Our team has a long-standing tradition of gathering with our European community members, fellow investors, limited partners, and friends of True in London, but this summer was the first time we hosted a True Leadership Summit in the UK for executives and founders from our portfolio.
The event – like our product and people leader summits in San Francisco and New York City – gathered startup leaders of all disciplines so they could get to know one another and workshop foundational leadership practices spanning culture and team growth, operational excellence, strategic planning and forecasting, and product leadership.
Madeline Minshew and Fiona O’Donnell McCarthy led a few fireside chats focused on learnings from serial entrepreneurs and lessons from prior economic downturns. Tony Conrad shared his take on how to deepen connection in the founder-investor relationship, noting that frequent, casual conversations – say a weekly or monthly coffee chat or unscheduled phone call – can lay the foundation for trust and ultimately make “asks” for investors down the line feel less out of the blue and better received.
Kevin Rose offered his advice on the power of network, mentioning how he’s always focused on forming friendships, rather than partnerships, and those friendships have often evolved into fruitful and authentic collaborations. And Phil Black gave us his take on the current market, noting the cyclic nature of downturns and what founders and leaders can expect when fundraising.
But beyond the day’s content, we mostly wanted our community members to make some new friends in roles similar to theirs at other True Portfolio companies, knowing that learning and opportunity are often a result of genuine connection.
Thanks to all of the leaders who joined us in London. (We’ve heard enthusiasm for a repeat event next year!)