I had the privilege of watching 7 excellent startups present at The Syndicate’s Remote Demo Day. All are seeking early stage funding for their company from the investment group, which I’m a part of.

I came away from the meeting amazed at the quality of companies out there now. While I can’t share specifics about the companies (yet), here are a few things that struck me:

  • This was a pretty diverse group. It’s not all a white guy’s club anymore. I’m grateful because I don’t want to miss out on any good ideas! Diversity is on a lot of people’s minds right now, and I see things changing.
  • These are real companies. The public may think of startup funding as someone walking into a meeting with an idea and asking for money, but that’s not what it is. Every company had a real product in the market and many had millions in revenue. Some are even making a profit already. They need money to scale, not to start.
  • It’s not all software. One was a hardware solution for growing indoor gardens!
  • What the companies had in common: they were all focused on somehow making things easier, whether that’s working out with friends, growing food, etc.
  • Incredible growth rates. Many companies had year over year growth rates of 100%, 200%, even 500%.
  • Quality of companies is incredibly high. We have a lot of transformative innovation to look forward to very soon.
  • Many make opportunity available to anyone, whether that’s by monetizing your car or van, helping you pay for college, etc. This could be a real antidote to inequality.
  • My favorite company: a startup in the income sharing agreement area, which lets people sell a share in their future income to pay for school. This can replace expensive and hard to access loans. You only pay if you make a good living after graduation.

Most are likely to be funded by our investment group, especially the software companies that act as a platform or marketplace. It’s a tried and true strategy that certainly worked for Uber and Airbnb, and that trend seems to be continuing.

Congrats to all the amazing companies involved!

For more on technology and startups, check out these posts:

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Photo: “Great white shark” by Gussy (Luke) is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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