I was with some cool-as-heck companies at FOA last week. They had me host a panel with 500 Start Ups “bad-ass white geek boy” Parker Thompson on the topics of 500’s fund, and the companies they look for.
What struck me as different was this: while most SFO’s go to these events and learn about hedge, currency, allocations, derivatives and even value investing… it’s all paper. And while they discover ways to create and realize value (generate alpha), they do so by exchanging paper among themselves. Nothing wrong with that, lots of money to be made. But for everyone that thinks something is right to sell, there’s a buyer that thinks it’s right to buy.
In contrast, what Parker brought up to Napa last week were real entrepreneurs who were solving real problems themselves, and creating value by starting and building a business. Some fail, no kidding. But those that succeed do so in the most special way: on their own steam. Very few external forces involved, aside from willpower, creativity , and determination.
So, here were the companies. They are presenting at 500 Start Ups Demo day tomorrow. Luck to them, and the rest of batch 10!