Detroit Shenanigans, Venture Studios, and Trash Parrots

Plus, John Oliver crushes housing discrimination, David Bowie provides two side notes, and my new favorite hangout is officially open.

Detroit Shenanigans, Venture Studios, and Trash Parrots

Hello my lovelies! Before we get at it, I have an update to share.

Margaux is officially open for business!

Huge congrats to Michael Sanders (one of my favorite people in the entire world) on the official opening!!!

Did someone say, cortado? You better believe I moved my 2:00 to Margaux.

And now to our regularly scheduled, over-caffeinated, programming...

The Fund Midwest Does Detroit

Shout out to Gratiot Ave, the street I called home during my time in Detroit

I drove into Detroit on I-75 with a stupid grin on my face, even after missing my exit at Toledo (which only happened because I was on the phone, telling the story of the time I met a guy who insisted it was pronounced To-lay-do). Anywho...

Last Thursday, the PGH Tech Council, Rustbuilt, and The Fund Midwest hosted a founder happy hour in Detroit. Over 75+ founders, investors, and community builders came out to show some love!!! Check out the coverage in Crain's Detroit.

Emerging VC fund hopes to write ‘first check’ for dozens of Detroit and Midwest companies
An emerging venture capital fund, headed up by a longtime figure in Southeast Michigan’s startup community, seeks to be the “first check” for a host of early-stage companies in Detroit and the broader Midwest region.

I had so much fun meeting and hanging out with people from Plain Sight, Birmingham Angels, Healthy Roots Dolls, Bamboo, and more.

So many thoughts to share after my trips to Columbus and Detroit, but I'm in the middle of Launch Week with High Alpha Innovation (see below), so the pontificating will have to wait. In the meantime, here are a few of my high-level takeaways:

  • Founders in the Midwest are eager and willing to work with other founders and partners across the Midwest. We know we can be strong together.
  • The differences in the ecosystems seem greater than the similarities. How do we leverage this?
  • Women asked me in both cities, "Where are the rest of us?" It's not as bad as it used to be, but it's still a problem. I'm thinking hard on this.

Next up: Indianapolis!

Book Art


This week, Christina Lee delivered some absolutely amazing artwork for my book. This is a huge milestone, people!

I'm not sure I would've or could've trusted anyone else with the art for my book. How could I after she presented me with Squirrel on bike, wearing fanny pack in 2017!?!?

As I inch closer and to closer to my publication date (likely October 12), it dawned on me...

Like a true founder, I had no idea what I getting myself into when I embarked on this journey. One day, I said to myself, "I'm gonna write a book." I had no idea what that meant at the time, nor did I have any understanding of the amount of energy I'd be putting into it.

Thank you so so much for following along. I can't wait to share this with you. If you want a sneak peek, you can download Chapter One (for free) now 😊

And quick reminder: 🔮 Say yes. It leads to amazing things.

Good Media

John Oliver Unpacks Racial Housing Discrimination

Get educated on the history of race and land ownership in America. And when I say educated, I mean horrified.

"The only really strange thing about paying reparations to Black people is that we haven’t done it yet," the host of Last Week Tonight said. "When you deprive somebody of something, you make it right by paying what you owe."

Please please please take 32 minutes to watch this John Oliver video. If you're impatient, put it on 1.5x playback.

Unseen Portraits of David Bowie

If something new comes out about David Bowie I will write about it here. The latest: A new exhibition, ‘Sukita: Rare & Unseen’ looks back on the photographer’s remarkable career, one which saw him shoot Iggy Pop, Marc Bolan (of T. Rex), and David Bowie, .

Side note #1: Take a look at David Bowie's hair in the photo above. I'm pretty sure I have the same haircut right now. #cool???

Side note #2: My love for Bowie was solidified HARD when I was lucky enough to work on his PR team when I lived in Los Angeles. I was actually working with him when he took a lollipop to the eye in Norway 🍭

What's a Venture Studio?

I'm seriously tired today. Why, you ask?

Well, I spent the last week working with an amazing team of people building a startup from idea to full-blown, legit concept.

I did this with a venture studio – High Alpha Innovation.

When talking to friends about the project, one of the first questions they'd ask:

What's a venture studio?

Here's the quick and dirty: A venture studio creates startups by providing funding AND the initial team and strategic direction to reach product-market fit. Yep, a venture studio is involved in the day-to-day operations of the new business.

Having raised VC money and participated in two different accelerator programs, I can't tell you just how excited I am about the emerging venture studio model.

Sign me up ✍️

The Venture Studio Business Model Explained
Venture studios are taking a hold of the startup world. Over the last 7 years, the venture studio market has seen an incredible 625% growth.

Trash Parrots

Leaving you with this, from the New York Times.

Sydney’s clever and adaptable sulfur-crested cockatoos have learned how to pry open garbage bins by watching one another.

Now that's rad 🦜

Until next time,

#blacklivesmatter #womxnrule #legalizeit #investinthemidwest