Finding Your Why - The Power of Tech Start-ups


Finding Your Why – The Power of Tech Start-ups 

Kayla Lawless and Jeffrey Camp

“I would absolutely join a start-up out of school today, I would drop out even” said Shu Nyatta, Managing Director of Softbank International, during a presentation on the power of tech startups at the Softbank Operator School (SOS). SOS is taking place in Miami over the next 12-weeks in conjunction with the University of Miami and the ‘Cane Angel Network, along with FIU and Miami Dade College. Nyatta spoke to students and professionals from Miami, Latin America, and around the world who have come togetheronline and in-personto learn from experienced entrepreneurs and operators in order to prepare and grow their careers in tech. Nyatta’s topic: why do start-ups matter? And the ‘Cane Angel Network was there to find out.

Like many innovators in tech and venture, Nyatta recently moved from Silicon Valley to Miami, excited about the growth happening in the Miami and LatAm technology scenes. He expressed to the audience that his path to where he is now, working in technology and venture capital, involved many pivots and turns. In hindsight, it led him exactly where he needs to be, and he was eager to discuss the role of startups in boosting local economies with revolutionary technology, transforming established businesses, and creating new industries and opportunities over time.

What Are Startups and Why Do They Matter?

Startups are nothing new. They matter because they are “changing the world, and they’ve been doing it for centuries.” Nyatta explained. Startups can be understood as individuals with big ideas, an appetite for risk, capital, and a “tribe,” ready to execute upon those ideas. The startup has three main ingredients: the founder, the capital, and the talent, or tribe. Each piece of this puzzle has defining traits and attributes to make the mission a success. poweroftech1

Founders are visionaries, those people who can see around the corner. They are creative and devise ideas that are counterintuitive; they are galvanizing in that they bring people together. The venture capital is a long-term growth partnership between the venture capitalist, the founder, and the team. A venture capitalist is curious, patient, and flexible. As new information and data is available, they change their minds and their paths. Venture capital enables startups to solve pressing societal issues and realize the tribe’s vision for a better future. As Don Valentine, founder of Sequoia Capital (perhaps the most successful venture capital firm of all time), used to say “you have two ears and one mouth, you should allocate your time in proportion. Listen twice as much as you talk. ”The best venture capitalists are patient, flexible and curious. Lastly, the third ingredient is a “tribe” of operators. Start-up employees are different. They aren’t simply employees or even a family, but rather a tribe who live, fight and strive together, led by the founders and fueled by the venture capital. When these three ingredients come together, trillion-dollar companies are created.

Why is Tech Special?


“Tech is a subcategory of something bigger and more powerful: a discontinuity... Tech is a very strong form of change, that’s really what it is.” Technology is already an integral part of our everyday lives, and it creates discontinuities which allow for opportunities to create new ventures, add value, and create a more inclusive society. While innovation and discontinuity have always existed, three fundamental changes are happening which make today’s version of the start-up revolution particularly exciting: Startups are moving from disruption to inclusion, from narrow to broad, and from elite to democratized. “The first wave of tech and startups was all about killing other things...This new era is's something else. It is inclusion.” This shift has paved the way for startups to change the world and solve some of our most pressing issues. Technology has made it possible to compress years of innovation into months, or less. It is easier than ever to launch a tech startup as the process of building a company is quicker, cheaper, and more accessible than ever.

Nyatta finished by emphasizing to students and viewers that “It has never been a better time to start or join a startup.” Beyond problem solving, startups can provide a fulfilling work environment, or the “perfect job,” by offering money, a real sense of ownership, and big impact to founders and employees. “I don’t think there is anything better to do with your time if you are young and ambitious.”

This page was written by Kayla Lawless and Jeffrey Camp. Ms. Lawless is a member of Cane Angel Network investment team and is pursuing her J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law graduating in 2023. Mr. Camp is the Managing Director of the Cane Angel Network.