Today’s post is the first installment in our new series profiling teams that use x.ai’s Business edition. We chatted with Jason Towns to hear how the Groundwork Ventures team hands their meetings off to Amy & Andrew to get back to their important work!

Jason_Towns_Headshot

Name: Jason Towns
Title: Founder/Managing Director
Company: Groundwork Ventures
Location: Washington, DC, Durban & SF Bay
Twitter handle: @jhtdc
x.ai boss since: 2015
Describe your team in one word: Motivated

Tell us about you and your team! What do you do?
Groundwork’s mission is to bridge the funding and resource gap that inhibits entrepreneurs of color from starting, building and sustaining tech-enabled ventures.

What’s been the high point for your team/company?
Every time one of our portfolio startups hits a milestone, successfully raises a round of capital or hits a revenue target, it feels good.

What’s been your biggest hurdle and how did your team overcome it?
I think that getting the world to see that investing in top innovators in communities of color isn’t charity but rather good business sense and a smart portfolio diversification strategy. I’ve been talking about this since 2007. In 2017, people are finally waking up. I won’t say we’ve overcome anything because bias still exists but we’re making progress.

What type of meetings are you and your team having? How many?
Our meetings usually fall into 3 buckets—potential investors/funders, entrepreneurs we’re working with, and strategic partners (like other seed funds and accelerators). I just took a look at our x.ai dashboard and I have just over 600 meetings scheduled… and that’s just me!

What prompted you to sign up your team for x.ai’s Business Edition?
Groundwork-Logo-Large-02-copy-300x158Having the ability to bring Amy/Andrew onto our domain creates a better experience for those we’re setting meetings with. Amy truly becomes part of the team. Also, having the ability to easily scale up our use as our team grows is helpful.

Any Pro-Tips you’d recommend to Amy’s other bosses?
If you’re going to be operating out of a different timezone than your usual, shoot Amy an email to make the switch and if you know then also mention how long you’ll be in that timezone.

What do you love the most about the new x.ai Business plan?
I love being able to create our own email signature for Amy/Andrew.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
If you have a choice, build bridges, not walls.


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