YCombinator-like community for ACX Grants recipients
Scott, this is wonderful. Apart from the money, I think there's huge value in the credibility that would be imparted on a winning project, not to speak of the potential network benefits of ACX+.
It's hard to convince the rare talent needed for very ambitious projects to take the plunge, and money is often not the bottleneck. I think the credibility and publicity of something like this would really help a project like that. Would you consider proposals which don't necessarily need the money, but are looking to form strong teams and benefit more from the network and credibility effects?
Thanks for the kind words. I don't have any plans to create a network; maybe I should figure that out but I can't guarantee it. Does anyone know how this is usually done?
I suppose if you wanted to game the system you could apply for a very small grant to improve some aspect of your operations, and check the box to be included in ACX++, and then I would have to advertise you!
The example I had in my mind was to do with startup funding. Often, if one can personally fund an endeavor, it is still ill-advised. Not only does raising money from reputable source impart credibility on a venture (you have to convince them!), but it also creates new stakeholders invested in its success. If these stakeholders are well connected and themselves credible and respected, the effect compounds, opening new doors for recruitment, expansion, and hopefully success.
I took your description of ACX+ to be that of a credible source of funds that would be more (or just as) valuable for its credibility-by-association and reputability than for the funds itself, especially for large ambitious projects that would need many funds.
I would assume Advertising to the broader ACX community (through ACX++) would have a similar effect, although having observed (and taken part in!) this community's love of argument and debate, I would hate to have a project's thesis be torn to shreds in public. It could have quite the opposite effect than desired.
I want to signal boost this - particularly for start ups or individuals/small groups operating outside of accelerators/universities, funders play a much bigger role than just money - they can provide connections, sounding boards, boring-but-essential admin tips, etc.
The network already exists I'm typing stuff into part of it right now. If the ACX-funded subnetwork wants to start their own [whatever is recommended as an alternative to a discord server] then they can. And i'd not expect this endeavour to gain the institutional-nature overnight.
At minimum, setting up a Discord or Slack for all the funded projects and seeing what people use it for seems like a straightforward and good step. YCombinator may be the premier example here, although they have a fairly complex internally developed mashup of LinkedIn and Facebook for the job (known as BookFace)