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Introducing JamPad, 2023 Edition
JamPad started in October 2021 as a talent pipeline for Sinatra. It quickly began attracting founders in the ecosystem after I decided to (fish out of water, in my case) cast a beacon for the best hackers and painters to band together & build an ecosystem in the desert. A tribe began morphing after a dinner at Culinary Dropout with Josh, Tim, & Mat, as well as some (very) late night chats with Josh at WeWork. Today, we’re transitioning into a new period of JamPad and the ecosystem in Arizona. It’s the end of the beginning & time to turn the mob into a more of a highly exclusive fellowship.
Let’s dive into what’s next:
JP caused a ruckus in AZ last year. From ruffling feathers of previous ecosystem taking heads to having teenagers raise millions of dollars. Here’s a look back at some of the quantitative the mob threw up last year:
> 2,000 applications & 13 tier 1 potential founders and companies identified
> $3.5M raised by JP founders in 2022
8/13 companies already have product in market with paying customers
4 1517 members (group spun out from the Thiel Fellowship)
In 2022, JP was very loose as it tried to find its identity within Arizona’s startup ecosystem. Anyone with some understanding of “the game” and any trajectory that seemed respectable got in. Well, all those people have been kicked out effective immediately. Not permanently, but most certainly for now. Moving forward, there’s now a real bar to meet if one wants to get into JamPad.
What is the Bar?
We want to attract a cohort of founders who are building tech startups on a tier 1 trajectory (SF) , but based in AZ. Here’s what that breaks down to:
Levels of ambition - we’re not interested in someone who’s long term game is to to build and flip then go hang on their yacht in a 36 months. There’s no issue with this, but it’s not our cup of tea. Now, small stepping stones for someone like a first time founder? 100%, we like & encourage that. In general, we want those chasing the biggest thing they can fathom & are willing to commit every fiber in their bones to achieve it.
Pattern matching - most don’t understand they need to literally become whatever founder stereotype they’re closest to for investors to have an easier time parting with their money at the beginning stages of a company. Most investors are judging (at early stage, that is) if you look & sound similar to someone they’ve bet on successfully in the past. There are multiple categories for this, but that’s for a different blog.
Warm nodes - JP founders are interesting because they’d be just as successful without JP as they are with it. Having the ability run lunches, dinners, and stack positive equity is an art few today have. That skillset opens doors to accumulating nodes that are networked, thus allowing you to become networked.
Charts - say what you want, but the reality of VC today is few startups get funded without some kind of revenue or traction. That is unless you’re an insider, but you’re likely not if you’re reading this. At the end of the day, so long you have happy paying customers, you’re ahead of most anyways. Knock this domino down, you’ve accumulated a large amount of leverage for when you kick off your fundraise.
Vibe check - we want a mix of retro Silicon Valley + NYC mafioso. The retro SF world brought a culture and a cohort of people who wanted to build hardware and software that not only re-engineered how humans live their daily lives, but tested the limits of human consciousness through a combination of art & science. In terms of mafioso, most of you know I’m from NYC & was raised by the aristocratic elites of NYC & the mob. We want to bring the energy of “take what you want, don’t wait for anyone to give it to you” that NYC has to the valley. Additionally, the ruthless shell of a mobster that has extraordinarily high demands & expectations for those around them is how most of us operate personally, yet with a soft & squishy interior that cares like no other for those around them & would do anything to watch their brothers succeed.
So, What’s JP’s Goal?
JP is here to provide AZ founders who are on a tier 1 trajectory infrastructure to go from 0 to 1. We then pump them to our deep network on the west coast for distribution and capital through JP founders & friendlies. All this results in lots of attention & resources being directed to AZ & its best founders, which achieves our goal; put Arizona on the map as a nationally respected startup & tech hub.
As we begin 2023, this is a year where founders within the ecosystem will catapult to new heights; for some, that may include closing their first round of funding to begin building. For others, it’s going from startup to company. It’s a big year for Arizona’s tech scene - a lot on the line.