I was in Phoenix last week and hosted 80+ software startup founders and SaaS CEOs on Tuesday night.
I know most of these founders, but there were plenty of new faces. Everyone was excited to meet in person again!
It was all about founders meeting other founders in person to make useful connections. Just CEOs and founders.
That’s the most useful part of any ecosystem–peer founders and former-founders-now-mentors who can help new entrepreneurs with their wicked problems.
The other benefit is to be around other “crazy” tech founders who understand what you are going through every day.
Sure, you can tell your employees, investors, neighbors, and others that “It’s going great!” when they ask…
But your fellow CEOs know that for everything that is going great in your business there are many big things that can kill you at any time.
It was a great turnout despite a bunch of CEOs being out of town (as always) and a Phoenix Suns playoff game that kept many CEOs occupied that night.
I hosted these invite-only CEO meetups every quarter for three years before I moved to Dallas in 2019. Now I’ll be back once a quarter to keep them going.
I also met 1-1 with 20 founders and investors in Phoenix too. And saw people I knew at every restaurant I visited!
Supporting founders in person is a big part of the Gregslist Phoenix and Gregslist Dallas mission. I talk to Phoenix and Dallas founders almost every day.
I do the same CEO meeting in Dallas once a quarter too. Both Phoenix and Dallas have over 700 real software companies, but their ecosystems are still maturing.