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Patrick Henshaw came to Louisville about 4 months ago to lead the Louisville Entrepreneurship Acceleration Partnership (LEAP) as CEO.
If you’re part of our entrepreneurial community, you’ve probably seen him speak at an event or two. You’ve probably heard some of his vision for the local startup world. However, he probably hasn’t had time to talk too much about his background.
It’s become more and more clear with successful entrepreneurial communities around the country that startup communities are more successful when they are lead by entrepreneurs. Well, when you hear his story, you’ll see that Patrick has real, in-the-trenches, entrepreneurial experience, including pitching many, many, many angels before getting his first investment.
In this podcast, you’ll learn about his entrepreneurial journey and more, including his real life combat experience, which earned him a Bronze Star.
You’ll also find out what Patrick has learned from 4 months on the job and his thoughts about the growth and success of our startup community.
So enjoy the latest MetroStart podcast with Patrick Henshaw.
Transcript (machine transcribed, so please forgive the typos)
Alan: 00:02 Hey everybody, welcome to the MetroStart podcast. This is Alan Grosheider. And today I’m talking to Patrick Henshaw . He’s the CEO that was just brought in about four months ago to run the label entrepreneurship acceleration, partnership or leap. And uh, we’ve met a number of times that I’ve seen him speak a number of times at events. And, uh, with this podcast we’re going to kind of dig a little deeper into who Patrick is and how he’s qualified to help us bring our startup community together and accelerate this startup community. So, Hey Patrick.
Patrick: 00:37 Hey Alan. How are you?
Alan: 00:39 I’m doing all right. We’ve, we’ve already had our discussion about the weather so we can,
Patrick: 00:44 right. I’m more impressed not only at the weather but the fact that you knew the entirety of leaping its acronym of Louisville Entrepreneurship acceleration partnership. That’s good.
Alan: 00:54 Well that’s the benefit of being able to sit on my computer while we’re having the interview. Cause I’m looking at here at your linkedin profile right now. I love it. I can like bending. You’re one of those guys like me that has your whole resume on there. And so now I can really just roll through it and pick, you know, try to find things to ask you about some
Patrick: 01:14 that’s right. Well, it’s been quite the journey with, uh, I think we’re up to 20 addresses in 20 years now. So literally and physically been all over the place.
Alan: 01:23 I, you know, I was rolling through your resume out here and just thinking, man, um, you know, you’re, for one thing, you’re younger than me and you’ve in so many places and done so many different things on there. I don’t even know how you were able to keep your head on straight while you’re doing awesome.
Patrick: 01:40 Supporting spouse
Alan: 01:41 Yeah, and married to the same person the whole time.
Patrick: 01:45 Yeah, exactly.
Alan: 01:46 Yeah, that’s, that’s amazing itself. So once you kind of start with, um, where you grew up and I always like to try to figure out what things in your childhood made you more entrepreneurial than somebody else now what, where, where’d you grow up? What was your childhood like? And you know, we don’t have to get into like anything really traumatic rating.
Patrick: 02:10 We can, we can go there too. I’m a, I’m a transfer kind of guy. So I grew up in Houston, Texas, uh, born and raised, uh, moved once my entire life. Uh, one, one of the reasons was because of, uh, our neighbors. Uh, their backyard. Well, I’ll fast forward the story because it was full of grass. Uh, I, he marijuana, uh, and that was not as kosher as it was as it is moving into today. So it was, it was not a great neighborhood shop of the day, old bread store, you know, uh, or graduated high school with, didn’t have any other education beyond that. Um, and she’s really one of my inspirations for being in, going and pressing through because from not having, you know, a college education, um, she’s now about to retire as a senior executive at a publicly traded title insurance company after having a first career at IBM. Um, so she’s really been an awesome inspiration for me in my life.
Alan: 03:08 You know, I think that it seems to be a common theme. What are those common themes for people who are more entrepreneurial? Is is definitely, and it’s not all across the board, but often growing up without having a whole lot and you know, cause I grew up, we always had everything we needed, but I didn’t have the coolest shoes and the designer shirts and everything. And it always felt like, you know, the other kids had a little bit more than me, so damn it, I was going to go out and you know, you get it for myself that, that I think somehow that stuck in my head at a young age.
Patrick: 03:44 Yeah. Well kind of, it’s funny you say that because it kind of saddened me that, uh, that Payless filed for a, for a second bankruptcy this year because that was my jam. Oh, hey, let’s all the time to give by velcro shoes.
Alan: 04:01 Wait.
Patrick: 04:02 Yeah. But I think,
Alan: 04:04 go ahead. Go ahead. I was just going to make a dumb joke. If you were like 10 before you learned how to tie shoes, but you know,
Patrick: 04:12 well, I, uh, that might’ve been the case. I’m, I’m, uh, you’ll, you’ll find people around, they always talk about how I’m about efficiency and effectiveness and island yet this is probably going to show up on some weird trivia show or something. But I wore velcro shoes and dogs and like the sixth grade, I didn’t get, I didn’t get why you needed laces. What’s the point license? You can just zip them on, just them off.
Alan: 04:34 Yeah. You know, I’m surprised there aren’t more shoes that are Valkyrie that more people don’t wear that because it is a lot more efficient anyway. That’s right.
Patrick: 04:42 That’s right. Anyways, I digress from my Houston days anyways. So grew up in Houston and uh, my, my parents actually don’t live there any longer cause my, my, uh, childhood home flooded about four times, um, from various different weather events. So my parents literally and physically, physically have now moved to higher ground.
Alan: 05:02 So in your, as a kid, did you, were you an entrepreneurial kid?
Patrick: 05:07 Yeah. So we, um, so the short answer is yes. The longer answer is everything from, uh, mowing grass, um, to one of the early entrepreneurial efforts that we got into was actually, we had Dalmatians as a kid and we would, uh, we had female donations and we would breed Dalmatians in our own home, um, as a side project to make money. One of my good friends in high school, or actually from Pre k until, um, we, we both went off to college. Her, her parents were Yvette that used to live right around the corner from us. So we had a good little little side hustle of, uh, having, uh, having beautiful little a Dalmatian kids and then to doing the typical entrepreneurial thing of, uh, capturing the, uh, the local market, uh, for lawnmowing business and my neighborhood too, which is always fun.
Alan: 05:56 Did that too. I have a twin brother and we had our little law unmooring low mowing business. I had a paper out when I was in sixth grade and I think that’s really common for entrepreneurs is to have that drive to earn a few bucks when you’re a kid and to realize that you can do it. Okay.
Patrick: 06:14 To understand the market opportunity. And, and for me too, it was about at least later in life through middle school and high school is about leading other people, not necessarily to be entrepreneurial, but leader leadership in general, which is a big, um, you know, kind of a personal passion of mine.
Alan: 06:31 Yeah. And I won’t, I won’t get in it too, uh, too much because I think I’ve said this on about 15 different podcasts, but that leadership thing I think is so important to entrepreneurship because it’s, you know, that Tom Sawyer effect, it’s that, that’s what an entrepreneur does. You’re the guy who’s talking everybody into doing things and being happy about it, doing it for, you know, a third of the money they could make somewhere else.
Patrick: 06:55 That’s right. That’s right. With the potential to make three or 30 x if it works out.
Alan: 06:59 Right. Yup. So then what’s, so what’s next? Where, where, where did your, where’d you go to school and, and you know, how did that shape your entrepreneurial spirit?
Patrick: 07:11 Yeah. So, so you would have think that would have stifled that? Cause I went to the, uh, United States Military Academy at West Point. Um, and, and obviously that’s a direct path to, um, to, to be in the army. Um, but for me, again, the main reason why, two main reasons why I went to West Point one was obviously it’s the premiere leadership, um, development school in, in, I mean this is obviously a skewed perspective because I went there but the world, um, and, and at the time, you know, I, I had, you know, I knew just like every high school or knows what they want to do when they grew up. I knew I wanted to be a civil engineer. Um, and at the time I, that I went to westpoint civil and they were the number two school for civil engineering in the nation. And the number one school at the time was the Colorado School of mines. Um, and if you change your degree from engineering at the Colorado School of mines, it was two engineering.
Patrick: 08:09 I figured, I figured leadership. And number two is, is not a bad, is not a bad example to go to. So I got a degree in civil engineering. I got a second degree. So in civil engineering as well. Um, and interesting tidbits. West point was the first, or is the first private engineering school in the nation in 1802. And my master’s is from the first, uh, excuse me. The West Point was the first public engineering school in the nation in 1802 and Norwich where I got my master’s in civil engineering was the first private engineering school in the nation and 18, 19. Um, so again, I knew I wanted to be a civil engineer. We see how well that’s worked out as we progress. But I joined the army, uh, actually with the corps of Engineers, um, led troops in combat, did the whole airborne ranger, um, air assault thing before going over to Afghanistan to lead, uh, men and women there and, and really do a bunch of, you know, looking back on it, enabling of entrepreneurs in a very specific way.
Patrick: 09:08 Um, so what we did in Afghanistan was look for roadside bombs or rock clearance, as you might’ve heard it called. And really the intent for our rock clearance was to open up literal and physical logistics supply chains. So the entrepreneurs in Afghanistan could get their goods to market. And the reason behind what we wanted to do that for is all economic development, economic stimulus, right. If, if they weren’t able to get their goods to market, they weren’t able to provide for their families. And then they were in circumstances where they had the compromise themselves either, uh, morally, ethically, religiously to someone else who was constraining a, a resource that they had. So it, even back then it was all about kind of helping, um, maybe not intentionally at the forefront, but a huge piece of what we are doing is helping, helping supply chain. So, um, that’s, I got my career start looking for roadside bombs and then got a call from a, from a two star general, actually from a west point connection.
Patrick: 10:04 Um, when I was in Afghanistan, kind of like the Uncle Sam poster that said, I want you, uh, he said, I want you to come to the my executive officer. Um, and I said, okay, sir, I’d like to get my men and women home, which we did all safe and sounds, no, no casualties, even though we had quite a few events. Um, in Afghanistan, we came back, got everybody back on ground in Germany, and about seven days later, my, uh, lovely bride and I move to the booming civil war town of Vicksburg, Mississippi, which I had the Google and Afghanistan. Uh, and the interesting thing about Vicksburg, Mississippi, mmm. Or one of the interesting things is it is the home of about four of the corps of Engineers, army corps of Engineers, laboratories from hi, hi. Highly trained research and, um, investigative research activities from coastal waterways to hydraulics to thermodynamics to, um, a bunch of different stuff.
Patrick: 11:03 Anyways, Vicksburg, Mississippi of all places, has one of the highest phd, uh, ratios per capita in anywhere in the u s because of this research laboratory are these couple of research laboratories that were there. So we split time between, um, me and my, uh, my, uh, two star that I worked with split time between the, basically Vicksburg and up and down the Mississippi River. Um, over to over to DC where we spend a bunch of times. So then after that, mmm got the entrepreneurial Itch, uh, got, uh, a little bit frustrated with me trying to press things technologically and personally in the military and got out and I said, you know, what’s, what’s, what’s better than creating your own meritocracy? So let’s do it. So started my own companies. Three M in parallel are in series, not in parallel. One was a software dev shop, second one is a machine and machine iot before that word was cool.
Patrick: 11:58 And then the third is really, that got me into the, to the venture space, uh, and, and frankly deeper into the Midwest. Um, because we applied to a couple of top 10 accelerators, got accepted in the two Alpha lab. I’m in Pittsburgh, um, attached to Carnegie Mellon. Uh, and then, uh, and then the brand or in Cincinnati. And then once we raised some venture capital, I moved out to the left coast to open up our office out there and develop a bunch of partnerships in the digital health space with the fitbit’s and the misfits and the apple watches. And pebbles of the world. And, uh, fast forward that, which I’m sure we’ll talk more a lot about that in the future, but ended up one of my angel investors. So I met in San Francisco, um, gave me a call, um, and said, hey, once you think about moving back to Cincinnati to help grow the center fuse thing, uh, which was a corporate venture capital fund to funds, uh, really one of the, one of the early entrepreneurs and innovators in building ecosystems and truly understanding how entrepreneurial ecosystems work and more specifically actually innovation ecosystems work.
Patrick: 13:04 So that’s where I just recently came from about two or three months ago to Louisville to help, um, inspire spark innovation, um, and scale our innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Alan: 13:15 It definitely sounds like great background for what you’re doing here. In a couple of couple of things as you were talking, um, a couple of thoughts. One was, was something that really interests me is the, the experience that you had because you were, you had that experience of actually being in combat. I think, you know, that sort of living a life where were you, you know, you have done some things that are so scary that when you become an entrepreneur, you’re kind of like, well, this is nothing compared to having somebody potentially shooting at me or bombs blowing up in my face.
Patrick: 13:55 Yeah. Or people bringing you mind. That’s another.
Alan: 13:59 Okay. Yeah, that sounds horrible. You know, and I have, I have not done anything like that, but I have always been the guy that liked very high adrenaline rush things in different martial arts things and mountain climbing and you know, I love those mud races and tough mudders and things like that. Um, and I think putting yourself, there’s a, there’s a, you’ve heard of the Spartan Spartan races,
Patrick: 14:26 right?
Alan: 14:26 And those guys do a great podcast that I would highly recommend any entrepreneur listened to because they’re all about the fact that if you, if you keep yourself, if you do things that really put things in perspective, um, it makes life a lot easier when you go out when you something that’s very hard and very stressful and not really a whole lot of fun. When you go back to your, I mean maybe great fun but very stressful and intense and then you go back to just your day to day stuff. It makes being an entrepreneur a lot easier. So
Patrick: 15:01 yeah, and it is truly all about perspective. It’s about exposure and it’s about perspective exposure gives you the perspective, right? And a lot of, a lot of the work that we’re doing, um, here really is around the focus of helping the entrepreneur. But a lot of what we’re doing is a lot of alignments in the ecosystem. Um, because there are a lot of payers, there is a lot of them history here. There’s a lot of, you know, potential opportunity in the future that we want. We want to get aligned. So we can scale and grow as an ecosystem and a lot there’s, there’s some tense situations at times and, um, a lot of people, uh, you know, kind of look at me like, hi, how are you? Well, one, how was this like, how are you handling this? And to like, why are you still smiling
Alan: 15:47 and to your,
Patrick: 15:48 it’s all about perspective. Yeah.
Alan: 15:50 Right? Yeah, yeah. Those guys on that Spartan podcast saying, what’s in there? Is that a navy seal guy? Um, gosh, jock Jackovatz or something like that, you know, and he has a podcast that he talks about that all the time to, you know, do, do things to really stress yourself so that when you go to do your job and do your entrepreneurial activities or whatever, you know, it just, everything is in perspective and it feels a lot easier. So I’m glad to have somebody with that perspective leading our entrepreneurial community because, um, that’s a, yeah. You know, I’m sure there’s a lot, eh, a lot of uphill fight that you’re going to have in getting everybody to play together. Um, which I’m sure as, you know, as you’ve spent four months talking to a lot of people there, you know, there’s, there’s a lot of things we need to work on. It’s a, it’s a great honor. We have a fantastic entrepreneurial community, especially for a city our size, but definitely have a lot of stuff to work on, a lot, a lot of that. So the other thing I wanted that I thought of is, is raising capital when you had, so you do have experience of being the guy that started knocking on doors to raise capital. What was it like, what did you do to raise capital for your very first company?
Patrick: 17:03 I think I like calculus awhile ago. I think for our $2 million, uh, um, the 2 million bucks we raised, we knocked on about 72 different doors. And that was back when it was easy to raise capital, arguably. Right. Um, and, and I think, you know, the net of that conversation or that snippet is don’t give up. Um, it’s not going to be easy. Don’t give up. And now, you know, the, the, especially with the stuff that, um, you know, you Alan that brought to light more specifically, um, with the other opportunities and platforms and venues of how to raise capital there, there’s more ways than ever mmm. Of how to get capital into your company if can involve you leveraging your house or you’re selling your car or whatever. But it doesn’t have to right. That those options just weren’t around back then. Back when I was raising capital.
Alan: 17:59 Yeah. Back in the days where it was easy to raise capital, but in every, there were tons of VC firms in the.com boom, that a lot of those vcs did have that mindset of I want you to have your house leveraged. You know, every credit card racked up, I want you working 24, seven and you know, I, I don’t care if you get divorced, I want you doing nothing but work. And you know, and I don’t think that’s, I think that’s a, the a quick spiral to burn out and your company going down the tubes. So for me that a lot of my, what I want to try to help the start up community do is make it not make it easier for any idiot to raise venture cafe or to raise funds for the company. Because, you know, you can have to have a decent idea and the needs to be some vetting. But for the person who is willing to work hard and has a great idea, we need to make it easier for, for them to raise that capital so they can get to it and not just, just spend all their time trying to raise capital. Um, which is a problem. Yup.
Patrick: 19:05 That’s exactly it. It is a problem. Um, and, and even, you know, moreover at a, at a broader scale, mmm. You know, our, our own, uh, our own government is thinking about this right from the sec all the way down to, you know, the individual investor, right. Because they understand the need for stimulating, stimulating capital and stimulating economies and stimulating ecosystems. So there’s a lot of changes that are happening right now, um, to allow this to happen.
Alan: 19:40 Well that, and that’s a lot of what I try to pay attention to with metro start. And I won’t get into it all here, but the different types of SCC filings that allow you to get really public and your capital raising, uh, you know, the jobs act brought all of those things into play. And those are things I think we just really need to work into our start up community and really leveraged to, you know, the Max ability to get more people investing in startups. So, um, but let’s talk about what you’ve seen now that you’ve been here for four months and have learned more about our startup community. What do,
Patrick: 20:18 hmm. Yeah. So for first and foremost, uh, what, what kind of, I I’ll, I’ll talk about what we need to do and specifically the reason why, you know, we’re here as leap to help do some of these things. Um, first and foremost is do exactly what we’re doing right now is I call it be a megaphone, right? Talk about the things that we’re doing. Talk about the great work that’s happening, talk about the resources that exist. Um, talk about the successes and about the failure, right? Cause we need to be more specifically, um, transparent and educational and, and, and an open about what happens because that makes people more comfortable getting into the space, investing in the space, starting in the space, taking the leap from, uh, from there, from, from their day job, you know, Procter and gamble or Humana or wherever to start a company. Um, so the first thing is be a megaphone. We just need to talk about that more. Are Our Midwestern in southern roots are very humble, right? We don’t necessarily talk about all the awesome things that are happening and we need to, because, you know, when we do, we get companies like I, I just, um, I just came back from an awesome meeting with the, with Rafi, who’s the Co founder of borderless. Um, there are simple secure global international payments provider. Get borderless.com and they moved here from Manhattan.
Alan: 21:37 That’s awesome.
Patrick: 21:37 I’ll pause for effect.
Patrick: 21:40 They moved to Louisville, Kentucky from Manhattan. Right? And a big piece of that was, um, around, um, well cost of living. Um, but a big piece of that too is around the things that we’re, we have and that we’re working on the future. First and foremost, being a megaphone. The second is integrating, um, integrating with the corporations that are here in our own backyard from the Papa John’s. So the yum brands to the, um, to, uh, Brown foreman to Humana, to kindred, to Norton, all these different huge companies that are in our own backyard. We need to help them innovate, right? Yeah. Um, as an ecosystem to help them become more efficient and effective in our startups need and want customers to. So that’s, that’s a big piece. Why hey or me talk more specifically about an innovation ecosystem and not just an entrepreneurial ecosystem. I think a lot of the, the past work that we’ve done with entrepreneurs, you’re in the region has been awesome.
Patrick: 22:40 MMM. But we’ve only focused on the entrepreneur, uh, and the founder. We haven’t focused on plugging them into a broader network and truly building an ecosystem. Um, and how, how that’s helpful because it gets them access to capital, access to customers, et cetera. And then the final thing that we’re working on and that we need to work on is, and is the most important thing is help startups grow. Um, and leap is helping startups grow by access. And it’s all about access, access to talent, access to capital. Um, that’s all levels of capital, access to customers and access to programming and education, um, uh, along those verticals. So that, that’s, that’s the how we are and where we are. That’s the, where we’re going inside of it too.
Alan: 23:25 Well, that company moving from Manhattan, such an important thing to see happen. Um, and we talked a little bit before we got on the recording here that, that
Alan: 23:38 our community has so much to offer in terms of great, uh, you know, arts and restaurants and parks and all the cool things that are going on in Louisville. It’s a really fun, attractive place to live and in the cost of living is low. So I think it makes, I think there should be over the next 10 years, a huge exodus of companies from the really expensive markets like New York and Silicon Valley to cities like Louisville. And if we really embrace touting our, our, uh, what a great city it is to live in and just what a fun place it is and what a cool place it is, that’s important. And, uh, you know, I’ve companies, a lot of companies these days can work from anywhere. It really doesn’t matter where Yup. People are located. Uh, but people need to realize how cool, uh, Louisville is. And I’m, I went to an event last night, that canopy event, um, and the woman who’s, there was a woman that spoke there who is, um, kind of an, uh, in a, an extra innovation expert in a professor at Stanford. And, and apparently she had heard what a cool city of Louisville is for a long time. And I, when she said that, I was just really, Yep. Proud to hear that being said and hopefully more people do find out what a cool city we are in, in companies like this move here. That’s great.
Patrick: 25:04 Yeah. Well in two things, inside of that one, um, it’s not just a cool city, but it’s a cool region because the other thing that a lot of people don’t realize is we sit on the border of two awesome states with Indiana and Kentucky, right. And there’s a lot of leverage on the capital side in Indiana from folks like, uh, elevate ventures, um, to the Kentucky side and the support that the cabinet for economic development specifically with the state of Kentucky that has directly provided mmm. To, to help and grow the innovation ecosystem and help startups. And, and I love your point about, um, about, uh, moving here and, and, and it’s not just about the jobs. I was talking with, uh, Vivek, uh, sorry, right? Who’s the executive officer for the cabinet for economic development for the state of Kentucky this past weekend. And I said that Vivek, you know, people will move to a region or we’ll move to a city because of a job.
Patrick: 26:01 Yeah. They will stay here because of a culture and an ecosystem. Right. And that’s what we’re building. And that’s the movement that we’re moving into is building that culture and building that ecosystem. So when folks either move here for the first time, like Ravi or frankly Aye ma, my projection is there’s going to be a lot of people that are moving back here that our boomerang, hers that have lived in the Chicagos and the Bostons and the Austins and the San Franciscos and our life. Hey, that’s a, that’s, those are awesome cities. Uh, but there’s also a point of difference that, uh, the Midwest and that that’s south and that Louisville and our region specifically have to offer that I want to come back to, which is going to be key aspect of gross, rough growth for us in the future.
Alan: 26:46 So how, and I probably should interview this company that’s moving from, from Manhattan, but what, how did they find out? How did they figure out that Louisville was where they wanted to go and how do we do, how do we get that word out to other cities?
Patrick: 27:02 Yeah, and you’ll have to interview rob because he’s got an awesome background and an interesting story. So I’ll, I’ll make sure to make that connection and we’ll, we’ll tag that a piece to get an intro to Rafi. Uh, but a big piece of that is us talking about the things that we’re doing right. Um, and that one of those, one of those entry points that came to me of all things. Okay. The cabinet for economic development, um, and through Brian Mefford, um, Andy and his team there and Brian is the head of entrepreneurship and innovation there. Um, it’s, it’s, it’s a big deal that we’re, we as an ecosystem are able to get the level of support and access, um, uh, from folks like Brian and Vivek. Um, and the outgoing secretary of economic development, Secretary Gill, um, all the way up through the governor, uh, governor Bevin.
Patrick: 27:56 Um, and, and again, on both sides of the river, right. Cause that’s the beauty and the levers that we have living where we’re at. MMM. Back through into the, uh, the Indiana state side again, with entities like 1804, which are a part of leaf and that are becoming, you know, even more intimately involved in the lead brands. We’ll get, we’ll talk more about that in the future. But through, you know, I mentioned elevate ventures, right? $200 million state funds. Rocky and I were talking about this this afternoon. Um, that opens up capital that might not otherwise been available and frankly helps you double down on the investment dollars that you could already have a, I already have, um, soft circle.
Alan: 28:35 Yeah. Yeah. For some reason I’m just sitting here thinking all of that stuff that’s going on. I’ve had a tremendous amount of luck finding investors through using the process that I’ve talked about with metro start with linkedin ads and Facebook ads and things. Wonder if we could just, somebody could be in charge of just running ads in New York and Silicon Valley and places like that because you can target entrepreneurs, you can target people that have an interest in, uh, you know, startup stuff and y Combinator or whatever. You can target those on Facebook ads and just hammer adds to the startup companies tell, you know, touting the, the quality of life here and the low cost of living. It’s pretty cheap, you know, I don’t know. Put that on the list somewhere.
Patrick: 29:22 Well, and again, I’m sure, I’m sure the lawyers would want me to mention the conversation that we’re having is personal, not any business advice and you should talk to your accountant and your lawyer. But yeah. W with, with avenues and yeah. Um, you know, uh, the ability to raise and file through things like that, the reg d zero six B where you can have basically an unlimited number of, um, of an accredited investors and up to 35 nonaccredited a year that you can’t advertise to. That’s awesome. For those existing relationships that you have with friends and family that might not be accredited. But yeah, to your point with the reg d if I will succeed. MMM. Those, not that the, the, uh, accredited investors, you can directly advertise to them and you don’t necessarily have to have an existing relationship. You can throw a Facebook ad or a linkedin ad to them based on their interest in and frankly, based on who you want as smart money into your business. Right. Whether that’s a strategic investor or somebody who’s invested in similar space or somebody that’s got a network connection that they can benefit, uh, at mutually from investing in your company. So it’s definitely an awesome avenue.
Alan: 30:29 Yeah. And that’s, well, that’s what I’m kind of teaching through metro start, but I’m talking about even started to, to get the startup companies here. It’s so easy to toggle. Yeah. It’s easier to target the startup people than it is the investors, you know, so target them and just say, hey guys, look at, look how cool Louisville is and it’s a low cost of living and we’ve got a good startup community. So move your company here. You know, somebody, somebody should be in charge or running.
Patrick: 30:55 And to, to that point, I think one of the things, I know one of the things in the, and the points of difference that we have is the partners that are literally and physically coming to the table, um, through this leap initiative in the lead partnership. Right? I mean, one of the most, um, interesting and powerful, um, assets that we have in the region is, is a, a propensity for healthcare because we have, um, because we have so many, um, healthcare companies in our own backyard. Um, and yeah, one of the, one of the, you know, key partners, uh, in and leap is the Louisville health care CEO Council. Um, and that is,
Alan: 31:35 yeah,
Patrick: 31:35 you know, 12, 13 of the most powerful CEOs, um, from, you know, Bruce Broussard at Humana, to Ben Breier, at kindred, to Randy Buford at trilogy. I mean, these are global national power players that are here in our own backyard and that are, that are saying, hey, we want to understand aging innovation and we want to understand the care industry and we want to be open to start ups, um, and to innovation from all over the country that want to be and work and live and eat and sleep and breathe and innovate in our own backyard and mobile. So it’s pretty, it’s pretty exciting when you think about the whole ecosystem as a, as an entity.
Alan: 32:14 And so what are the different partners in leap right now? Well, yeah, our partners are,
Patrick: 32:21 yeah, University of Louisville and specifically the research and innovation arm there. Um, the Louisville health care CEO Council, which we just talked about, accelerate health, which is a nationally ranked startup accelerator. Um, Glis enterprise core, uh, and 1804, which is the state diverse and inclusive grassroots efforts, um, led by the folks at Ogle Foundation.
Alan: 32:44 Gotcha. Yeah. All of it. You know, it’s again, for the size of our city, the, the efforts at working all those different organizations helping the entrepreneurial community are pretty amazing. And it’s great to see somebody trying to put it all together and get everybody working together. And you had mentioned that, you know, the CEO’s of the healthcare companies and I just read an article over the last couple of days about how important, um, what do they call it? Corporate vcs are becoming, you know,
Patrick: 33:18 yeah. Corporate venture capital,
Alan: 33:19 right. That, that, uh, and I think they mentioned, um, say it, was it salesforce and, um, there were several different ones that have significant VC arms that are, you know, trying to sort of groom companies that they may purchase or at least invest in it. Is there any potential, do you see that happen? Is that, what are you seeing as far as getting the local big companies involved in this, in this process?
Patrick: 33:49 Yeah, I definitely think it’s a potential and it’s, it’s one of the key pieces when we were in Cincinnati that we used, um, to activate the community and the, um, and the corporate set are there. Um, and was, was frankly one of the key cornerstones behind, um, center views was the fund to funds. MMM. And for those who aren’t familiar, how the fund to funds model work, I’m in Cincinnati, which could be a potential for here is the corporates invested into center fuse. Um, and then Cintrifuse actually, and it sounds weird and that kind of messed with, uh, traditional economic developments, mind that VC fund then invested on the coast.
Alan: 34:36 Hmm.
Patrick: 34:36 It seems very strange that you would take money from your own backyard and pump it into the coast. But what happened is that allowed Cincinnati to create, uh, an active network to coastal investors that we’re now looking at one looking at deals that were in the middle of the country in, in Cincinnati, and to what it also brought was those companies into the backyards of proctor and gamble and Kroger and, uh, all the other investors because they were the, those, those vcs wanted to plug their companies into those entities as well. So it was a big economic active network driver. Um, and actually there, there’s a regional economic multipliers. The is the term that centerpiece uses, but there was basically, yeah, five times a five x regional economic multiplier, uh, for the 50 k 15, excuse me, 15 million that, uh, at the time was deployed and capital, I think they were up over, um, close to 100 million now. But at the time when 50 million was deployed, there was over 250 million, uh, in investment dollars in investment capital that was raised in and through, um, the, the startup since the ecosystem. So it is definitely a, a huge driver for economic development and venture dollars. Uh, and, and there’s an example for it and that’s where I came from up north.
Alan: 35:57 So I know you’ve only been here for about four months now. Is there, have you felt any potential for, have you been able to meet with some of the big companies? Is there any potential for those things, something like that to happen here?
Patrick: 36:11 Yeah, there’s potential for that to happen. Um, and I think the other, the other thing that we need to talk more openly about too is the whole gamut of, uh, access to capital. So things like metro start things like reinvigorating the angel ecosystem here, uh, because we need all levels of that capital right there. They’re there. We need to educate the ecosystem, educates the case, the wrong word. We need to do it unlock and inspire. Um, the opportunity that, uh, angel investing can create. There’s just not a bunch of education, a bunch of material, a bunch of programming, a bunch of access out there. So that’s one of our key roles to is to help stimulate all levels of capital from that angel investment all the way to and through the potential for a, uh, corporate investment as well.
Alan: 37:04 All right, well one thing I thought of while you were talking about being the megaphone, um, you know, anytime you want to, to create a podcast, just let me know. We can talk about anything. Um, I’ve kind of got the process down for launch it out and it goes out to like 10 or 12 different podcasts sites, iTunes and everything. So I can kind of help the megaphone if, if, uh, you know, if there’s, there are companies like the guys from Manhattan or just anything you want to talk about. I’m, I’m glad to help accelerate the megaphone and a little bit. So
Patrick: 37:39 I love it. I love it. And even in the, in the new entrepreneurship center, you’ll appreciate this. There’s, I think there’s actually a podcast room going into the first floor, uh, of the entrepreneurship center there on 900 east main, uh, in Nulu. So that, that should be exciting.
Alan: 37:53 Yeah. I can’t wait to, I haven’t been in there since they’re much. I was there when half of the construction was done, but I’m, I’m excited to see at, um, that’s been a long time coming and that I love that building. I had toured that building 20 years ago and thought it was a great building. This, I’m glad to see that, you know, become a part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem that’s going to be a lot of really cool places.
Patrick: 38:17 And, and it was yet another physical manifestation of that Tech Stars report that w one of our other key partners in this whole effort is techstars. Hmm. Um, and they did this entrepreneurial deep dive into our ecosystem and one of the key pieces that was called out as we need more critical density. And, uh, and actually that building was called out in the report of, of on necessity to have a building like that in the ecosystem. So it’s exciting that we’re, uh, we’re making waves and we’re emerging and developing our, our ecosystem.
Alan: 38:48 Yeah. I think it’s going to be fun just to have a place to, you know, drop in and meet people and, you know, there’s coffee shops nearby, so it’s really gonna help that bus and getting more people interested in, in the the ecosystem. That’s great. So you, I think I’ve heard you mentioned before that you know, you, you feel like you’re here to stay in this area and I hear people all the time say, Oh, you know, we have a lot of things that are intended to suit, to spur, you know, entrepreneurial-ism or whatever. And then, you know, it’s, it’s around for two or three years and then it all just dissolves. So what do you say to that? Are you, you, you, how do you feel like this is going to sustain and can this drive sustain for indefinitely to, to keep building out to prayer or ECO system?
Patrick: 39:36 Yeah. Can drive and sustain if it needs to, if it should. Um, one of the other key aspects that I think we need to realize is, you know, that at this point, you know, somebody, a reporter asked me the other day is leap the heartbeat of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. And I was like, no, the entrepreneur.
Patrick: 40:00 So the more guy question of that, but, but when I did say is I said, uh, I would treat us more like the defibrillator w we, we were taken off the wall. We are, we are meant to expose the ecosystem a little bit, right? Rip Open your shirt a little bit. We’re going to put the paddles on, we’re going to add a shock to the ecosystem. And then maybe we go sit back on the wall for a little bit, uh, later and maybe we become some other device or platform. Maybe we turn it into a fund or we turn into, um, maybe we turn into something else in three, six, five years. Uh, what we need today is we need that megaphone. We need the stimulus for helping companies innovate and we need to help startups grow through access. And we’re going to operate and maintained in an agile fashion and understand what the ecosystem needs and not become stagnant. Two One business model or one brand or one program or one entity. Uh, cause that’s not how ecosystems grow. That’s not how, uh, organisms frankly interact. And that’s how we’re going to do. So we’re, we’re gonna we’re going to be in build to a sustainable path forward based on the needs of the ecosystem. And those are all the different players from university to talent to venture capital to corporates, to, to the startups who are obviously the number one customer as well.
Alan: 41:22 Yeah. Well I think we’re hitting about 45 minutes here so I don’t want to drag out too long, but um, is there anything else you want to talk about? Just get out there at the end of the podcast and sum up what you’ve got going on and, and now anything people can do to help.
Patrick: 41:42 Yeah. Main things you can do to help get plugged in. Go find a startup, talk to a startup, purchase from a startup, give him feedback, become an advisor, become a subject matter expert. Go invest in a startup, um, as you guys know and see from, you know, metro startup launcher, second be, it doesn’t have to be $100 million that you’re investing. It could be $1,000, right? So get involved, stay plugged in. And to the thing that I would selfishly active, ask us, give us feedback, right Patrick at Louisville, leap.com is my email address. Leaders out front on Twitter, tweet at me, it’s slack at me. Uh, send me an email. We want feedback for how we’re doing, uh, what’s needed in the ecosystem. Oh, what, what you think might not be needed in the ecosystem if we’re doing that, uh, provide feedback and, and I’ll, and I’ll close with the fact of we’re viewing, I’m viewing and taking this view through the lens of Ah, four key areas and that is ah, through trust, through transparency, through communication, and through impact. We have to have all those in our ecosystem and in our ethos ethos as we move forward. Um, so we can be and grow and build the best and greatest, uh, by state, local region that we can build.
Alan: 43:00 Awesome. Well I can tell you for being a guy that’s been in our entrepreneurial community for 25 plus years and you know, to seeing the ups and downs that I’m excited to have you here. I came to the first, uh, I think that the first event that you spoke was the point down in a butcher town. I think there was one of the first things you talk where you got it in front of everybody. And um, you know, I think I went in with, with just sort of, uh, the skepticism of, of, you know, just another event for our entrepreneurial community. And I, I’m not, I’m not negative like that, but I think I went in there just to, just not knowing what was going to happen, you know, and, and I was very impressed when you get up and talk because of your energy, you know, that there was something that your energy level is what we need.
Alan: 43:48 It’s that it’s the entrepreneur. What did they talk about Steve Jobs? The bubble of, what do they call it? The, the, the bubble of, of sort of delusion of just like, this is going to happen and, and I’m excited about it and everybody else needs to get excited about it and that’s what we need ground here. Um, so I was really happy to see that energy when you got up there and, and every time I’ve met with you since then, I’ve, I can still feel it. So I’m excited to have you a part of our community and glad you’re here and, uh, you know, anything I can do to help, let me know.
Patrick: 44:27 Yeah, I love it. Keep doing what you’re doing. We need more advocates for startups. We need more ways to raise capital and easier ways to raise capital and you’re doing that, uh, with Metro Spherical Andrea, even through your own entity through Bluetooth 22. Right? So keep up the good work and let us know how we can help.
Speaker 3: 44:44 Thank you. All right, well thanks for being on the call and I will see you soon.
Patrick: 44:48 Awesome. Thanks. Take care.