Monday, April 16, 2012

Praxis Labs Culmination Event

I attended the Praxis Labs Accelerator Culmination event [Easter Monday #2] and dragged Trevin Hoekzema along. It was quite an event and I'm really glad I went. 10 startup social entrepreneurs gave their 5 minute pitches to the audience, we heard from a panel of the accelerator's advisors and we voted for 3 finalists on who should get $100K in capital funding. Lots of elements from this evening embodies the 21st century missionary. Some notes from the advisor panel below. I'm also writing a report for Ember's board of directors. Let me know if you would like a copy of that [tonytsheng AT].

Henry Kaestner
God centered organization - faith, family, work, fitness in that order - has those very public values.
Important traits of leaders: why they do it and can they articulate the reasons why

Managing growth and scaling and organizational culture:
It is one thing to acquire and retain customers
another issue to retain employees
employee retention speaks directly about the culture of the org
how committed are the founders to creating the culture of the org - this is done with input and intention
culture is defined at the early steps of an org

Steve Graves
scalability - better reason to scale than 'just because i can'
launch -> prove -> scale
you can skip the prove step with lots of resources - money, network, etc.
why do we scale? should we scale?
we must prove the right things, especially as people of faith
feed and nurture the person and the org
there is a composite score of life - husband, father, employee, neighbor
you must manage and lead yourself in multiple roles
live a life of healthy grace - juggle - realistic expectations

Josh Kwan
past investing has been based on guilt or feeling good about ourselves
calling, purpose, accomplishing impact - asking tough questions
social entrepreneurs are the 21st century missionary <<-- this is why I went

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