Cheers to the Primary Expert Network!
On one of the hottest nights of the summer, 150 of NYC Tech’s leading operators gathered to meet, greet, celebrate and bask in the gathering strength of the NYC Tech ecosystem. The event was Primary’s first (of many, to be sure) gathering of our entire Primary Expert Network, together with our portfolio companies. It was a veritable celebration of the collective hours, strategy sessions, talent and wisdom that make up this awesome group of people.
We’ve been building the PEN for the last year with the objective of supporting our portfolio companies by connecting them with leading operators and strategists in the city who can help them successfully navigate the turbulent waters of early-startups. In the last 12 months, we’ve hosted countless advisory sessions around various topics such as how to motivate a sales team, hosted a number of small curated dinners for groups such as CFOs and customer success leaders, and our experts have touched our portfolio companies over 100 times through advice-giving and/or mentorship. We are truly humbled by the level of support our experts are willing to provide, which is a testament to them as individuals, but also to the “we’re all in this together” attitude that currently prevails in the NYC Tech ecosystem.
But last night’s event wasn’t simply celebrating the growth of this awesome network. In light of the news earlier this week of Jet’s wildly successful acquisition, it was an acknowledgment of New York’s continuing rise as a hotbed of tech activity - the “big leagues,” as our GP Ben Sun told Business Insider earlier this week. He noted that a huge exit like Jet’s signals a “watershed moment” for NYC Tech, where we’re starting to see entrepreneurs who are really striving to build billion-dollar companies, and West Coast investors are taking notice.
We were fortunate enough to hear some words of wisdom from Nate Faust, a co-founder of Jet, as well an early and active PEN member. Nate couldn’t share any of the details around the acquisition, of course, and he downplayed his own operational and analytical prowess by chalking up his achievements to a healthy dose of luck. But the confluence of Jet’s historic exit and last night’s PEN extravaganza validates our thesis on the importance of building relationships and providing meaningful support to our portfolio companies through this expert network. After all, it was Nate who first brought us the Jet proposal back in 2014, and who encouraged us to invest while the company was still in its infancy. In his capacity as devoted PEN member, he had worked closely with Ben in advising some of our existing portfolio companies, and understood the value we bring to the table beyond the check.
Last night left us with an undeniable sense of euphoria. We are incredibly proud of the Jet team and all they have accomplished in the last two years. But we’re humbled beyond words at the reception we’ve had to the growing PEN, and the tangible impact our portfolio companies have felt as a result of the generosity of our experts.
So we raise a glass to all of our PEN members for giving more than we could have ever hoped for over the last 12 months. We couldn’t be more excited for all that’s yet to come!