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Ditch the Pitch: Founder Friendly Ways to Get Started (and Get Funded)

by Zack Steven | 11:15 – 12:00 in Challenge | View Schedule

What if all the time spent building decks and pitching investors were instead invested in building things and pitching customers?

If you're an early stage tech entrepreneur you may think that the VC/blitzscaling/unicorn path is the only option...

Good news - it's not!

For many entrepreneurs, independence is more valuable than anything. There are new models emerging that enable founders to get started more efficiently than ever and get funded while preserving options and control. This session will be an overview of some of the new models (indie.vc, Earnest Capital, Tiny Seed) and examples of entrepreneurs who are charting a different path.

Please bring your experience and your questions so we can learn from each other.

Intermediate

Zack Steven

I am a lifelong entrepreneur and leader who is passionate about good design, big ideas, and strong inclusive communities.

I find the path from napkin to traction exhilarating and have traveled it multiple times personally and with clients. I am a Founding Partner of Monkey Island Ventures, and play an active role in portfolio companies Cloudburst, SBC (Startup Studio), Augurian (Expert Digital Marketing), and FLUID Labs (Smart Water Meters).

I have a degree in Studio Art from Grinnell College and have spent the past 20 years mastering the art of business in leadership roles across Product, Sales, Finance and Operations for organizations ranging from startups to public companies. At its best, business is sculpture.

I hold several patents, am a Minnesotan on the Move award recipient, and have served on non-profit boards including MetroIBA, St. Paul Central High School Foundation and Unity Church-Unitarian. I am a native of The North and live in Edina with my wife and two sons.

If any of this aligns with your interests, let's connect on Twitter: @zacksteven or in person at MinneBar. Just @ me.


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