Who would have thought that a one-off coffee in early 2016 could have led to one of the greatest working relationships I’ve ever had?
Ben Reid had already played a significant role in the formation of Remarkable when he volunteered while he was at Muru-D to run a strategy planning day for Remarkable earlier in the year.
We thought we’d ask Ben for some further advice. A few coffees later and Ben had signed on as Remarkable’s first Entrepreneur in Residence and we were brimming with excitement about the potential of startups that lived in the nexus of social impact and tech startup.
Now many, many coffees later Ben has actively coached 20 startups through Remarkable (and countless others outside Remarkable) – he has spent hours and hours thinking about each of the businesses, strategizing and opening up networks to catalyse their growth and development. And the success you see in our alumni has been in no small part due to the care, attention and guidance Ben has given.
Now the time has come for Ben to return to his own startup ring (you can’t stay away too long) and grow another startup, so reflecting on this end of a chapter, I immediately thought of 3 things Ben has done extremely well:
- Ben believed in the potential of the founders – many times, more than the founders believed in themselves. He often put big stretch goals in front of the founders that even they didn’t think was remotely possible. And most of the time they hit those goals.
- Ben always tried to speed up the time taken in laps of learning. Many organisations would have iterative cycles of weeks, months, and sometimes years. Ben always encouraged startups to do laps of learning with customers in days.
- Ben brought humour to the startup journey. Startup is often a serious business – legals, business models, strategy and sales. But at the heart of it, startup is about creating your own destiny – it is positive and generative and Ben had a philosophy of keeping things fun.
I will miss working with you Ben, and we know you’ll still be around mentoring Remarkable startups. Thank you for your investment you’ve made into startups making an impact in the lives of people with disability.
Pete, Founder, Remarkable