At Innovation Endeavors, one of the biggest bets we have made is on the value that comes from building a community out of the people we invest in. We’re lucky to work with some of the world’s top technologists, business leaders and creatives, and we collect and activate these people as one community that drives innovation and offers unique, meaningful support to one another.
It starts with choosing people, not building a portfolio.
Our calibration at Innovation Endeavors is set to identify talent and technology that addresses big market opportunities, but equally importantly, we partner with entrepreneurs who are humble.
Humility is something we do not compromise on: we invest in the people who will embody a generous spirit and pay-it-forward mentality. This spirit and ethos is the bedrock of a strong community that allows innovation to flourish. Humility carries with it a sense of openness; people are available to new ideas, and they build on the ideas of others.
Our community includes people like Chris Kemp, the former CTO of NASA and Christophe Bisciglia, one of the founders of Cloudera; deep technologists like Liron Shirpa from Quixey and Ran Sarig from Dataorama; and industry pioneers like the team at Planet Labs and Formlabs. The network includes industry experience like that of the founders of Uber; and repeat-entrepreneurs like Yair Goldfinger, Soraya Darabi, and Liad Agmon. And it includes inspiring leaders like Monisha Perkash and Scott Brady.
Founders like these are best suited to support each other. They bring to the community world-class expertise and international networks that are unparalleled. And they have wisdom that could not possibly be gained without being an entrepreneur in the wild.
Shared first-hand experience makes it easy for founders to relate to one another, demonstrate true empathy, and provide potent guidance. Founders help other founders foresee the challenges they will face in the next six months, and identify the questions they need to ask now. And they share a deep respect for each other’s resilience and drive to build companies with financial and human impact.
Rather than build out a fleet of in-house domain experts, we saw that one of the most important ways we could provide support to entrepreneurs is to connect them with each other. And as we grow and invest more, the value grows, because we introduce new networks and expertise. It’s organically scalable and exponentially more valuable than siloed 1:1 mentorship, or reliance on static networks.
To activate and empower this ever-growing community, our support model is driven by the needs of founders: they access the community how and when they need it. The only rule is that they help when they are asked, and pay it forward generously. As investors, we act as the switchboard. The entire Innovation Endeavors team rallies together regularly to foster new connections, based on needs we hear expressed within the community and in the broader ecosystem. We support founders with our own expertise and industry intros, we mobilize community members to do the same, and we create opportunities for the community to convene.
These opportunities can be Founders Dinners, meet-ups for CTOs and marketing leads, and specialized working groups for team members at companies in our portfolio. We also create inspiring outings to bring the community together—like a private tour of the world’s premier oceanic research vessel, The Falkor, or a behind-the-scenes journey at The Exploratorium. Our team also builds strong ties with industry leaders so that founders can brainstorm and partner with Fortune 500 decision-makers.
The real secret behind the Innovation Community, is one of the most unexpected teams in venture capital: a poet from New York who studied Italian Futurism and was the first communications hire at Eventbrite, and the super connectorof Tel Aviv, with deep ties across industries. This inter-disciplinary, creative team of brainy and connected people, sees the patterns, makes the connections, and creates inspired opportunities where collaborations form.
The power of the community isn’t limited by geography. We see magic happen when an entrepreneur from Tel Aviv finds support and camaraderie in an international network of world-class entrepreneurs who serve as friends, mentors, and supporters as they launch in new markets. They connect with each other at Curiosity Camp, get introduced by an Innovation Endeavors team member, or reach out directly through our in-house networking platform, Connect.
Cultivating these connections, and the convening potential of interesting people solving interesting problems, is one of the greatest ways we can support entrepreneurs. It’s helping them access each other in empowering and inspired ways without limiting their creativity. It’s breaking the siloes between entrepreneurs and industry leaders to drive innovation.
For our entire team at Innovation Endeavors, the real value and fulfillment we derive from our work is in seeing how much we can achieve together, as one community. We want to see how far our collective curiosity will take us, as we partner with entrepreneurs to build lasting companies that will change the world.