Tribe 14 starts today. We have invested in new startups, and will kick off our 14th program, and I’m still as excited as the first time 8 years ago. The experiment from eight years ago, has defined our organization. It has allowed for us to invest in more than three hundred startups making Sci-Fi a Reality.
Eight years ago, I woke up, I went on a run (which I’m about to do), and Brayton Williams and myself showed up at the Boost VC offices to welcome seven startups who weren’t really sure that the program was a real thing. I remember giving tours to people of the facilities and their questions were more vetting whether they had just arrived in some practical joke or some real organization. They had received the $10k investment, but they weren’t sure if the location was real, or really anything. Luckily all the companies showed up.
Weekly, our plan was to always have “Family Dinners” with the teams. Where everyone could update everyone else on what they had accomplished that week… When I said “Family Dinners,” it turns out that all of the companies thought I would invite my whole family of venture capitalists (Grandfather, Dad, sister, brother) to dinner every week… So they were incredibly disappointed when I showed up with fifty Costco hotdogs and no VCs.
During the first tribe, the companies weren’t technically supposed to be staying in the housing (Yes we have housing for startups in San Mateo) yet, so when the fire department came five times all of the companies had to pack-up their entire rooms and move into the office space with their bags. I remember getting a call at 1am saying “Adam, the Fire alarm went off and the department is here.” I was thinking that they were going to shut us down, so I race to the office and get there around 1:30am, and arrive to seven startups all in the office and a pile of suitcases in the middle of the room. They had gotten so good at packing their rooms, that even on zero notice, every room would have been swiped clean of belongings.
The third week we went to Chipotle instead of bringing in Costco Hot dogs, and every company came up to me after saying that it was the best event they had ever been to. I made a mental note to never buy Costco hot dogs again. We were on a budget… but Chipotle was within reason.
The speakers of that tribe ended up going on to doing some amazing things: We had Logan Green (CEO of Lyft) speak, we had Michael Seibel (then founder of Justin.TV and SocialCam, now Partner at YC) come speak and many more.
The first tribe defined so many things about what the program has become over the last eight years. They were the first in the network, we have iterated over 8 years and 14 tribes. We have evolved into something much different, but also still have the DNA of that first tribe running through us. We are capable of investing $500k into every deal now, and the Boost VC has honed our individual skills to their peak performance. It’s become a well oiled machine.
I still believe in the same core concept that I did eight years ago: The accelerator is the best model in venture capital. However, the thing I didn’t realize then was… It’s also the most fun.
I’m excited to get to know and worth with Tribe 14 for the next three months. Also… I want to thank Brayton Williams for co-founding this mission with me and helping steer us towards progress. People don’t know how important having a co-founder is, it is everything that helps define your success.
And I’m pretty sure that our program would be in steep disarray if Maddie Callander didn’t join us five years ago. Thanks for bringing order from chaos.
Here’s to the next 300 startups.