Coloft Academy

For those of you who don’t know this yet, I joined the Coloft team as their Academy Program Director just over a month ago. My day-to-day job is to identify and connect with amazing individuals who have the desire to share the knowledge they’ve accumulated with the tech startup community of Los Angeles. We host classes and workshops at Coloft, inviting both members and non-members to acquire knowledge that will help them build successful companies.

Coloft Academy is an important part of a larger eco-system. Los Angeles recently ranked third in the Startup Genome report, following San Francisco and Tel Aviv. Where we fall behind is in the Support Index and the Mindset Index, two things Coloft Academy is well positioned to change. From the report itself:

The mindset index measures how well the population of founders in a given ecosystem think like great entrepreneurs, where great entrepreneurs are visionary, resilient, have a high appetite for risk, a strong work ethic and an ability to overcome the typical challenges startups face.

The support index measures the quality of the startup ecosystem’s support network, including the prevalence of mentorship, service providers and types of funding sources.

Coloft Academy makes great advice affordable to new entrepreneurs. I used to consult for early stage startups, offering a wide-range of services including business development, marketing strategy, social media, pr, graphic design, and more. Being a jack-of-all-trade, I was cheaper than, but less knowledgable than a specialist in almost every topic. Why did they come to me then? Because early stage startups can’t afford one-on-one help from specialists. With Coloft Academy, I can make great advice affordable, by allowing new entrepreneurs to share the cost of a specialist.

Coloft Academy is a platform for knowledge sharing. Tech companies and their service providers have an incentive to increase the average talent-level of all people in our ecosystem. Better talent means better recruits. More successful companies mean more funding that will become available. Unfortunately, the experts in our ecosystem are very busy people. By providing the space and marketing efforts, Coloft Academy lowers the hurdle for experts who have a desire to share their knowledge with the community.

Participating in workshops is the best way for entrepreneurs to build lasting relationships with other entrepreneurs. A workshop is a collaborative and hands-on classroom that allows entrepreneurs to not only take in information, but actually walk away with a deliverable they can continue to work on. When entrepreneurs work in parallel with each other on similar problems, they not only benefit from getting a deeper understanding of the topic at hand, but also from joining a network of entrepreneurs who understand each others business.

Starting a business is difficult. As the startup ecosystem continues to grow in Los Angeles, there will surely be an increasing number of new entrepreneurs embarking on this journey without the knowledge and support necessary. However, the success of our ecosystem relies on these new entrepreneurs. To all experts in our community, I urge you to consider sharing the knowledge you’ve accumulated, and to help grow this collaborative environment that makes LA a great place to start a company.

If you’re interested in taking classes or workshops at Coloft Academy, sign-up for our newsletter. If you or anybody you know is interested in becoming an instructor, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at yohei(at)coloft.com. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.

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