The Inaugural EIA Cohort Finale
March 31, 2023
The last in-person gathering for the inaugural cohort of EIA founders was filled with excitement, gratitude, and impact. At the happy hour portion of the session, the founders each had a few minutes to share how their startup has been impacted by participating in the EIA, as well as to make an “ask” of the audience.
Watch some of the highlights of the impact the EIA helped the create in the last 12 months:
They are all looking to start or to continue fundraising this year. Check out the profiles of the startups.
Earlier in the afternoon, Dr. Julie Pham, the Find Venture’s Curiosity Director, led the founders through 10 min peer mentoring rounds where each founder presented a challenge and experience and the other founders got to ask clarifying questions and provide suggestions and resources. The challenges they raised included whether they should focus on fundraising or raising revenue, managing the expectations of non-founder employees, how to educate a public on an innovative new industry while also building a product, and how to manage the power dynamics in fundraising.
Many of them talked about the benefit of how helpful it was to be in a community of founders. Gautam Nayak, a Wenatchee-based medical doctor by day and cofounder of Coltrain said, “the conversations we have are completely different from my everyday conversations. I feel like I could talk to anyone in this group, and in one second, you understand what I’m going through as a founder.”
Laura Clise, founder of Intentionalist, said she felt a sense of responsibility to support Find Ventures and future EIA cohorts by demonstrating that the investment was worthwhile. “I want to meaningfully contribute to the community that has helped our companies grow and scale. We’re the test case and we need to make sure we’re not the last case.”
As they ended their time together, Dr. Pham reminded them that they are a community now and they will always be able to reconnect to support one another. She said that mentor reporters taught her that building relationships have compound interest, and that they can reach out to each other in three months, five years, 10 years, 20 years. “One day, you all can accomplish great things and you’ll say, I knew that person back when.”