Over the past couple of months, I’ve had the privilege of participating along side some fine purveyors of IronGiving. As you can read on my About page, IronGiving is the act of sharing wisdom, insight or tips to help others fortify their startups and, hopefully, their lives more broadly. I thought I’d recognize three of these purveyors and note the good work they are doing for the start up community locally as well as globally (in no particular order):
- Istanbul: Endeavor is a relatively new organization to me but one that has been around for several years. I was introduced to it by Sheila Marcelo, the CEO of Care.com, who, knowing my Polish heritage and immigrant parent background, thought I would gravitate toward it and she was right. I became a “mentor capitalist” volunteer to Alemsah Ozturk, a 32 year old Turkish entrepreneur based out of Turkey who started a very succesful digital marketing agency. Basically, I provide a few hours of advice to Alemsah as he thinks about growing his business and possibly raising some money from local angels and VCs. I’m not sure if my advice will ultimately help or hinder Alemsah, but I found the Endeavor platform and organization to be well run and keenly focused on helping Alemsah and his company. I’d encourage others to check out Endeavor and get involved.
- Los Angeles: Jason Nazar is an IronGiving machine (not to mention CEO and cofounder of DocStoc). His regular event in Los Angeles, Startups Uncensored, typically packs a room with 300+ local entrepreneurs to focus on an important startup topic kicked off by a panel discussion. Back in late May, I participated in one of those panels which focused on “How to Raise Venture Capital?” It was a fun event and Jason does a great job as emcee who pulls no punches with his facilitating questions. If you are an entrepreneur in the LA area, check out Jason’s next event and follow him here.
- Monetization: Anamitra Banerji from Twitter pinged me back recently about co-hosting a meet up around the broader topic of monetization on the web. Given he focuses on sponsored tweets among other money making areas for Twitter, I thought, “what better leader for a healthy discussion?”. After he and I sequestered a dozen or so entrepreneur friends, we co-hosted the event in the SF Mission where Lukas, the founder and CEO of Crowdflower, graciously allowed us to use some of his office space. Not only did all the attendees benefit from sharing insights on topics ranging from crowdsourcing to virtual goods to collaborative filtering, my Trinity colleague, Dan Scholnick, came through with a more tangible act of IronGiving by bringing pizza from nearby Delfina Pizzeria. It was a productive (and tasty) meet up where IronGiving tidbits flowed freely and I’m excited to participate in the next meet up on this topic. If you’d like to participate, feel free to ping me.
Overall, kudos to Endeavor, Jason Nazar and Anamitra for living the spirit of IronGiving in Q2. I’ll aim to highlight more examples and leaders in future blog posts.