I recently heard the expression “penniless philanthropist”. The idea is you can help people without writing a check. You can donate your time & energy instead. It can be rewarding and you can make an impact. The essential ingredients are working on causes you believe in and with people you love.
I was thinking if the same idea could be applied to venture capital and startup land. Could you be a penniless venture capitalist? I don’t think you can but a lot of advisors and mentors are essentially a type of penniless advisors – meaning they don’t write checks. Sometimes they get equity and sometimes they don’t. They just love the company, they love the cause and they love the vision.
This works for everyone. The startup and the “penniless” advisor. So, I encourage you (rich or not rich) to get involved and help a startup or two in your community.
Pick one you love and get busy.