Andy Sack is highlighted in this weeks Puget Sound Business Journal for the work he’s doing building an entrepreneurial runway that funds and supports companies from startup to later stage, “ As the leader of TechStars Seattle (seed-stage investments), Founder’s Co-op (early-stage investments) and Revenue Loan (later-stage investments), there’s hardly an Internet deal that goes unnoticed by Sack or his team of angel investors.” You hopefully can read the full article here. I totally support that approach with different levels of support and opportunities for funding, so why am I not trying to jump on Andy’s bandwagon? Because I’m concerned that internet companies don’t actually create that many jobs, in my experience those jobs are primarily available to a culturally narrow pool of people, and finally the venture model is dependent on exit by acquisition (in our current broken IPO markets especially) which wipes out half the jobs, most particularly the less elite ones. To riff off a quote from Andy in the article, this is not a knock on the great work they are doing, I’m just looking for the pool of people interested in taking that kind of approach with a different focus.
For starters, I don’t think a venture model can apply to the kind of labor and capital-intensive businesses that I think will create the kind of jobs I want to support, so I’m looking for players that are willing to take concessionary returns in return for social returns. Such players quite reasonably will want some measurement of those social returns, as do I. That field is nascent but evolving, I’m hopeful about what I might learn this year at SoCap.
As a COMPLETE aside, I notice that there is a quote from Andy that appears differently online than it does in the paper. Apparently the PSBJ digital crowd is less vocabulary sensitive than the paper crowd