Hi Daniel, I'm currently writing my senior thesis on the development of startup communities, specifically focusing on the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Charlottesville, VA, home of your alma mater, the University of Virginia. As an entrepreneurial person who has spent time in Charlottesville as well as Silicon Valley, I'm interested in your thoughts on what comprises the essence of a startup community. Where do startup hubs come from? As a UVA alum, I'm particularly interested in your perspective on how the University and Charlottesville could have better supported you as an aspiring entrepreneur during your college days. Attached are several questions to generate some conversation
- How would you characterize the entrepreneurial ecosystem of UVA and Charlottesville? How is it changing?
- What are this community’s strengths, and what are our weaknesses? Characterize the greatest obstacles for Charlottesville to become a vibrant startup hub.
- Describe your vision for startups in Charlottesville. What does the ideal startup community look like locally? What must happen for C'ville to become a sustainable startup hub that consistently produces high quality entrepreneurial ventures?
- Please feel free to add anything else that is on your mind. Are there other individuals who you believe would have thoughts on this subject? I hope to incorporate as many points of view as possible, so suggestions or referrals are greatly appreciated!
To anyone else who finds themselves motivated by these questions, I'm interested in hearing your own perspective on startup communities. Your input is greatly appreciated! Thanks a lot Daniel!
- Weston Reynolds, Political & Social Thought, University of Virginia 2013
When I was at U.Va. (1994 - 1998) where was no entrepreneurial scene in C-ville.
I don't know how it's changed since then, as I haven't been back much, but honestly my advice probably isn't something you want to hear:
If you're serious about your startup, you need to move to Silicon Valley.
I wish that weren't the case, but it is. There are so many variables outside of an entrepreneur's control, that an entrepreneur has to do everything possible to tightly control the few variables that are within his control, and where the startup is based is one of those variables.
Now, this assumes a few things. It assumes that one's goal is to maximize the potential outcome of the startup. It assumes that being in Silicon Valley will be helpful to the startup (i.e., tech space). Those assumptions may not all be true. If the startup is based around "Virginia History" then there may be no better place than Charlottesville to do it.
Brothers Daniel and Sam Odio say D.C. doesn't sate entrepreneurial needs
Herndon natives Daniel and Sam Odio share a last name, two alma maters and a gene for entrepreneurial risk-taking. Each brother has created a well-known, successful tech startup , mobile app builder PointAbout Inc. for Daniel, picture-sharing company Divvyshot for Sam.
But only one Odio brother stayed in D.C. Sam left in 2009 for a sunnier West Coast startup climate.
Sam's success out West, however, now has Daniel on the verge of following his younger brother to California: His company PointAbout , though still headquartered in D.C. , is putting down Western roots as well.
My name is ... I contacted you a couple days ago after being completely taken by your about page. I'll keep my introduction brief.
I am 19 years old, and I am a freshman studying --- at --- University. I spend my time preparing school work, writing code, playing and writing music, trying to to take care of myself, and always looking for the next big step. Regardless of the present activity, I tend to lose myself if I am not, at least at some level, processing my thoughts and external stimuli toward a general direction of realizing ever changing day-dreams. I feel incredibly grateful to have experienced (what I consider to be) success and fulfillment in this regard thus far. So much to do, so much to learn, so much to improve, so much to live. Always.
What struck me about what I've read of your content so far is that our philosophies have many intersections—an utter refusal to settle for the status quo when it can be improved, the desire to optimize the overlooked and the under-appreciated, an insatiable thirst for knowledge, and the need to produce and contribute creatively, to name several. However, your approach seems wonderfully more refined. I've explored your writings only briefly, and already I have learned much. I very much look forward to diving deeper.
It's a pleasure to talk with you Sebastian. The fact that you make yourself available as you do is greatly appreciated and deeply humbling.