One of the reasons that the Valley continues to produce great companies, cycle-after-cycle is that when you put smart, entrepreneurial people in the same place, great things happen.
Unfortunately sometimes we’re too busy working on our own great things to be physically in the same space as other entrepreneurs.
This frustration is one of the biggest reasons we all flock to the must-attend industry events like Disrupt, Demo, D, Web 2.0 and the Lobby– for the opportunity to cram the hanging out into a few sleepless days.
But here’s an idea: why not spread those opportunities throughout the year?
Today, we’re introducing a new monthly event series called PandoMonthly, sponsored by Sequoia Capital. The goal is simple: We want anyone– from celebrity investors to a smart kid who arrived in town yesterday– to have a place to come once a month to connect with like-minded people.
We’ll have pizza and beer and a Q&A with a big-name guest. Maybe once we get going, we’ll add in some quick demos. Then more pizza and beer. We’ll hold these events at our co-working home, i/o Ventures in the Mission, and hopefully we’ll all go out in the Mission afterwards and continue the conversations. If it reminds you of the early TechCrunch events held in Mike’s living room, then we’re doing it right.
Our first event will be February 9th and, appropriately, the first guest will be Michael Arrington. Mike probably doesn’t need an introduction for most of you. He’s the founder of TechCrunch and the CrunchFund. He’s been called a king-maker, and he’s been called all sorts of nasty things too. We call him an investor, board member and contributor, and I’m lucky enough to call him one of my closest friends as well. (That picture above is of us at some other event a long time ago with some girl I can’t remember in the middle.)
But don’t let that cozy relationship worry you. If you’ve ever been in the room with the two of us, you know we’re not particularly nice to each other. (He took to calling me a “whale” most of my pregnancy. In fairness, I was a particularly huge pregnant woman.) I don’t know what to expect, but it should be entertaining. I’ll ask Mike about his new life as an investor, and then he’ll answer your questions about anything he’s legally able to talk about. Maybe things he’s not legally able to talk about too if he drinks enough beer or he’s feeling particularly Arrington-y that night.
Capacity is extremely limited at about two hundred people, and I’ve struggled with how much to charge. You have to charge something so people who are taking up a spot actually show up. I want the event to be accessible to anyone, but let’s face it– there are plenty of people with expense accounts and we’re trying to build a business here.
So here’s what I’ve come up with: We’ll hold half of the tickets for each event and release them a week before for the low price of $20 each– first come, first served. Follow us on Twitter to get the heads-up when they’re released (for this event, that’ll be this week). They’ll go very quickly. We really want entrepreneurs or hopeful entrepreneurs who can benefit from these events to get those tickets. Let’s start with the honor system and if we get a roomful of PR people, we’ll have to start being jerks about it.
But if you want to guarantee your slot at each month’s events, you can buy a subscription for $1000 a year, which is still a pretty good deal for 12 awesome events. There’s a VIP section where you can sit, and we’ll probably have other member benefits too.
In other words, if you are an investor, lawyer or CEO and want to guarantee yourself a chance to hobnob with the Web’s up-and-comers, we’re making you buy their beer and pizza. We’ll live-stream the event too. The doors open at 6 pm. See you there.