by Henry Kaestner
The Praxis Business Accelerator Program is accepting applications until June 1 and there is no better time to share with you why I think it's something that all faith driven entrepreneurs should know about. Well, actually, a better time would have been about a month ago when you had more time to plan :), but you are a faith driven entrepreneur and you have a unique ability to quickly assess and pursue amazing things quickly....this is one of those things. I've never done a Top 10 list, but in homage to David Letterman and more importantly, Dave Blanchard and the crew at Praxis, here goes:
1. You get to hang out with Andy Crouch (author of Culture Making and several other world class books) really.....for an extended amount, having real quality time. I bet you'll find out that he's as good of a musician as an author and an even nicer guy...and yet even a better person to help you to encounter the living God better.
2. The gatherings are in San Francisco at the Inn at the Presidio, The Minnewaska Lodge in New York, and finally at the Finale event at the Tarrytown House. Beautiful spots. Check out the sites, you'll see.
3. You'll get to meet 11 other great friends for life that are going through the same things in life that you are. They are driven followers of Christ called in to redemptive entrepreneurship. They are serious about excellence, calling and community. You'll love them and they'll love you.
4. The mentors are world class. Seriously, check them out. From Dave Evans who teaches the most sought after class "Designing Your Life" at Stanford, to Frank Chen from Andreesen Horowitz, to the Mark and Nancy Duarte who are the go-to people to help TED participants make their presentations.
5. The full time staff is amazing. I'm a better person for knowing them and you will be too.
6. Are you looking to get your venture funded? You'll have access to hundreds of Christ followers all capable of making investment at the pitch events in SF and NYC.
7. OK, the mentors are so good, that they are worth two entries. They are a mix of successful global entrepreneurs, investors and deep thinkers (Jamie Smith, there's your shout out :)). Have you met Max Anderson of the Weekend Reader yet? You will. He's the funniest man in Christendom not named Bob Goff or Eric Metaxas......and on good days he's funnier than them. If you're truly blessed you'll see Max and Andy Crouch playfully spar. This is not the stale, holy huddle that you might have envisioned up until now.
8. If this list was rated by importance...it's not by the way...then this would clearly be the #1: You will come to know God more fully and enjoy him more because of this program. That's a tough boast, but I'm confident in it.
9. The food. Everything at Praxis is top notch. This is not meant to be a knock against my extraordinary wife, but I eat better at the Praxis events I go to than at any other time all year. Really. Not something you'd expect on a top 10 list....but there it is....it's that good.
10. There's a good chance that you don't think you have the time to spare (just a bit less than 3 weeks spread over almost a year). I know that would be a big concern of mine. That makes sense, and yet I think you'll find it essential and some of the best use of 3 weeks you'll ever spend. If you get in and think that the program was anything less than outstanding then I've got $5,000 with your name written all over them. My money has never felt safer :)