Start-up Nation

I50yhhK2SbJ4TvX7qEkIAiawWH4nbQ5BoQd2Rl3ZxNlY8i_R4kNwUs4-VoS2CPU8pHM2TA=s113I was invited to be involved in a discussion this week about being entrepreneur with a bend towards the food space.  The event was put on by 85 Broads, a global womens network that truly reaches far and wide. There were easily over 100 women in the room. The conversation was not only about investing but the desire to take the leap into starting your own business without anything but your passion and idea. 

We are living in a time that I called start-up nation.  It is not just the tech community where start-ups are being built but the food industry, the consumer products space, education, healthcare, bio-tech, fashion, arts…you name it.  I do believe we will look back at this time and say it is the time when everything changed. 

30 years ago there might have been a few angel investors that were family and friends but basically angels investing was not a household word.  There are now angel investors in every different industry.  I meet people who are only investing in tech and others that are only interested in consumer products and those who are only interested in something to do with food.  The banks are no longer supplying the cash, people are.  There crowd-funding options from Kickstarter to Circle-up and I believe as entrepreneurs are disrupting industries with new ideas and start-ups entrepreneurs are also disrupting the funding models with crowd-funding sites.

What was amazing to me last night was the amount of women who stood in line to talk to me.  Everyone of them had either a business that they had launched, an idea or a desire to invest in deals.  It is inspiring to see so many people out there pursuing their dreams and starting their own companies.  Of course some will succeed, others will fail but that is life.  The fact that we can start companies out of our basements with not a lot but an idea is really one of the most amazing things about this country. 

I am part of a community who is trying to supporting these entrepreneurs in a variety of different ways.  If you think about it I bet that most people are one degree of separation from someone who is trying to start a company or has an idea that they are working on.  I really do believe we are living in a start-up nation. 

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    I wish I had known about this.I’ve been watching (and helping) my fiancee Lianna launch her green-based food biz, over the last few months.The community of food and health/exercise based women owned startups here and across the nation is amazingly strong.What’s interesting to me as a marketer, is that it has created its own distribution and marketing channels. Personnel and focused, quiet and powerful that connects her customers to her at a really core level around the real value of the product and its affect on health and life.Marketing is not about shouting, its really about connecting around prime values. It’s inclusive as community in a new way.


    Wasn’t one of your New Year’s resolutions to not use the word “disrupt” as in “…entrepreneurs are disrupting industries with new ideas…” I knew I should have suggested you pay me a dollar every time you do.

    1. Gotham Gal

      ha. yes it was.

  3. falicon

    part of the reason I’m excited to be alive during these times…so much opportunity and freedom!p.s. I would say that the min. to start something is actually 3 ingredients, passion and idea like you mentioned, but you also have to bring some type of skill, experience, or unique knowledge/connection to the table too (something that makes *you* the right person to be doing it)…just my random 2 cents for today.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Passion and execution arw two separate variables. Both incredibly important

  4. Seriously_Please

    I believe we are as well. What you wrote reminds me of Thomas Friedman’s article I read last month about the Great Inflection where something big happened in the last decade. The world going from connected to hyper connected in a way that’s impacted every industry. The digital revolution bringing people together, making things more cheaper to use and build, accessibility to collaborate, entertain, and invent. It’s so true your highlight on how some businesses will take off and others won’t but I think failure should also be embraced as part of the process.

    1. Gotham Gal

      failure should definitely be embraced as part of the process. it is inevitable and always a learning experience.

  5. Kurt

    What I find that is remarkable about this “Startup Nation” that you talk about is the profound sense of community that it fosters. There is a real sense of togetherness that entrepreneurs share whether be it tech or food or product. I have worked for many many years in design and worked with all the major global brand companies and there is always this weight of this soulless monolithic gravity to the experience. Over the last few years as I became disenfranchised by that experience and embraced the startup mentality, I was invigorated by the startup community and the passion of the people because there is a real feeling of “you can change the world” Even if you fail, as many of us will, you still feel that you gave it a shot and there is always the next idea. What I truly am hopeful for is that there is more access to these opportunities. There is a sense that access to VC and early stage funding is becoming harder and harder as the need for the deals to be bigger and bigger grows and the gap widens and it is harder to get VCs to invest earlier and earlier and it is very hard to identify, find and connect with Angels. As the startup nation gets more and more media attention and the glamour of it grows with techcrunch and the like, I hope that there still is a place for those in their basements to find real access to people like you. That is my hope.

    1. Gotham Gal

      the sense of community is one that i am always amazed at. everyone wants everyone to succeed at some level.