BoomBoxFM co-founders Dave Marcello, back left, and Mike Hoy, right, are pictured above with Hoy's young daughter at The Startup Factory.
The 7th class of TSF companies was different that its predecessors for many reasons. It included TSF’s first-ever healthcare IT investment, and for the first time, the class was all guys. That’s unusual for us: more than one-third of our portfolio companies are founded and led by gals.
It was even odder for me since I’m more accustomed to thinking about balancing the rigors of creating a business and family from that maternal angle. (Full disclosure: not a mom at the present moment.) This group gave me a chance to better understand what that work-family balancing act looks like for dads.
And I can say after 15 weeks, these guys made it look good.
Half of the founders are dads who used their more flexible, growth-hack-from-anywhere schedules to pinch-hit on kid duty, ranging from mid-afternoon sick child pickups to sports practices. This seeming luxury to shift work hours and locations meant that while building their businesses, these guys could meaningfully share the logistics of child rearing.
The experience of being dads and building families brought this cohort together. They laughed out loud at retellings of how each first found out they’d be fathers. They shared their kid’s accomplishments (and some stupidly cute photos). They celebrated their graduation with a family-centric cookout rather than a late night of carousing post-showcase. They put their energy where their priorities are by blending their families.
With a few weeks to reflect on what I’ve seen these entrepreneur fathers do, I see that the requirements to be a great founder and a great father seem to line up. Both start with love. Kids and startups require energy, sacrifice, compromise, willingness to learning and patience. Oh, and late nights, it seems, at least in the beginning.
So this Father’s Day, I tip my hat to all the dads in our startup scene and their partners. Keep building great families and great ventures! Both are worthwhile enterprises.