FounderDating: Trilogy the #2 Most Entrepreneurial Network

Scott Francis
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No, not talking about alumni of universities.  We’re once again talking about the alumni of companies, and FounderDating’s take on who is most entrepreneurial (last published 13 months ago).  Last year, Trilogy’s alumni network ranked 3rd.  This year, second.

And this is why I’m proud to be part of a panel at SXSW interactive where we’ll be talking about Trilogy’s alumni network and what other networks can learn from the Trilogy network.  So why is Trilogy so highly ranked?

Aside from being interesting, startup ecosystems care about successes. But it shouldn’t be just because they create a small group of wealthy angel investors, but also because they have the potential to create an offspring of entrepreneurs for years to come – see Trilogy (#2) and the Paypal mafia as perfect examples. You need this to create truly healthy and long-lasting entrepreneurial ecosystems.

I think one of the keys is that Trilogy Alumni didn’t exit the company with enough cash to sit idle.  They exited the company still hungry, and with chips on their shoulders.  For another 5-10 years most Trilogy alumni were helping other people start their companies – and following that, starting or leading their own.

Last summer, we hosted our 3rd OTB unconference for Trilogy Alumni, courtesy of Facebook and the alumni that work there.  As I wrote last year:

The Trilogy alumni network has been surprisingly strong as a community.  We’re still hosting conferences for alumni 10 years later, and reunions.  We start companies together, and in some cases start families together.  So why haven’t you heard more about Trilogy’s alumni network?

And then I wrote about the prevalence of C-level execs in a 2011 alumni gathering:

When Lori Hawkins wrote “the Trilogy Effect” it just scratched the surface. At a gathering in 2011, 39 of 104 attendees were either CEO or co-founder of their current employer.  Many of the rest were CXO or VP’s running critical parts of the business.

But in 2014, our OTB event at Facebook boasted new numbers:

We evolved the concept for the third OTB (2014), which took place at Facebook HQ in Menlo Park, CA.  Some of the statistics of our attendees were mind-blowing.  43% of the attendees were owners or founders.  Another 13% were C-level executives.  The demographics have shifted – with alumni in more senior roles, ownership roles.

At SXSW we’ll explore why Trilogy alumni are still starting new companies at a high rate, and how to foster alumni networks that create this kind of value.