We partnered with NFX to meet community leaders for a real conversation (over sake and bites) on building community.
At Marco, we host “Meet Marco” events that allow us to meet new potential customers and partners.
We are an experiences company. Hosting unique experiences provides an easy way for people to get to know us and see our offering in action.
Last Thursday we hosted my favorite Meet Marco event to date, and hopefully one that was helpful for everyone able to attend!
There were a few reasons that last week’s event was special:
We started with the clear intention of wanting to bring together community builders in NYC that cared deeply about building authentic communities. We structured the run-of-show to provide real value to those who attended.
Instead of optimizing for as many RSVP’s as possible, we instead brought together a small group of community leaders for an intimate event.
With a group of just over 20, everyone was able to introduce themselves and meet the rest of the crew. Many of the attendees had met each other before or had heard of others work in the community space.
We held the event at Accidental Bar, which is a sake bar in the Lower East Side in Manhattan.
It is unassuming but a beautiful, warm space run by Austin Power who combines deep knowledge of sake with a truly unique taste on hospitality with his quirky and unique style that permeates to his menu. Tl;dr - this place makes you feel at home.
Perhaps most importantly was the focus on the evening, which was a Q&A with Radha Agarwal. Radha is the founder and Chief Community Architect of Daybreaker, the early morning dance and wellness movement that currently holds events in 25 cities and over a dozen college campuses around the world with a community of almost half a million people.
She is also the Author of the book Belong, which helps “FIND YOUR PEOPLE, CREATE COMMUNITY & LIVE A MORE CONNECTED LIFE.”
Radha is a great friend and has an uncanny ability to help people let their guards down and have authentic conversations, which was part of what made the evening so special.
In addition to a Q&A, breaking out into small groups allowed attendees to share their own community building challenges
The event was a Community Catalyst Event that we hosted in collaboration with NFX. We’re excited to be working with Allie Kerr, the Head of Community at NFX, and when she mentioned she’d be interested in co-hosting a community leader focused event, we thought NFX would be the perfect partner.
Community is core to NFX — even the name of the firm stands for Network Effects. I’ve been a fanboy of a lot of the firm’s content around how to build durable marketplaces that truly take advantage of network effects (and understand them at a 2nd and 3rd order levels) for years.
As one of the most accomplished seed-stage investment firms, NFX has backed companies ranging from DoorDash to Lyft to Ramp. The have also made some key innovations on the traditional venture model that set the firm apart.
“We believe in network effects so deeply that we’re building a network effects-powered venture fund. Every founder we invest in knows they join a network, connected with software, supercharged by the tribe, and banded with a well-orchestrated network of venture operators around Silicon Valley and Israel.” - NFX
The thesis that connecting the “nodes” of companies through a community called The Guild at NFX will result in a stronger overall portfolio resonates. We are working with NFX to power the events and experiences that help forge these connections.
Allie Kerr has a deep background in building community. She spent several years as Head of Community at Crosslink Capital before joining OnDeck’s Community cohort, launching Community Hacked, a collective for community builders, and spending the last couple of years at NFX as the Head of Community.
I walked away from the event believing even more in importance and power of community and connection. This will be the first of many such events that Marco will be helping coordinate for specific groups of builders.
Our next one will be in San Francisco and focused on People Leaders — stay tuned!