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Teaching mission-driven founders

2 min read

I was privileged to participate in Warwick Business School's Entrepreneurial Finance class yesterday. A group of students, some UK-based and some remote, convened in San Francisco to learn more about how startups raise money. My aim was to give them some storytelling ideas. I wanted to drive home that human-centered narratives are the best way to turn all the complicated interrelated complexities of a business into an easily-digestible form - and that the best startup businesses are human-centered from the outset.

Teaching accelerator classes was one of the best parts of Matter, and I miss it. I was the Director of Investments on the west coast, which meant that in addition to sourcing, evaluating, selecting and investing in the teams that would participate in the Matter accelerator, I taught workshops in the program about fundraising, and held office hours sessions about every aspect of running a startup. It meant I got to use every part of my working skills for the first time outside of being a startup founder: often I would be asked about fundraising strategy and database technologies in the same meeting. For a short while I was also the acting Director of Program, which meant that I taught a wider range of workshops. Because Matter's startups (and therefore founders) are mission-driven, it was fulfilling, meaningful work.

I sometimes dream about being able to take everything I've learned from the Silicon Valley ecosystem and bring it back to Europe; maybe have feet in both worlds, and help European startups find footholds over here. So yesterday's session was fulfilling for me in multiple ways, and I'm looking forward to doing it again.