miki_reynolds

Miki Reynolds — Grid110

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Grid110 is a fantastic free accelerator program in DTLA (no cost, no equity).  Miki started Grid110 in 2014 with a focus on fashion tech, but now Grid110 is open to early stage entrepreneurs in all sectors.  Miki’s awesome and what’s not to love.

 

View More Transcript

OK great. So we are here today with Miki Reynolds. She is the executive director here of Grid 110. Grid 110 is an early stage startup accelerator in downtown Los Angeles. It is a nonprofit. Miki started this nonprofit in 2014. Before that she’d launch the downtown office for General Assembly and I was asking for tips about podcasting and Mark Schuster said you have to start with a hook. So Miki one of my questions for you is grid 110 how much equity do you take and what do you charge your startups.

We take exactly zero equity and we charge zero dollars to participate in our programs. That’s the first answer of its cut.

On our way.

Great. Well why don’t you. Well you tell me a little bit more about you and what led up to a grid 110.

Yeah absolutely. First Minnie and David thank you so much for having me on your show.

I’m curious if I’m the first non B.S. that you’ve had accelerators v cs. You know I think we share a similar mission. The first nonprofit for sure.

Oh amazing. I love that. OK cool. So I have been in tech most of my career. I grew up in the Bay Area came down to L.A. to go to UCLA and I just stayed ever since I started out working in the movie theaters are the movie studios and doing digital projects for MGM and Fox. I’m kind of getting my hands dirty in tech that way. And then moving over to software development and I work for a software development startup that was focusing on e-commerce and then came to a point where.

That company as a lot of startups do folded ran out of money funding issues and so I found myself in a place living in downtown trying to figure out what I was going to do next with my career and really struggling this about five years ago where there had been a boom in the tech an ecosystem in the Santa Monica Venice by Vista the Silicon Beach area and living in downtown I was really excited to figure out if I could find my next move here in downtown but really struggling to find that sense of community of companies of just figuring out what was I going to do next.

 And so kind of the two pathways that came out of that for me were one was going to General Assembly. So they had been doing some pop up events and classes at and around the downtown area and I was really excited about that. I felt that downtown had the potential to be the next tech startup hub but seemed like it was missing some few key ingredients there. So I want to see if there is something a way that I could help support that.

I’m curious do you think that there really are two different kinds of startup hubs between downtown and Santa Monica. We have several companies in both places and I don’t see a huge difference between them but there are maybe some differences.

Yeah I mean there are 16 miles that separate us. And so I think sometimes from a geography perspective of people wanting to build something that is closer to home for them take advantage of different resources that might be there. Los Angeles as a whole I think the geography of it has created these fragmented areas and spaces but also has given rise to different communities that have risen up so whether it’s Pasadena Glendale even Orange County all have a burgeoning thriving kind of startup cluster ecosystems. And I think that that’s helpful for Los Angeles as a whole to be able to have access to a greater amount of talent to be able to produce and to produce like an economically thriving area.

 So in terms of the types of companies I mean I think that there are. We see a lot of kind of the everyday entrepreneur I think in downtown we’ve got creative entrepreneurs that might be building a brand a fashion company or freelancing and starting one two three companies on the side but not thinking of them as like a scalable type of a tech company. And then I think you’ve got kind of the more traditional tech companies and the Silicon Beach area as we’ve seen and you work with both kinds of companies right. We do yeah.

 So when we start Grade One tenant was really to be able to foster a sense of community amongst entrepreneurs. How can we bring them together through shared experiences provide mentorship resource access to all of that. And it started out being focused on fashion tech companies. We saw that downtown maybe we should start with a particular vertical. And I think with the proximity of the fashion district production manufacturing being large in Los Angeles e-commerce being a growing industry we focused our first two years of programming around fashion tech but have since gone vertical agnostic and work with all different types of businesses in a variety of different business verticals as well as the different types of like the companies that they’re trying to build whether they want to be a scalable venture backed wheel company or if they want to stay completely owned you know and bootstrapped and going about it their own way.

What kind of companies do you seek out or what kind of companies seek you out.

Yeah. So they typically rely on the early stage side of it. So anywhere from ideation so somebody who has an idea for something and they’re not really sure what the first few steps they should take to see if this is a viable business opportunity is it have to be their full time job. No. So we have two different programs that we support. So one is typically kind of on the Pre Launch side. So anywhere from ideation to pre launched called IDEO to prototype it’s typically first time founders and both of our programs usually attract first time founders that have either an idea for something have moved along the spectrum of having a prototype maybe have even launch something but they’re looking to validate everything that they’ve done a lot of the founders in that program are working a full time job doing something else and this is like their side hustle side project or something that they want to get off the ground but haven’t made that jump yet.

 And then we have our residency program that is geared towards companies that are post launch of a product in the marketplace have some sort of traction in terms of users revenue or maybe even funding. And those companies are typically working on it full time have a team of maybe 1 somewhere between 1 to 5 and growing and are looking to just be able to move to the next key milestone of growth for them.

And what what do they get in the program. What do you do with them.

Yes. So I think the primary thing that a lot of founders come to us for and again a lot of them are first time founders so they either don’t have the experience of starting and launching a business or growing it they don’t have anybody in their network they don’t have necessarily access to mentors. And so I think a lot of that is just moving from this isolated stage of being potentially their solo founder or you know first time co-founders into a community driven environment of being around other entrepreneurs of having access to mentors and advisors that can go from best practices an experience that can help coach them through the things that they’re doing so they come to us primarily for that access to community and the access to our network and we support them through different types of whether it’s workshops office hours kind of one on one coaching.

 And each of the programs really focuses on different types of focus and deliverables so on the early stage really honing in on problem solution value proposition and making sure that you’ve determined what those are because a lot of people come to us with an idea for a solution but without having identified the problem. And on an on our later stage program it’s really more of a needs based program. So what are the challenges that you’re facing as an entrepreneur having launched a business and how can we help you get through the challenges that you’re facing and how do you find them the expertise you have a network of mentors.

Do you have people in-house both.

We have a little bit of both. So we have. Two folks one expert in residents one entrepreneur in residence that have a background and expertise. One is really a product focused. The other one has an education and Ed Tech background who facilitate a lot of the sessions who are available for office hours so there is more of a consistent approach of from beginning to end of the program they have access to them and then we will also bring in folks from our network that we’ve connected through through the L.A. ecosystem that will teach workshops talk on panels just be available for either a connection office hours things like that and we’re continuing to grow that mentor network.

Occasionally it does make me want to go start a business. So how so how can I apply but how does one apply and how big are your your groups.

Yep so we run programs the two programs concurrently twice a year in the spring and in the fall. And we have an application process that opens so our next programs will kick off probably in early spring of next year or so. End of April or end of May early April and then our application will open probably end of this year early next year. So there’s an application process and interview process we’re at about a 10 percent acceptance rate for our programs. Given the number of people that apply and the ones are able to take in and I would say the two primary ways that people hear about us are word of mouth so through our partners through our alumni through just people kind of hearing about somebody said that they participated that they should know about Grade 1 10.

 So it’s really important for us to continue to grow our partner network and then just organic search. People look up different startup resources in the L.A. area and we come up on a couple of lists.

Do I have to be located in downtown.

You do not have to be located in downtown. So we started hyper local focused on startups in and around the downtown area but then have since moved to really supporting startups from across the L.A. ecosystem. The activity just currently takes place in downtown.

So what is it. What are your criteria for choosing those 10 percent is it. Is it the same as other accelerators or do you have different criteria.

I imagine it’s probably similar to other accelerators and even how kind of these C’s approach it of looking at you know the product the team the market opportunity and then some sort of like an x factor and for us that X factor really is like alignment of what we can provide like what we stand for in terms of our mission vision values of what we’re trying to accomplish here in the city of L.A. and beyond.

And if there is an alignment if we think if this will be a good contributing community member for us as you said the downtown eco system is more mature now than when you started to know a lot of folks would do a for profit accelerator a lot of folks do for profit accelerators Why do you do it. You do now.

So when we first started this there wasn’t really thinking around how to monetize it. It was just we felt like this needed to exist and it seemed like the fastest way for us to get that off the ground was. And for me and as a non-profit we had stakeholders and partners that felt like they could more easily support it through a charitable or in kind donation to a non-profit than a for profit company. And I think that that has really persisted in and what we’re doing and how can we make the L.A. ecosystem when it comes to tech startups better reflect the city of Los Angeles where 73 percent of Angelenos identify as a person of color.

 But our tech industry does not necessarily reflect that. And so you know with us in trying to make the ecosystem more inclusive to allow these resources to be more accessible the majority of our companies 70 percent have a female founder co-founder 58 percent have a founder of Color. And to us that’s more important than monetizing off of the companies it how can we reduce the opportunity gap to these types of resources and how can we be a platform for them to be successful.

Seventy eight percent have a person of 73 percent identify as a person of color. Yeah I mean it’s always weird to me when people like 30 percent of our founders are women.

It’s amazing. OK great. And let’s look at the city of L.A. or the human kind is great.

Is that too. Well you were talking about different communities. I mean like was of the four or five is different. I mean it’s a special place.

So are there are trends in your cohorts that you’re seeing. Have you seen L.A. change.

I mean think about that. Take it interesting trends and you I see different ways.

I think I can answer it.

I think some of the trends that we’ve seen are just what are companies looking for. And I think a lot of them you know the reason that they come to us and one of the biggest takeaway is that they receive from it is the access to community. I think a lot of the founders that we’re working with our solo founders that feel isolated in this experience. It’s hard as you all know and so having access to a group of people that you can come in and have accountability with that you can get support from that you can feel like you’re not alone in this endeavor.

 I think that’s been really a through line through why a lot of companies are coming to us and the value that they’ve gotten out of it. I think in terms of the types of companies. As I mentioned we work with a broad range of companies that want to remain bootstrapped that to companies that are going after venture funding. And I think for a lot of them it’s really just trying to determine the type of company that they want to build and providing them with that education. I think a lot of people are have this perception that venture is the only way to go and I have to build a venture backed by a company.

 How do I get there. And I think it really is just distilling that down to what is what is it that you’re trying to the problem that you’re solving here. How can you go about doing that through the product or service that you’re creating. And what’s the support that you need to grow that business.

So yes so venture is one option is probably the option that I know the best. This is called the L.A. venture. So can you educate me a little bit. Revenues is another way of growing. Yes. Friends and family when you’ve got friends and family who can write those checks is great.

But you know I don’t know the world of small business loans and other options. How do you help people navigate that. Yeah.

So we do an assessment in terms of trying to understand of the company that are applying for us and that have raised some type of capital or how they might able to build the business that they have built a lot of them do focus on revenue. So you know they’ve been able to bootstrap it. They need to have a savings are working a full time job until they can actually go full time on their business. Some of them have done successful kick starters or other types of crowdfunding so now that there are debt and equity based crowdfunding campaigns where you can source kind of from a large pool of investors that are giving in you know as little as one hundred dollars to invest in your company for either a debt option or an equity option.

 And then I think there is the more traditional lines of of lending services that whether it’s you going through a bank or whether you’re going through something like a small business loan of funding options that are there to support the early stages of business growth.

Are those different going getting a small business loan from a bank versus a small business association.

I imagine that the banks are probably a lot more traditional in that you have to have been in business for X number of years and show this type of growth in revenue. I think the small business loans might be a little bit more amenable to a small business just getting off the ground and so but they’re still looking for a minimum requirement of number of years in business. Amount of revenue growth and things like that. And so I think that if there are other types of options especially because most startups are somewhere between you know six months to a year which typically don’t qualify for a small business loan what are their options then.

Right. So. So there’s there’s a as BDC near me where I live which is a small business development center. Leave. What.

Where do you do you have sort of organizations that you’ve found to be helpful I know you and I have a big social exchange in common but how do you to where do you think are good resources.

Yeah. No I think that I mean the city and the state provide resources for entrepreneurs that typically are geared towards more of the traditional brick and mortar or traditional types of businesses not necessarily at a startup type of a company city and state.

And so right SB A is a federal projects and small business administration. So that’s what I was thinking. And but the city and the state have different programs that you’re saying.

Yeah. So that. Well I think the SPDC falls under the SBA but they’re typically regional in focus. And so whether they’re funding maybe from the state and federal their focus is on the local economies and so I believe the Los Angeles area has eight small business development centers that focus on providing resources to entrepreneurs that are growing their businesses big exchange is the only one that focused solely on tech companies. So providing the resources that specifically tech or tech enabled businesses need to to grow their businesses. But also you know what are the capital opportunities and access to capital whether it’s through fundraising through the venture route or going through an SBA loan.

 And then SB these are usually free I believe so. Yeah they’re funded through the government entities to provide this local support.

It just seems like great if I want to do a startup and not have to give away 30 percent of my equity to accelerate I’d love to work with a good one 10. Pixel exchange some good options. I agree. Great. Obviously you do. That was a setup. Disagree or agree.

Can you tell me also with this all I’m trying to understand the federal city state. You guys have funding that city provides some of your funding.

Most so are funding we came into funding for the city about two years ago through an economic development grant so we worked closely with the mayor’s office and their economic development team. They made us aware of a grant opportunity that we were eligible for as we were seeking funding to grow out our programming. That funding actually pulls from a federal budget though so we are technically federally funded where it lets through pass through the city. So it makes things interesting in terms of even though things like CBT and cannabis are legal here in the state of California our funding is federal funding so we can’t work with companies that are like touching the plant and so we just have to be cautious around the types of companies that we’re supporting.

Makes sense.

Can I stick with the ecosystem because I am trying to navigate this whole. So are there other like just general assembly play and General Assembly is paid. Classes.

Yes OK but they do some community stuff. Oh yeah absolutely. I think their whole how they started was really to provide kind of career changers or people that were looking to get into this innovation economy with career track support in the form of these classes and workshops and I think when you think about the traditional education systems I mean I went to UCLA I loved it but they don’t have practical majors there. So it’s like they’re not they’re not career track focused majors. And so a lot of people even if you’re a C S major coming out of school.

 Up until maybe a few years ago you weren’t learning the web development technologies that were in demand and being hired by startup companies and so General Assembly was looking to really fill this gap of there’s a skills gap of students that are graduating colleges and there’s like an eleven percent confidence rate of employers that students like recent graduates have the skills that they need to do an actual job. And so organizations like General Assembly and the other coding camps or just how can we provide access to these types of education resources to specifically get you into a higher bowl career track job opportunity.

 And I think my relationships with General Assembly was really that laid the foundation for that community building aspect for me of tech entrepreneurship business and design. Downtown L.A. and I’ve been able to really grow that through what I’m doing with grid 110 and we’ve done stuff with General Assembly whether it’s partnering on events they have a lot of really great programs where they do provide pro bono resources to startup companies so we’ll send companies there a way for things like that. We partnered on a number of things with them so I think each of these organizations or companies fills a different need in the ecosystem.

Do you have other backers besides the city or cities. Yes federal government.

So it’s primarily through the city but then also through a mix of kind of corporate sponsors which is how we got started. So for the first two years we ourselves where we’re a bootstrap bootstrapped entity nobody was getting paid to run the programming. It was all either in kind. Space resources furniture. Services in terms of like mentorship and people that would come in and help out and then we would get small amounts of kind of corporate sponsorship checks that would allow us to just cover the overhead costs of our arc our programs and continue do that today.

We’re here in cross campus downtown. How do they get a shadow. They do cross campus that’s been our space partner for the past few years.

And it was great to move from where we were prior to which was we had a private space so we could run our programs that office or a company has got to actually move in and utilize it for six months at the time and then I think about two years ago when we looked to see how we could scale our programs and how we could really foster community of different way we wanted to have a community partner that was already focused on building spaces for entrepreneurs and providing the resources that everybody needs whether it’s Wi-Fi flexible space options a printer event space things like that cross campus was actually the first and only meeting that we had and it’s been a great relationship ever since.

I’m obviously always talking about in Pasadena but are there other communities sort of groups that you’ve come across that are doing good things in L.A. that we should be aware of.

Yeah I mean I think that because of the large geographic size of Los Angeles and just the greater Los Angeles area I think it’s given rise to these pocket communities like innovate passenger for Pasadena. I know Glendale has been really active as a recently with you know hosting I think their third annual Glendale tech week. They do a monthly meetup as well Cal Tech on tap. I think there’s always stuff happening in Santa Monica and lots of going on over there and I think that just whether it’s something that you want to take the responsibility of like starting something yourself because you feel like it’s missing was this essentially what we did to be able to provide that type of support and it was ultimately a problem that we were solving for ourselves that then we validated as a problem that we want to solve for other people.

What do you think is still missing. If you could snap your fingers and make something else appear.

I look at the funding options and models and I wish there were more flexible options. So I think venture capital is always a hot thing. I think companies are always trying to figure out how can they get a piece of it. You know these are always in demand. Anything that you do panel wise or event Y is where it’s incorporating investors is always a hot ticket. But I always wonder if there is a different type of a model for outside capital and investing in companies that didn’t require them to go down this kind of tiring endless hamster wheel of having to raise money and then continue to raise money and then continue to raise money and if there were a different type of of way that was more maybe a founder will favorable to to help different types of businesses grow.

Do you know Indy. I do. I think what they’re doing is great.

I say I agree. I am glad that you think their model really is to you know get one round of outside investment and then focus on revenue right.

Yeah yeah and they have an option to pay back yeah or convert into equity.

Yeah I think that the debt or kind of revenue based model is really interesting to me. We’ve thought about raising a fund ourselves just given the types of companies that we’ve worked with and we feel like you know the quote unquote lifestyle types of companies that may not be venture backed down on their own right now. But I think that there should be an option for them because there are so many of those types of companies that are gonna be you know five 10 million dollar companies they’re gonna be successful they’re gonna create jobs here for the city but what are the options for them and I think if there was something that could help them in the initial early stages of being able to grow you know grow their manufacturing and production if that’s what it is grow on their marketing resources side but then allowed them to potentially pay back and continue to retain ownership of their company.

 I’d love to see more models like that.

Oh so. So like it with Indy you can buy back your ownership from the V.C. in this.

I don’t know all the details but there is one thing interesting. There have been other models I think like clear bank is doing something really similar where primarily if you have. Any eCommerce business or something where you’re doing online transactions they have this 20 minute term sheet on their website that they can just do a scan of what you’ve done from a transaction standpoint and they will give you. This is how much we can loan you. And these are the terms and I think that in thinking about the different types of financing options like just be more innovative on the financing side.

I’d love to see more of that but if you had a micro micro fund because the problem with Vichy is where I was I might have to pay back the fund right of our investment.

So someone has to be a billion dollar business even though there’s plenty of really good ten million dollar businesses. But if you give micro microphone and had to pay it back then you could write 50 k checks to people who had ten million dollar building much smaller businesses.

Yeah but they don’t always exit. They don’t always want to become sea corpse. There’s there’s lots of reasons to have alternatives.

I talk to people all the time about not getting b even though it isn’t just C corp like lots of people. But a lot of the people all the companies were funding their Delaware Seahawks because I have to be right. You know what 10 1 10. We’re an LLC. Gotcha. But a lot of the companies you’ll see will want to be an LLC or stay in.

I think it’s the fastest way to get started. And like the cheapest way to get started on the company are yeah.

And if you’re taking income out it might be the best for tax reasons. So you don’t get double taxed. Oh okay.

I did didn’t know why great two success stories.

So. So more might be needed but there’s also still a lot of exciting stuff going on. And tell me more about your program and some of the successes that have that that have come from here. Yeah.

So I think success looks different for each type of company and I think because we have the I would say the pleasure of working with a wide range of different companies and the types of companies that they’re trying to build. We’ve got kind of the more traditional what is we consider successful stories in terms of a company getting acquired after a few years. Companies going on to TechStars and Y Combinator and being us being a launching pad for them and a discovery mechanism for early stage species and programs like that. But I think we’ve also seen companies who have gone through our early stage ITP or did a prototype program literally coming in with an idea for a company.

 I’m thinking of one in particular. So they wanted to start a pub trivia company. They were working for one of the leading Southern California’s leading pub trivia companies and they just felt like the questions that they were asking as part of the trivia was servicing a very specific type of audience. And it was outdated archaic and they’re dealing with more millennial audiences and they just felt like they could live in this app by doing it on their own. They were accepted into our program they quit their jobs within the course of eight weeks they were able to create a name build a website get their person first paying customers in terms of doing private events.

 And I think now they’ve got like four weekly trivia nights that they’re hosting in and around the downtown L.A. area. So being able to see entrepreneurship literally from like building something from the ground up and for people to be able to design the types of lives and businesses that they want to build for themselves is what I consider a success story.

When companies do need or want additional financing do you help them. Do you do demo days or do you have a way to get them in front of these traditional.

We did a demo days early on so for the first two years of our programs. But I think sometimes in programs like this the focus being all around the pitch in the demo day can be a bit of a distraction. And I think for us we really want to focus on what is it that this company needs to work on where are the challenges and milestones that they are trying to accomplish and help them work through that without having to worry about how you’re going to then present that to a stage. What we do to it is is really make an attempt in an effort to to be friends with early stage investors in the area.

 And as we have companies that we feel like are ready to go down that pathway or who are curious about learning more or just to make friendly introductions we’re more than happy to do that. And for us it’s really understanding you know what the VCR they’re looking for so that we can present to them options that they would be interested in.

Luckily the VCR is like talking about themselves and what they’re interested. So we aim to demystify that.

Tell me more about this stuff I care about but I know you know a lot more about what’s going on with you. Is it women in STEM.

Yeah work on or pledge play. I think you’re also on that steering committee whatever it’s called. Yeah. Tell me more about what you see there.

Yeah. So I think my relationship with the mayor’s office and having started grade 110 and them being a partner of ours since the very beginning of really fostering economic development through entrepreneurship has led its way to a couple of different opportunities that I’ve also been able to get involved with so both in partnership with the mayor’s office and other entities. So we stem is a women in STEM initiative and it really focuses on the mentoring relationship between undergrad and graduate women in STEM career track women with those that are actually in those career path.

 I think there’s been a rise of programs that are geared towards younger girls than like getting them interested in STEM but there seems to be a drop off once they actually you know once they know that this is a career to follow they start studying it but then they’re looking ahead of them and they don’t either don’t have female professors or mentors in the space and so this is really just to provide an opportunity to connect people with women who have been there done that and to support them along the way. And then the pledge play initiative is a partnership between the mayor’s office the Annenberg Foundation and the B.C. community here really focusing around how can we make the Los Angeles community the leading innovator when it comes to inclusive city diversity inclusion on both the D.C. side.

 So who the bases are hiring in terms of their partners and associates the types of companies and founders that they’re investing in. And then the same thing on the company side is making sure that that there are DIY initiatives that are of importance and are being even tracked on the company’s side with their hiring and retention.

How do you. Where’s the big big leverage here. I know that’s a big but I agree that measuring these things is is an important first step. But you know where’s the billion dollar budget or something like How do we. Where’s the big leverage to do do even more than we’re doing today.

Yeah I mean I think that’s the starting point is to just get a benchmark of measurement right so that if if L.A. wants to lead in this area where are we currently at knowing what the industry standards are and these types of numbers. And so I think it’s getting that benchmark. But then also what are the actionable ways that we can improve upon that benchmark. And so if we see that you know we’re failing in certain areas what are some actionable ways that companies can improve on those methods. And I think that’s where the actual change will happen is measuring obtaining a benchmark and then finding actionable ways to improve on those numbers yeah I agree.

But I want to know the big actionable stuff that’s like just more sea change stuff that’s gonna happen because we’ve got a housing crisis and people are like we’re building a new you know 10 unit building.

I’m like that’s great but we need three million more.

So I just I still am not.

And that’s obviously about housing and not about diversity but like whatever you get the idea there’s I want to have a big I want something bigger to happen I don’t know what should use all that. And.

Let me put that on the back burner of my list of things to do. Great. I think there is a community engagement piece I think that is also a part of L.A. and it’s not just let’s measure and get statistics and figure out what we can do about that. It’s how do we really connect the growing tech community with the non-profit community get them more civically engaged get them more aware of what the opportunities are to improve on the homelessness on the housing crisis on all of those things. And I think if we can get them an active platform to be able to doing that and giving them the opportunities to know how they can help.

 Hopefully that will be a way of a measurable change.

And so you interact with Mayor Garza said his office of economic development. Yes I live where most of this is happening because I do think there’s this huge opportunity of there could be a lot more tech and government interface that I think would really benefit. Mean I’m surprised we don’t have more sort of year of service in all directions. Like I think if we had a year of service of tech people in government and government people coming and helping tech learn what actually is going on I think it would be helpful.

But but you know great. So now what.

What do you think.

What do you think that the community the V.C. community. The founder community could be learning from what you’re doing here.

I think the importance of treating each founder as a human being and not necessarily just like a commodity of their company. I think we’re at a point where mental health is becoming an increasingly problematic issue especially with founders. But I mean across the board with humans and I think if there are ways. Of being able to provide some sort of relief in that area of whether it’s I know that there’s a funding bill even in San Francisco that takes about a percentage of their fund and allocated towards their founders to provide some sort of mental health relief and capacity in the name of it is escaping me too.

 I know that but I can’t invest in one of our companies. I feel like I should know this. And so I think that just for the founders to treat voices and voices to treat founders as as humans at the end of the day and not just like somebody who’s trying to get money and someone who’s trying to give money I think we ultimately that’s what we see is is we we’ve created a place where we feel like belonging is really important. And so a place where founders feel like they’re kind of potentially for the first time and feeling like they’re being seen and they’re feeling accepted for what they’re doing and they’re around other people that are like minded as well.

 I think just being able to create that type of a platform people for people regardless of the type of company that they want to build what they’re doing as a product or service and just allowing them to be who they are hopefully will improve potentially in the long run. In other areas I love it.

That’s lovely thank you. Creative belonging.

Thank you so much for coming today and letting us record you. It’s been great having you on the show. Thank you both for having me. Yeah.

Thanks for building this program yeah we did. That’s good.

Yeah. Oh. Man you ask some hard questions. Yeah. Yeah yeah. Can you fix I’m listening.

Well it’s interesting. I’m coming from San Francisco. Yeah.

And my my district supervisor is well we have Scott here. Scott Ritter is fantastic in my opinion really progressive because they Francisco gay man Harvard JD. Smart guy. He’s the other maybe 50 maybe 50. Sorry. Gosh.

Like our big housing our safety. And so he left. Same with his government and state went to Sacramento. So an end. And my mayor and said in Pasadena is like just like such a.. If anybody maybe maybe 50 maybe 40 maybe 50. What does it do. It creates about a million new units of housing in California and it’s like but it’s a little bit of a sledgehammer because Scott Wiener is like we have Grace’s stop giving me front page news the build 10 more. You know you look whatever you did.

 Yeah. It’s like we have 3 million like units shortage. Is going just insane. Yeah. And so he’s like at the state level we’re going to legislate that you build housing near public transportation. And so we’re gonna build housing your public transportation. Now what that means though is that my mayor in Pasadena is like we like to have our space. People don’t need to feel too crowded. And so anyways it’s free where I was going but you know it’s controversial which is you can’t really solve it like little piece by little piece and yet no one really wants to do the big sledgehammer.

Yeah I mean I’m in no way a NIMBY but I’m pretty sure it’s going to build housing near my house. Yeah that’s it’s. Where are you. Is that recording. I get it.

It’s in large part all over it. Yeah. No that’s not happening now.

Even if you take the Holy s.

It must be SB 50 because he’s state assembly.