basically speed dating for entrepreneurs and investors. In this case, each entrepreneur had sixty seconds to give their elevator pitch on stage. Then a panel of various industry leaders grilled them with follow up questions for the next five minutes.
Sure, that’s not exactly how Warren Buffet would go about evaluating a company to invest in. And realistically, no VC would write a check without extensive due diligence beyond what happened on stage.
But the bigger point is, they’re making the idea of coming up with an innovative idea and starting a company around it a cool thing. And in terms of what the youth of a city could channel their energy into, I think this is a pretty big win.
They packed a 1500 capacity venue to SRO, and it had the energy (and noise) of a live music show.
I hope this isn’t just a trend. And I don’t think it is. From Mashable to Shark Tank to people like Elon Musk, the startup world has moved into the spotlight. It’s no longer confined to PowerPoint presentations in VC conference rooms.
We need kids to be excited about the future, and armed with the sense that they can shape it. And the more of them the better. As my childhood friend, a well-known football coach throughout the state of Illinois, told me about building a strong youth sports program: It’s about the numbers. Getting large numbers of kids to join the mission and put their time and energy behind it.
It’s not that different for how cities, states and countries can spawn businesses that will grow up to impact the world. And I’m glad to see this happening here in L