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Thirteen lovely people attended the first ever Enjoy The Work social. We occupied a single table at Chez Maman in Potrero Hill in San Francisco. We introduced ourselves, told some stories, ate good food, enjoyed fine wine, and, most importantly, nourished new relationships. Special thanks to Eric Dy and Julien Penders of BloomLife, Kate Blake of 6x Project, and Nick Kohut and Andrew Gillies of Dash Robotics, who are as many members of our community today as they were back then.
That was January 14th, 2016.
At ETW, we often talk about serving those founders who are as ambitious as they are kind. What I didn’t know when I launched this venture was just how much that message would resonate with entrepreneurs and investors alike.
Last week we held our 8th Enjoy The Work social event in San Francisco. No longer do we fit our gatherings at a single table at a neighborhood restaurant? Instead (and thanks to the generosity of our amazing sponsors), we take over and fill large fun venues. We’ve held gatherings in antique stores, pawn shops, and art galleries and featured entertainment from circus performers to snake wranglers.
But the playfulness of the evenings is just the seasoning on the dish. We’ve tapped into something about which I’m very proud. There is a population within the startup ecosystem that wants more than just deal-making. They want to build lasting, real relationships with loving, open, brilliant, tenacious people.
A question was asked of us years ago:
“Do you only work with broken startups?”
The assumption is that only struggling or toxic companies would seek out regular, professional mentorship. It was a fair question — our model of the weekly hands-on advisory was novel, and therefore the type of startup to be attracted was unclear.
As we’ve learned though, the answer is a resounding “No!” and the evidence is all over the startup page on our website. However, there is another question one might ask where I would provide a different answer.
“Do you only work with startup founders who are both ambitious and kind?”
Yes. Yes, we do.
On behalf of the entire Enjoy The Work team, thank you once again to everyone who attended last week’s event and to everyone who added something special to our growing community. We are proud of what we stand for and even prouder to bring together those who share a similar outlook on life, relationships, and startups.