May 10-12, 2017

In the summer of 2016, I had the pleasure of meeting the entrepreneurs who were building the first generation of companies within Parallel 18 -- an (exceptionally awesome) startup accelerator based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

2017's summer brought similar fortune, as I was welcomed back to provide mentorship to the founders of P18, Gen 3.

I spent three full days at their office in Santurce -- a neighborhood that, in the midst of revival mode, oozes creative vibes through its street art, authentic local eateries, and other accompaniments. 

"Now, let's get to the real sh*t" ...  how one founder segued from telling me about their product to discussing their company's culture.

We started Wednesday morning, with a 90-minute discussion on "Cultura y Comunidad," wherein I presented a collection of slides (see below), which guided our exploration of ideas rooted in the cultivation of a healthy organizational culture, and how such a culture serves as fertile soil from which a fruitful community strategy can grow. 

The conversation continued afterward and throughout lunch. (One must at least appreciate pizza for its conduciveness to eating+talking 🍕)

On Day 2, a self-selected group of curious and sophisticated folks joined me for a midday discussion circle, during which we dove into the topic of mindfulness - especially as it relates to life in startups. This was a special experience for me; I hope (and believe) it was for everyone involved. As I found myself in the moment, sharing learnings I've gained from the great teachers in my life, it was gratifying to see the people in the circle - peers and friends - relating to each other and connecting on a frequency favorably unfamiliar to them until then. 

Quality Time

Our time together outside of these group sessions was spent in "one-on-one" office hours. I met with 1-3  team members from ~15 of the companies in the current (third) generation of the program. Based on my experience with Generation 1, I was not surprised to find myself interacting with one incredibly talented and genuinely enthusiastic person after another.

Though a series of fifteen 45-minute meetings over the course of three days may require a few visits to Baraka's baristas down the street, it also provides a fulfilling bit of human engagement and a healthy dose of a unique brand of energy - that of entrepreneurialism in acceleration. 

☝️This is one of the things I do... 

I work with entrepreneurs who are building new companies. Often times this engagement is facilitated through accelerator programs like Parallel 18 or Techstars. My work's purpose is to support the people within these young organizations, as they navigate their proverbial paths.

If you'd like to discuss working together in this way, let me know

yo at parallel 18 in 2017.png
The roots of your community are buried in your culture
— me

Slides from Day 1

Resources & References:

Community Onion (@elof)

🔗 "Building Community at a Company that Makes Things for Makers"

Community Commitment Curve (@datkin)

🔗 "How to Create a Powerful Community Culture"

Employee Lifetime Value (@MaiaJo_)

🔗 "How to Understand the ROI of Investing in People"

The Trust Equation (@CharlesHGreen)

🔗 "Understanding the Trust Equation"

RACI - responsibility matrix

🔗 Wikipedia