By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA
Andrew Goldner, Founding Partner of GrowthX, moved to Nashville because he liked the city, the lifestyle it offered his family, and the opportunity to put an exclamation point on one of his firm’s core beliefs.
“Silicon Valley doesn’t get to own the word entrepreneur,” he told attendees at the “Bunker Labs Nashville Muster” held late last month in Nashville. “They can own venture capital and will for a long time.”
Goldner was one of the featured speakers at the event which, as noted in this previous article on teknovation.biz, included 14 pitches by military veterans who somewhere along the start-up continuum.
Noting that venture capital is by and large focused on start-ups that want to get big fast, Goldner asked the entrepreneurs in attendance if their goal was to secure venture backing.
“If you don’t want to be venture capable, why are you talking to venture capitalists,” he asked?
We posted this article in October 2016 that spotlighted GrowthX and its distinctive philosophy that includes a strong belief that good start-ups can succeed anywhere, not just in Silicon Valley. With the firm’s focus on entrepreneurialism, innovation and education, GrowthX is driven by eight core values – people first, professional will, exponential thinking, trust, respectful and inclusive, gratefulness, transparency, and humility.
“Proximity to customers is a key success factor,” Goldner reminded attendees, adding, “Products don’t create value, customers do.”
He talked about the shifting landscape as venture funding has moved to even later stages, requiring other sources to fill the void for early stage investments.
“The only people that really fund ideas now are friends and family,” Goldner declared. “We live in an age of applied technology.”
He concluded his brief but insightful presentation with some sage advice for entrepreneurs. It was based on a strong belief that those starting companies want predictable capital. To find the right funding source, entrepreneurs have to spend quality time conducting their own research to identify a funding source that aligns with their goals.
“Spend 55 minutes of every hour defining your ideal investors and five minutes actually pitching (to them),” Goldner said.