Hoodies will get you extra points

I think that computers and start ups are the only fields where looking like crap scores you points. Actually, it seems to be a badge of honor. No one wears a suit jacket. The guy with the suit jacket sticks out. Everyone wears a hoodie.

I brought my one hoodie–my Grockit hoodie sent all the way from Silicon Valley, and tried to fit in. I may have to rewear it today, unlaundered and all. I think that the crumpled look will get me points with the judges.

Maybe our product will too. It solves a problem in education, one that no one has solved, the fact that entrepreneurs and teachers need to have a way to connect, getting good products to students and classes. The fact that entrepreneurs need feedback to develop these products. For too long, I’ve been looking at unused icons on old computer desktops. Products that students hate. I want these entrepreneurs and visionaries to give students products they love.

They can’t do that unless they meet teachers and teachers tell them what they need. Our creation, BetaMatch, solves that. It also solve some other problems, problems I hadn’t even anticipated. Like, how does investor know if a start up is legitimate? If kids would use it? If it is been proven in front of teachers? It came to my attention that this solves this problem too. If you had told me a year ago that I would be solving problems for venture capitalists, I would’ve laughed at you.

We came to the table with a very simple solution. It seems like it has grown into something more. Sort of like every problem, and every solution, in life. That is my lesson here today.

I never expected to get this far. It’s been a surprise. And fun. I met some inspirational people who are solving the problems of education. There are a lot to choose from. Win, lose, or draw, that’s all that matters. It’s why I came here.

I got to see the inner workings of Socratic Labs, an ed tech “accelerator,” a company that develops some of the EdTech companies you will come to know soon. I waited on the subway platform at 3AM, saw my friend Heather Who Never Sleeps, she sleeping now as I write. I hope she didn’t lose her superpowers.

I met inspirational mentors, like Doug, Ash, and Chris, who helped me add value to our new company.

I even got to meet my West Coast boss, Farb Nivi, who in addition to having done some pretty great things for education himself, is a much better musician than me. That carries a lot of weight in for me.

Most importantly of all, I worked with an amazing team. I got to meet visionaries. People whose companies you will see you soon. People whose companies my company may bring to you. It was synergistic–I loved watching people work together to solve the problems of education,often working together on each other’s products. I met some people who will become my friends. I learned a lot in the process.

That’s what it’s all about.

So now, let me go prepare for our pitches tonight. I have to take some extra time to crumple my hoodie just a bit more.

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