🏙️ Turning disaster into opportunity
Plus, 12 stories you may have missed.
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I’ve spent the past few days speaking with local entrepreneurs impacted by the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) collapse, and it really feels like the elephant in the room — except it’s the kind of elephant that has taken up a lot of space in recent discourse in the tech industry. Perhaps it’s the cherry on top of the past year of slowing deals and rising inflation, but what I found most striking was observing the polarity of responses that surfaced in these times of crisis.
On one end, you had a CEO cash out in stock and VC funds pull out all of their money as soon as there was an inkling of a collapse. On the other end, investors called for solidarity: to keep money in the accounts, and to trust in the process and regulation. Yet, at the end of the day, everyone got their money back.
One bank’s failure is another person’s opportunity, I guess: community will always find a way to step up to the plate in times of crisis. I’ve seen investors offer emergency financial support for their portfolio companies and scrolled through therapists advertising their services on LinkedIn in the middle of startups’ payroll uncertainty.
After writing up the article below, I became convinced that the SVB collapse was less of a far-away story south of the border, and more of a story that instead strikes at what everyone in our local innovation ecosystem complains about: the fact that we continue to lose talent, customers, and funding to the U.S. As one entrepreneur told me, SVB provided a “top-quality product” that no one else did. Could its failure finally be an opportunity for local leadership to shine?