Unfundable Projects In Need of Patrons

My primary line of work is running Actionworks, an internet-first education company focused on learning-by-doing. The business is thriving (we celebrated three years in August of 2022!) and customers are happy.

But I’ve been a founder in the education game for almost 15 years now and I’ve built programs serving students in 50 countries (in-person! It’s easy to scale online learning to other countries). I have identified “out there” projects—nontraditional ideas that could be impactful but that are risky and/or economically tough—such that they end up outside the scope of my time, energy, and capital.

This page comprises a list of projects that if a funder were to write a sufficiently large check, I would shelve some current projects to explore our mutual interests in projects like these.

I list them here in the hopes that should you be interested in seeing them come to life and in a position to fund them, you can become a patron. By patron, I mean write a large check. Five or six figures. I’m talking the House of Medici, rather than Patreon or Kickstarter.

Methodologizing Minimum Viable Video

Context: Entrepreneurship educators—from authors to professors to accelerator programs—operate as if the world did not shift on its axis in 2019. As if the pandemic did not tilt the world towards remote work, and that the majority of business relationships—and it is relationships that are at the heart of business, not tech—do not happen through video.

How serious am I about this transition? I built a cohort-based course that teaches entrepreneurs how to use video for every part of the entrepreneurial process, from understanding customers to marketing to fundraising to hiring. 

I’ve run this course in four independent cohorts, a three year licensing deal with an online-first university, and internally with companies such as Silicon Valley Bank and General Assembly.

Highlights include thousands of entrepreneurs getting their first views and customers, an entrepreneur achieving an exit using our core framework, and getting featured on NPR.

Given the right investment of time, research, and strategy, I could develop Minimum Viable Video into a methodology as popular and impactful as the Lean Startup, Effectual Entrepreneurship, and Six Sigma.

My previous company, 3 Day Startup, spread a learning format to 20,000 learners. Minimum Viable Video, thanks to the ubiquity of video infrastructure and pandemic-driven openness to new learning models, is uniquely positioned to have even broader impact and shape the future of entrepreneurship learning.

Funding would allow me to assemble a team to collaborate on projects such as:

  • Resource development
  • Train-the-trainer sessions
  • Research projects
  • Positioning (any meaningful methodology needs a positioning strategy in 2022)
  • Securing a book deal
  • Partnerships (note: a university has already agreed to give me their campus as my “laboratory”)

Instituting Entrepreneurial Learning Experiences at Early Ages

Think about when you were ten years old. Your experience of the world was fresh and full of new experiences. At that age, you encountered several things for the first time: team sports, musical instruments, school subjects.  

Because you were young and your experience of the world was limited, you had formative experiences. That’s the age when a love of soccer, piano, or history gets ignited.

As a true believer in entrepreneurship and the power of the entrepreneurial mindset, I want young people to get exposed to entrepreneurship just as easily as they get exposed to sports, music, and history.

Spreading this awareness could take shape in a number of ways:

  • Introducing the entrepreneurial mindset in early education
  • Kid-friendly shows and content focused on entrepreneurial themes
  • Entrepreneurship summer camp programming

This exposure matters because they learn trajectory-shifting ideas and skillsets: resilience, adaptability, value creation, problem solving, positive sum thinking. These skills and associated entrepreneurial mindsets will be more likely to become automatic or innate capabilities for these students.

Because the profit potential of these endeavors is dubious, I am seeking patrons who share the belief that funding these efforts could lead to more people who have entrepreneurial DNA, which leads to a better world.