I created Startup Alliance to help entrepreneurs for one simple reason: Entrepreneurship is one of the greatest powers for good in this world.
It began as a face-to-face entrepreneurs peer group in Seattle in 1999 helping entrepreneurs achieve goals, overcome challenges, expand networks and maximize their success. Here’s a LinkedIn endorsement Startup Alliance received from Bill Bryant, a prominent Seattle based VC:
John created the first grassroots, large scale peer community of entrepreneurs in Seattle, called Startup Alliance. For the 5 years that John ran Startup Alliance, the programming, networking & meetups he organized delivered significant value to the entrepreneurs of Seattle. Through John’s efforts, Startup Alliance earned a reputation as a high-quality peer group where founders and CEOs could connect and enhance their businesses. Many first time (and experienced) entrepreneurs owe a debt of gratitude to John for the advice they received at Startup Alliance.
In his endorsement, Bill wrote in the past tense because we stopped regular monthly events when I took off on a yearlong sailing sabbatical.
Since then, events have been less frequent, especially since Startup Alliance followed me from Seattle to Silicon Valley and I’ve been busy building great products. But my passion to help entrepreneurs is as strong today as ever.
In 2017: Launching the Platform for Global Entrepreneurs
I “hired myself” to build the platform entrepreneurs deserve, especially those who don’t live in a startup hub. To summarize the Startup Alliance Platform, here’s some copy from todays StartupAlliance.com home page:
Since entrepreneurship is exploding worldwide, we built this platform to maximize the success of your business — wherever you are and no matter what kind of business you run.
You have found a unique one-of-a-kind toolbox specifically for entrepreneurs, one which makes it easier than ever to find and collaborate with the people that can help you most.
We’re proud of the tools we provide to global entrepreneurs:
- Member showcase uniquely quantifying their startup skills, personal traits and more. (No. It’s not like your LinkedIn or Angel List profile.)
- Private messaging system to directly contact and converse with other Members. (Collaboration has always been part of our DNA.)
- Company Objective and Key Results Tool to set goals and unify team efforts. (John Doerr introduced OKRs to Larry and Sergey at Google in 1999 and it’s practically a religion there still. All startups should use OKRs from day one—we’re proud to make that a practical reality.)
- Company KPI rating/tracking tool, our standard set of key performance indicators. (The objective is to help the team remain mindful about company strengths and weakness. And to help the team focus on what matters, our OKR tool targets each OKR to one of these 6 standard KPIs.)
- Video conferencing tool so Members can get face-to-face regardless of where they live and any time they need to connect in real-time.
- Discussion forums, because online forums have always been one of the best ways to collaborate, ask questions and get answers.
- Private Alliance tool, to help entrepreneurs move beyond their own walls by forming lasting partnerships with peers from around the world. (Each Private Alliance features a full set set of our collaboration tools including discussion forums, direct messaging and group video conferencing.)
That last tool is inspired by Mastermind Groups. Private Alliances are a huge help to entrepreneurs that don’t have easy access to effective in-person mentorship or who don’t live in a startup hub where there are lots of startup networking events and experienced entrepreneurs they can talk to.
There’s more on the way. Today and always, we listen carefully to our Members, continue to innovate and connect them to the people and the growing set of tools we provide to maximize their success.