If you were not at Startup Grind last night you missed a very interesting 75 minutes with Rudy. He shared his insights about what he thinks about why it can be better to start in Seattle instead of the Silicon Valley. Seattlites tend to share more about what they are working on and are more willing to help one another. The phrase that many people remembered was “you can buy customers but you can’t buy engagement”.
Rudy was very open and extremely thoughtful in all of his comments and his passion for making Seattle a hub for startups in the US is evident. He said on more than one occasion that he does things for that reason not just the money. His thoughts of continuing to push for more Angel/VC money to come to Seattle and for founders to look for big ideas and push towards it and don’t let others slow you down. He also mentioned there is not such thing as work/life balance in a startup. If you are in a startup you should expect not to have work life balance (at least the founding team), he doesn’t want to invest in a team that doesn’t want to change the world or run through brick walls to get their product to market.
Some hints about his investment criteria
Rudy is very picky about the team. If you don’t have a great team or at the very least an extremely passionate set of founders don’t bother hunting for money. Most investors will know that the team is not 150% behind the idea, so get a few people who are completely committed and bring something to the table for your product/service.
He likes big ideas, swing for the fences. Be able to explain the big picture and why it could be a $50o,ooo,ooo company. Be ready to fail and to get back up and fix it. He expects it not to work the first time but you have to be able to pivot and find a solution. Be honest always and don’t oversell your idea or you will never get a second meeting.
He has a a fondness for consumer facing products and marketplaces, not to say he won’t look at other ideas but you would likely be talking to one of his other partners at Founders Co op for enterprise, cloud or other ideas.
All in all it was a great night at the Dice Cabana @ SURF, there were about 95 fellow entreprenuers in attendance and fun was had by all. Until next time… have an amazing day and never stop working on your idea.