One of the wonderful things about helping entrepreneurs pitch to investors is I get a regular stream of inspiring optimism from CEO's who've founded companies even now. The economy still stinks and yet quality companies are started and succeeding. The investing environment is still dry (although like the early 2000's, angels are still out there investing) and entrepreneurs still know they can do it.
It's the never ending optimism and ambition of a special kind of professional that is just inspiring to encounter. I've helped 2 entrepreneurs in the last 3 days get ready to pitch at an upcoming investor meeting. Both have excellent sustainable business models and have legitimate chances to succeed long term.
I suppose there's a Darwinian element to today's start-up environment where quality is rising to the top. But I'll be darned if it doesn't take some serious brass balls to think that you can do it.
So tonight, I salute the winners who are still taking chances and I realize how lucky I am to meet them. I see it every month, and I'm lucky.