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How Jonathan Nelson Built Hackers and Founders, a Global Network of Tech Founders

How Jonathan Nelson Built Hackers and Founders, a Global Network of Tech Founders

On today’s episode of Gritty Founder, Kreig Kent talks with Jonathan Nelson about Hackers/Founders. Jonathan shares that the bar for investable startups is getting higher and higher every year and what that means for founders.

Jonathan Nelson is the founder and CEO of Hackers and Founders. The largest global network of tech founders. Hackers and Founders events have been held in 145 cities, 45 countries and 300,000 founders have attended their events. Through their founders co-operative they’ve helped startups land in Silicon Valley and scale globally. They’ve worked with 60 companies that are now worth over $600 million dollars, and the companies have collectively raised $100 million dollars. 6 of them have exited successfully.

Some Questions Kreig Asks Jonathan:

– Take me back to the day when you decided that Hackers/Founders was the business idea you were going to pursue (5:00)
– Can you tell me a story of failure in your journey, but now looking back you actually view it as a blessing? (10:53)
– For a lot of companies that get started, investors will tell them to look for traction. What were you looking at for you to believe that your idea had potential? (21:16)
– What is the single most important ingredient that a founder needs in order to succeed? (27:23)
– Do you see anything wrong with the current approach that most Silicon Valley startups today pursue? Are there any other approaches a startup can take, especially founders who are not in this ecosystem? (35:26)
– Does entrepreneurial DNA exist, and how much of a role does it play? (43:03)

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

– About Jonathan’s background and how he started Hackers/Founders (2:16)
– Why Jonathan started Hackers/Founders (5:10)
– How Jonathan transitioned from being a nurse to an entrepreneur (11:02)
– About Jonathan’s first startup, which was a Reddit for cat pictures, as well as a few of his other early projects (12:30)
– Why Jonathan decided to start an accelerator (19:30)
– The importance of optimizing for money points (28:59)
– The difference between selling stock and building a product that people want (36:05)
– The bar for investable startups is getting higher and higher every year and what that means for founders (39:20)
– Why we often have the wrong perspective of entrepreneurship (43:42)
– Why Jonathan thinks entrepreneurship is a craft (28:00)

Connect with Jonathan Nelson:

Twitter
Hackers/Founders

See Also

Also Mentioned on This Show…

Jonathan’s Favorite Quote:
“We gotta get a bigger boat.”

Jonathan’s Book Recommendation:
He: Understanding Masculine Psychology by Robert A. Johnson

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