How Matthew Stafford built a global network of 4000+ entrepreneurs in 46 cities, hosted the coolest YC event ever, and became an angel investor in 13 companies

Intellectual Software

15-11-2020 • 1 hr 6 mins

Matthew Stafford was working for a government-backed program connecting investors and founders when he had an idea of conducting founders' dinners. 9 years back, almost to this date, he conducted the first 9others dinner in Central London. That dinner has led to 100s of other dinners in 46 cities around the world and has connected 4000+ entrepreneurs. It later led to Matthew's angel investments and laid the foundations for Dot Matrix Group.

But Matthew's entrepreneurial journey didn't start here. It started much earlier when he was in school selling recorded TV programs to his friends or selling t-shirts to pubs, right after college, or hosting a Y Combinator event in London which was never about to happen in the first place. Matthew's journey is the journey of hustle. When he was out of depth, he tried. When he was disappointed, he tried. When he failed, he tried. In many ways, it's a simple story. In other ways, it's an astounding journey of a boy who dreams.


01:37 - Introduction

02:14 - How working for a government-backed program led to the idea of 9others and founders dinners

09:40 - Reaching out to investors and founders through networking events

12:09 - Why we kept 9others gatherings deliberately small, over a meal and paid sessions, and made sure it was valuable to all members.

17:27 - If you run a Saas company, talking to the guy who runs a coffee chain is the best thing you can do

20:28 - Expanding the network to other countries and helping billionaire Ryan Graves launch Uber in London

27:23 - Revenue structure of 9others

29:14 - Setting the rules of the game and why paid memberships work better for problem-solving events

32:56 - Reflecting on inspiring entrepreneurs I've met through 9others - Uber, Citymapper, What3words

38:10 - Growing up on a farm

39:27 - Starting a t-shirt company right after school

43:00 - Writing 100 letters a day to get my first customers

45:40 - Talking myself into a job, getting an MBA, and why everyone should try selling t-shirts online

49:06 - Hosting the coolest YC event ever

54:09 - Starting my own investment syndicate - Dot Matrix Group

58:56 - My investment philosophy and Founder - Product Fit

59:24 - Favorite Books

01:01:07 - The next decade will be about people realizing everyone can become an angel investor

01:02:50 - Why Chris Sacca is my greatest inspiration

01:05:22 - Think about what you can contribute - Give more than you take

01:06:27 - Connect with me

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