Standing at the top of the ridge line looking across Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary on the rugged coast of Central California, we felt the magic of the Jalama Valley the Chumash consider to be the “Western Gateway to Beyond.” We knew this was meant for adVenturesAcademy.
The months that followed were filled with identifying this incredible group of entrepreneurs, investors and our adVenturesAcademy advisors. Thorough analysis by our review committee chaired by Andrew Reynolds including Eric Schiller (Hummingbird Brands), Zach DeAngelo (Rodeo Ventures), Dave Haynes (Greenmont), Scott Mitchell (Norwest Venture Partners), Dave Berger (Red Dog Investments), and Gillian Christie. Detailed process mapping and program development with Luis, Mark, Chipper and Johnny. Menu planning by Katie and the teams at Organic Valley and Good Eggs…and many long days put in together with our amazing team preparing the ranch, clearing the land, and working through every aspect of the program. Every step of the way, the magic of this valley wove through it all – transforming challenges into opportunities and bringing together an incredibly special group of pioneers, game changers, visionaries, and adVenturers.
That vision was realized throughout our four days together. We laughed. We cried. We shared our visions – and our greatest challenges and deepest fears. We helped each other. We learned from one another. Teachers became students – leading a program one minute and then learning the next.
From Chumash Elder Mati Waiya opening the program with a blessing that resounded so deeply within each of us reminding us why we are all here to surfing one of the most beautiful (and challenging) breaks in California, learning from wild horses as we helped rebuild the fence line at Return to Freedom to sharing the stories of growth and challenges for our businesses and/or portfolios in the deep dive in the barn with Andrew, Zach, Bentley and Mike, the time at adVenturesAcademy Jalama was profoundly impactful and connective. We connected deeply – beyond fears and vulnerabilities – with the guidance of Blessing and Praveen, and so many moments in between, as we connected, shared, pushed our comfort zones, and continue to build resilience for the journey of entrepreneurship.
As Mati Waiya explained, “Everything around us comes from dreams and imagination.” May we all continue to dream big and take action to make those dreams reality…and may we always go beyond. For that is where the magic lies.