I was asked the other day why I spend so much time mentoring and advising startups.
“It’s the energy.” I replied.
There is something special about companies when they are in the early stage and everything is in front of them. The numbers are big, the potential is awesome and the effort, while massive is done with joy.
As companies grow, the responsibilities and needs of the organization change, and the energy changes. The needs are more specific, and the road is clearer. It’s not bad, just different.
Over the past year or so, I have spent time with UpWest Labs which is unique in that its focus is on Israeli startups and giving them the opportunity to meet and integrate into Silicon Valley.
And, its not all wide eyes and puppy dogs. These are seriously interesting startups with founders that have hard core technical skills that are attacking real problems, big problems in markets that are both domestic and international. And maybe its because so many spent time in the military, but they are relentless in pursuit of the solution to the problems they are addressing. (One company from a previous class spent 3 months interviewing hundreds and hundreds of teenagers on how they use text messaging. It is NOTHING like you would imagine, and the product is just beautiful. A company from this class has used algorithms they developed to analyze Farsi and other highly complex languages to improve the impulse decision making process.)
I wish I could write more about the companies that are currently here, but they have a demo day coming on October 30th (if you are interested in going, just email Yael and she can hook you up.)
UpWest Labs has done a great job of bringing in companies that sit at that intersection of positive energy and relentless drive that helps founders increase their chance of success.
I spend time with early stage founders because the energy reminds me why I love being an entrepreneur; and that I am proud of the work that UpWest Labs has done with Israeli startups.