150. From Running a VC Firm to Running for Governor (J.B. Pritzker)

J.B. Pritzker The Full Ratchet VC

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J.B. Pritzker of Pritzker Group Venture Capital joins Nick to discuss his impact on tech in Illinois, where he gets his motivation and why he’s running for Governor. In this episode, we cover the following questions:

  • Take me back to your childhood…What was it like growing up in your family and what did you learn from your parents?
  • Your father and uncle famously built and managed Hyatt Hotels…Who was your biggest inspiration in the family?
  • You could have gone in many directions with your career… hotel industry, education, straight into politics. Why’d you choose the path you did?
  • Who were your primary inspirations in tech?
  • Looking through your accomplishments, you’re clearly a builder, a creator, you’ve got the internal drive. Where do you get your motivation?
  • What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned from your career in venture that informs your bid for governor?
  • If you could go back and talk to young J.B, a J.B. in his teens, what would you tell him?
  • What’s the best lesson that you’ve learned from your kids that has changed the way you approach business and/or politics?
  • We’ve got Donald Trump in the office of the president and Bruce Rauner in the office of Illinois Governor…Do we really need another rich guy in office?
  • The talent vacuum is real and everyone experiences it. In Illinois, the best and brightest in rural areas, leave for the metro areas. In Chicago, many of the best in tech leave for the coasts. How do we approach talent suck more thoughtfully and address a real problem?
  • Can you highlight your plans for tech and innovation, if you are elected?

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Transcribed with AI:

0:03
welcome to the podcast about investing in startups, where existing investors can learn how to get the best deal possible. And those that have never before invested in startups can learn the keys to success from the venture experts. Your host is Nick Moran, and this is the full ratchet

0:22
Welcome back to TFR for a unique episode. Over the past few years, we’ve heard a number of top VCs and tech luminaries get involved in politics. Peter Thiel, Tim Draper and Keith Raboy are just a few of those in the industry that have weighed in on their affiliations and policy preferences. And the level of activity seems to be increasing as evidenced by our guest today. One of the great American families in business the Pritzker years have run one of the largest and most active venture investment firms between the coasts Pritzker group venture capital, and co founder JB Pritzker, a man of many accomplishments joins us today on the program to discuss his bid for Governor of Illinois. Now, I do my best to remain unbiased in this interview and allow JB to tell his story. It’s no big secret that I work closely with the router administration on reviving the angel investment tax credit. Quick thanks to Michael Sahaj and Peter Wilkins of Hyde Park angels for helping me out to get that credit reinstated. But today we talk with JB and hear his backstory and pat the venture. We learn what motivates him and why he’s chosen to transition from investor to politician.

1:34
I really enjoyed the discussion and I hope you do as well. Here’s the interview with JB Pritzker.

1:45
Illinois gubernatorial candidate JB Pritzker joins us today on the program. Many of us know Jeb as the founder, together with his brother Tony, have Pritzker group venture capital investors in some of the top technology companies over the past decade. In addition to investing JB founded 1871, one of the preeminent startup hubs in the nation, responsible for creating over 7000 jobs in Illinois. he co founded Chicago ventures he funded the creation of TechStars, Chicago and also built in Chicago. He helped create the Illinois Venture Capital Association and hosted the first Chicago venture Summit. And in addition to his efforts on the tech side, JB is one of the nation’s chief philanthropists, spearheading efforts to address child hunger, early childhood education, wrongful convictions and human rights. JV there are too many accomplishments in the profile for me to list them all here. I sincerely appreciate you spending some time with us today.

2:40
Well, thanks, Nick. I’m really glad to be here. And I appreciate your extolling all those virtues. But I’m just excited to have a chance to talk tech with you too.

2:50
Awesome. So usually, I get people sort of path to venture. But I’d love to rewind even even further back here. Can you sort of start off by taking us back to your childhood and talking about, you know, what it was like growing up as a Pritzker and sort of lessons learned from your parents? Well,

3:06
you know, I grew up in a home where my my parents were building a small business, my dad and mom had bought a motel, together with my uncle, who lived in Chicago, but my parents moved to California where that first motel was. And so I grew up in this environment where my parents were, you know, building out a motel chain that eventually became a hotel chain. And it was kind of an exciting environment. Anybody who’s grown up with parents who are in a small business, knows that you’re all in when you’re a kid. So my first job was, in fact, working at the motel, you know, was the job my mom wanted me to have to make sure that I knew how hard I needed to work in life. And so she gave me the job of picking up the dirty sheets from the various motels. It was a one story motel by the way, that covered like 20 acres. And so I had to go around each of the buildings and pick up the dirty sheets, and then take them over to the laundry facility and load them up into a big industrial sized washing machine, and then move them over to the dryer. And that’s pretty much what I did all summer long that first summer. But it was a good lesson. And my mom, you know, told me really when I was heading out the door the first day, why she gave me that job. And it was because she said, you know, you’ve got to work twice as hard as the guy next to you because you didn’t earn this job. And he did. And I think that was a good lesson. I carry it with me every day. Thinking about you know, the fact that there are a lot of people that wake up having to work twice as hard for other reasons. My mom wanted me to know how fortunate I was that that I could afford to you know, pay for college and, and to, you know, pursue things in my life. I wanted to, but that I needed to earn it every single day. Amazing

5:04
lesson from your mom there. And you touched on this, of course, but your your father and uncle famously founded and built the the Hyatt Hotels, of course. So I’m curious, who was your biggest inspiration in the family? Was it one of the two of them or, or somebody else? Well,

5:19
you know, my, my father passed away when I was seven years old. So I, you know, he was an inspiration. But But of course, I lost him young. And he was very young to at 39, it really had accomplished so much. At age by age 3090s, he started the hotel motel business when he was 26. So, you know, 13 years later, it was the fastest growing hotel chain in America. And so, as an example, you know, he’s, he’s been an inspiration for me my whole life, as somebody who accomplished a lot, and not just in business, by the way, both of my parents were engaged in public service, and, you know, fighting for social and economic justice. And they served as examples for me as a kid, and then, you know, in as a young adult, and now even, you know, in my 50s, I think of them all the time my mother passed away when I was 17. So I didn’t have her around very long, either. But, but again, they really have been my inspirations,

6:18
what were some of those social causes that that your folks worked on?

6:23
Well, when we were growing up, both parents were involved with our synagogue and with activities like, you know, rebuilding a battered women’s shelter and working at a at a food pantry, and just anywhere that my parents felt like we could chip in, help out, give our time, effort, energy. That’s what we did. And so those are great examples. Then my parents, of course, were involved in civic engagement in in our town. And then beyond that, my mother in particular, but but my father to very involved in progressive democratic politics, helping elect Democrats in our area, as well as in our state. And so even as a little kid, I was knocking on doors for candidates, phone banking, I was licking stamps and envelopes and stuffing them, you know, so we could send advertisements to people back then that’s how you did it, then you and I know now you just push a button. down but but it was it was exciting. It was an exciting thing to be involved in. And I you know, it obviously caught on because I studied political science and in college and went to work on Capitol Hill for a couple of United States senators. That guy was the youngest legislative assistant in the US Senate, very fortunate to have worked for a guy from North Carolina named Terry Sanford who had been in his younger days, he had been the Civil Rights governor of North Carolina, integrating the schools in the early 1960s. You can imagine how progressive that was in the south, and then, and then he had become president of Duke University. And then I went to work for him running for United States Senate when he was almost 70 years old. And when he won, I went to Capitol Hill with him so so I kind of started my I guess, my adult career working on important issues in Washington DC for a really venerable senator. Well,

8:27
now now with your your current efforts in politics, maybe you’ll get another pass with direct mail. I feel like I still get I still get some mailers from from politicians from time to time. So you touched on this, but you could have gone in a variety of different career directions. I mean, clearly the hotel industry education, you got a passion for politics, you know, how did you choose tech in in sort of arrive in venture?

8:54
Well, I’d like to say that it was a plan from very early on, but sometimes, you know, accidents happen stances in your life, I think lead you in different directions. I was a freshman, I think in college, and somebody gave me a relative gave me the very first Apple Macintosh computer. I wish I still had it. But before that I actually had had an Atari computer where you know, if you’re not old enough, probably but

9:26
5200.

9:27
I remember. So we you know, this one had a you know, the, the disk drive was actually a cassette deck. Right. And that’s that, you know, we were programming as kids I was, you know, loved it. And, and then when I got that Apple Macintosh and everything became visual, I just, you know, I thought my goodness, this is this is a direction I want to go I want to be engaged either in developing something like this or in a business that involves the Information Technology. The industry. So that’s kind of my first inkling that I might want to do something like this. But it wasn’t really until after I got out of graduate school, law school, actually that I, that I went to work in the tech industry, really the tech finance industry, and then I moved into venture capital. So started out in investment banking, and then in venture capital, helping startup businesses get funded. Awesome.

10:24
Yeah. You mentioned the Mac there. I’m curious, who were some of your primary inspirations in technology was it was a jobs or were there were there others? You

10:33
know, it’s funny, I guess I reveal my age when I say people like Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, but you know, they were the cool startup phenom is back then I know today, it’s, you know, a whole new crop but, and those guys seem old, I guess to people today, but, but it was, you know, remember my parents that first motel was actually in Silicon Valley. So I grew up around Silicon Valley. So these guys were, were sort of famous to me before they were famous to others. And, and so it was exciting to me to be around that environment, that entrepreneurial environment where my father was an entrepreneur. So that whole idea of starting something and building something. And then of course, infuse technology into that. That’s really what led me in the direction that I went. But yeah, the the apple founders, later, Sun Microsystems, had less of an affinity for guys like Bill Gates, and Microsoft, partly because I saw Apple as more the upstart, and I liked the idea of being with the underdog, the upstart. And I think that that carries through to today.

11:43
Yeah, in light of that, you know, you mentioned sort of your experience cleaning the dirty sheets at the motel growing up, but, you know, looking through your accomplishments, you’re clearly a builder, you’re a creator, you’ve got some internal drive that, you know, people would love to bottle and have a little bit of, you know, where do you get your motivation? Where do you get that edge to, to keep pushing and keep creating? It’s

12:05
funny, I, I get asked that a lot. I’m not sure why exactly. But, uh, maybe people don’t expect me to be, you know, motivated to engage in all these activities. But truly, I start with the idea that, you know, I am modeling in some ways, you know, my own father, following the model of my own father, who, you know, building a motel business back then remember, you know, in the late 50s, airport motels, and that’s what Hyatt was to begin with is one single airport motel, airport, motels were like, you know, nobody knew what that was. jet travel was still like, not something everybody did. And you flew into a town, if you went somewhere and you drove into the center of a city to stay in a hotel, you didn’t stay near the airport. So the idea of an airport motel chain, and that’s how I had started was kind of new. And, and it was highly successful, but nobody thought it would be. And so the idea of of going after disruptive businesses, your, you know, businesses, that that are changing industries in fundamental ways, you know, to me, that’s, that’s exciting and motivating. You know, the idea, you can be an inventor of sorts of a business model. So that that’s part of my motivation. I think, you know, another motivation, I really think, in some ways, people who are the most entrepreneurial, who are the greatest inventors, you know, remember, you’ve got to spend 24/7, thinking about these things to really get them to be successful. Because mostly, when you’re coming up with something new, or going after something new, or trying anything new, people are mostly telling you, it can’t be done. Yep. So you know, you have to be somebody who says, No, it can be you know, you’ve got to be a little bit of a revolutionary, you had to put a little bit blinders on and focus and, and just not listen to the noise, and know that what you’re doing is worthwhile and will lead to success. And then by the way, you got to be willing to fail occasionally along the way, because that happens to everybody. But lots of people unfortunately, fail and decide for themselves. I’m not going to do that. Again, I don’t want to try that. Again. It’s you know, I didn’t like failing. So it’s really unusual. People think that, say, let me try again, or let me try something new and just not make that same mistake again. But that’s something I really have a great affinity for. And people who feel that way entrepreneurs like that are people that motivate me and I try to spend as much time as I can with people who think like that.

14:47
Couldn’t agree more. And as you reflect on lessons learned from your venture career, is it is it a failure that sort of has been one of your greatest lessons and what are some of those Those key lessons that sort of inform your, your bid now for governor?

15:05
Well, you know, first of all, we’ve got so many challenges to overcome in the state of Illinois. And you can imagine there are lots of people who say, Why would anybody run for governor of a state with this many challenges, you know, when you could go do something else with your life? Watching? Yeah, we’ll see you do have to a little bit, block out the noise of that to decide to run. But also, I think you have to be fundamentally optimistic. I am fundamentally optimistic and, and not just just that, but also I look at the resources of Illinois look at at the people of Illinois, I look at all the things that we can be doing that we aren’t doing. And I think where there’s great possibility here, if you just had some leadership that would take us there. And so I’m excited about the prospect of providing that leadership and vision for the state, I think you’ve noticed that I’m running a very positive campaign trying to show people what it is that I think we can do in Illinois, to make people’s lives better, and to demonstrate that I’m somebody who has spent a lifetime trying to do that, and succeeding many times at doing that. So you know, the, the idea here that, you know, we need to focus on job creation in the state and making sure that every child gets a quality education, and expanding healthcare availability, these are not revolutionary ideas, but in Illinois, people feel like they are because, you know, it feels like nobody’s been leading in that direction for too long. So I’m, I’m excited about the prospect of getting to work to, to improve the lives of working families in Illinois and put them back in charge of the state.

16:51
The state is, in all honesty, it’s it’s pretty screwed up. And, you know, previous folks that have held the role of governor have a pretty spotty track record, without getting into detail. So this is quite an endeavor. And, you know, I do applaud the positivity in the campaign. I think, regardless of, you know, anyone’s political affiliation, mine included, I gotta give you credit for at least the ads and the campaign that I’ve seen so far. Well,

17:20
thanks, I think it’s, you know, I hope we can, you know, continue to have a campaign writ large that people are, you know, feel good about, and I know that there are opponents who probably have a different idea, but, but I’m going to try to, you know, focus on what we can do to really improve people’s lives here. And, you know, funny thing, Nick, you know, when you’re putting a campaign together, and building toward an election, it’s very much like building a startup, you know, the things that you have to do from beginning to end are, you know, everybody has to be a jack of all trades. And nobody can say, this is not my section, the way you sometimes hear. If you go to a restaurant, you know, I’m sorry, sure, I can’t help you. Because that’s not my section in the campaign, everybody’s got to help out in every way. And, and you’re trying to get so much done in a very small period of time, the election is just coming up in four months, and less than four months. Now. That’s the primary and, and so, you know, you’ve got to put a field operation together, you’ve got to make sure you’re communicating properly to all the various media out there, you know, you’ve got to make sure you’re doing the right policy rollout and, and just running a motivational campaign. And then as a candidate, I’ve got to be on all the time. And you know, all those things have to work together. And it’s very much like a startup, you know, the amount of time that you have to succeed as a startup, because of the lack of capital availability usually, is relatively short. So you got to succeed quickly.

18:59
Yeah, it can’t even imagine what goes into a campaign. Maybe you can connect with Harper Reed and channel some of the strategy and Mojo that he used with Obama’s campaign. Indeed, and

19:10
I have, by the way, been terrific. And, and, you know, lots of the folks who have supported President Obama, you know, have been great supporters of mine and given me advice. You know, most important advice, at least for me, personally, that I’ve taken is, you know, I need to to make sure that I’m putting forward a positive vision for the state and not, and not simply talking about things that are wrong with the state. People are tired of that. I think they’re tired of negative campaigning. They want to know where we can go that will make their lives better. And, and that’s something I’ve tried to really take to heart in the campaign.

19:49
So, JB, if you could go back and talk to a young JB, let’s say a JB in his teens, what would you tell him?

20:00
Well, I that’s, that’s interesting, I think my, my initial reaction to that is, you know, and I have teenagers today, so I can think of it through their eyes, too. I think one of the things you don’t know when you’re a teenager is just how hard your parents work to, you know, to, to, to put you on a path, that path towards success, and, and how much your parents worry about you and what they do when you’re not watching, you know, they try to make your life better. And so I think about those things, I think about, you know, when I was a teenager, the time is when I maybe didn’t appreciate that about my, my own mother, who had her own challenges. But you know, if I had to, if I could go back, there are things I would say to her, and thank her for. So that’s one thing, you know, I think another is, you know, if I think about where we are today in the world, I think I might have spent more time taking math and science classes, you know, told the young JB, and I’ll make sure you move in this direction, and you know, less on humanities, maybe less than political science, but I was so fascinated with, you know, leadership and people who, who create a vision and then go after it and succeed. That’s what really drove me in that direction. And that, in fact, I, you know, studied quite a lot. Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X and, and others, people who are kind of revolutionary in their own ways, in the political world, in the United States. And, you know, I’ve tried to follow in their footsteps, at least, in terms of their values, and, and, of course, my own parents values. So I think, you know, think again, thinking back to, you know, what it’s like to be a teenager and what I might want to tell myself back then it’s, it’s also like, you know, you’ll get past this teenager, everything, everything is a teenager is so dramatic. I want to tell my own children that I’m not sure they’re listening when I say it, but you know, I just want to, I do say to them sometimes, listen, five years from now, what you’re talking about isn’t going to matter. So don’t let it get you down, or don’t let it affect, you know, the direction that you’re going. Because that it just isn’t going to matter. And I can tell you from my own experience, but you know, when you’re 15 or 13, you kind of think you know, everything? Sure,

22:30
well, you mentioned the kids a couple of times, I’ll throw you a bit of a curveball here. But what’s the best lesson you’ve learned from your kids? That changes maybe your approach to business and or politics?

22:42
You know, I’m not sure there’s an overall lesson i My kids are terrific. And I listen to them all the time, because they’re, you know, they’re plugged in, they’re smart, they’re intuitive. One thing I’ve seen, because I’m in the tech industry is just just how fast the you know, the social media, apps and, and technology that they’re using, gets discarded, and moved on. Honestly, my kids barely know what Facebook is. And, and they could care less really about Facebook. And I think we all know that, you know, just looking at the numbers and what’s happening on Pinterest and what’s happening, obviously, Twitter, which is now becoming a bit outdated, even my, my kids don’t have anything to do with Twitter, you know, they’re much more interested in Instagram. And I find it fascinating that I say Instagram, but it’s more than just Instagram, Snapchat, of course. But I find it fascinating that, you know, Mark Zuckerberg was smart enough. Back then to say, here’s Instagram, at the time, it was a great platform that wasn’t really, you know, all that revenue enhancing for Facebook. But you know, he paid what seemed like a a huge price for Instagram with not that many users at the time. And everybody said, why would you know, one social media platform by another social media hub, but you could see today, just how prescient that was. So you know, I could have learned that, by the way for my kids. But I, at the time, I just, you know, wasn’t sure whether that was a great move on his part. So my kids are pretty intuitive and understand this stuff. And then both of them have taken computer science classes, even at a young age. And I think one lesson that I have learned is earlier is better. That may be one reason, by the way, I’ve so engaged in early childhood education and have been for a couple of decades now. I really do kind of fundamentally believe that, that kids learn things early and and can absorb them early, and that it helps them in their later life in a significant way.

24:56
So I’ve got a direct question for you here. Um, you know, we’ve got Donald Trump in the Office of the President, we have Bruce Rauner. In the office of Illinois Governor, do we really need another rich guy in office? I mean, make make the case here?

25:11
Well, Nick, this race is about values. It’s about fundamental democratic values. And I’ve been fighting for those for my whole life. Bruce Rauner and Donald Trump are birds of a feather, no experience in government, no real interest in government. I think they ran for public office thinking, Oh, I’ll try something new, with no real sense of what they really wanted to or needed to accomplish in office. And that’s why they’re failing. Their values are wrong, and they had no direction. In my lifetime, I’ve I’ve worked hard to enhance people’s lives all across the state of Illinois there 230,000 kids that get school breakfast, because I helped to expand a program that President Obama introduced called No Kid Hungry, which feeds school breakfasts to kids in low income districts. You know, there are 1000s of kids at risk kids that get quality preschool and quality childcare. Because for more than 20 years, I’ve been a national leader in that subject as a Holocaust Museum teaching kids to fight bigotry and hatred, intolerance. More than 60,000 kids every single year, here in Illinois and 1000s of teachers who take it back to their classrooms, I founded 1871, which has created 1000s of jobs more than 7000 Now, and hundreds of companies, right here in Illinois, you know, these are all things that I’ve been engaged in that are part of my value set what it is I believe in, and what I think, you know, we need here in Illinois, and demonstrations that I’m nothing like those other guys. And that what we really need is somebody running the state who’s got experience, and who understands how to create jobs, how to affect quality education for our youngest kids, how to expand health care, and I bring those things to the job. And I don’t think there’s anybody else running that does.

27:12
JB and an issue that’s affecting me, and that I think a lot of folks in the Texas sector, at least here are very aware of and notice is, is this talent vacuum. So you know, even within Illinois, we’ve got the best and brightest in rural areas that are leaving for the metro areas. In Chicago, we’ve got the best in tech that often lead for the coasts. You know, how do we approach this talent suck more thoughtfully and address this this real problem? Well,

27:40
there are a couple of things. And you know, I’ve been working on addressing that for for more than a decade. I you know, I ran the the the city’s technology and entrepreneurship Council. And, you know, also through that helped to create matter, the healthcare startup center, and the Chicago venture summit and a few other things. You know, we we need to make sure we produce so much talent in Illinois. Yeah, because we’ve got such great universities. But you got to invest in those, the state has to invest in the state universities, we can’t divest the way that this governor has. Because the result of that is that kids leave the state, those are our best natural resources, right? I mean, those are our future economic engines of the state, that get up and leave when they can’t go to college here because they can’t afford it. Or when the programs at the colleges and universities are being cut to the bone, and great faculty are leaving. So we got to invest in talent that’s being created here. And then as I have done also in in Chicago, we need to make sure that we’ve got a strong technology startup ecosystem that attracts that talent, so that they’ll come and want to create their businesses or be part of businesses that are here in Chicago. So I feel good about the work that I’ve done, and the you know, putting Chicago on the map as a top 10 startup ecosystem in the world. And, and you know what, 1871 is the leading business incubator in North America. But there’s so much more that we can do across the state of Illinois, that I think will help us retain the talent and make sure we’re creating opportunities, jobs in particular, across the technology ecosystem and and other industries. We really haven’t done that when you’ve got an unstable state government. People don’t want to stay in a state. When you’re not investing in education. People don’t want to stay in a state. When you’re not providing health care or cutting back on health care for residents all across the state. People don’t want to stay in a state. So we got to make those investments. And then again, we’ve got to stoke the fire of of the entrepreneurial creativity that exists all across the state. And that’s something I know a lot about. And I intend to really focus on. Two thirds of all the jobs that get created in Illinois are created by small and startup businesses. People forget that. And this does almost nothing to help people. We need a governor who understands that and invest in that, of course, we want to attract companies like Amazon, to Illinois, and we should do whatever we can to make sure that they come that you know, but also make sure we have a return on investment for Illinois and doing that. But let’s also help these small startup businesses, who are in the end creating more jobs than those big companies are.

30:43
Yeah, so

30:44
in light of that, JB tell us a little bit more about about your tech platform, you’ve got, you know, a great track record in the past of building a variety of things to support the tech ecosystem, what do you see the path forward,

30:56
looking like as, as governor of Illinois,

31:01
in order to expand the tech ecosystem here and to retain talent and to make sure that we’re building up our resources here, I mean, the first thing is we’ve got to invest in education, here. That’s talent is most important. My wife and I like to say that, you know, that the best natural resource of the state of Illinois are the people of Illinois. So investing in their development in their education is hugely important. I think we need to build out high speed broadband internet all across the state. There are a lot of people in Chicago who don’t know, by the way, that their neighborhoods in Chicago that do not have high speed broadband internet. So it’s not just you know, in rural areas of the state where there’s no broadband, it’s, you know, it’s also in neighborhoods on the south and west side. So we need to make sure everybody’s got access, because it’ll foster the development of new businesses, it’ll make sure that people have access to educational resources, it’ll be a major infrastructure project that will create jobs in the state too. So that’s an important thing for us to do. We need to expand the availability of investment capital, for entrepreneurs and for startup businesses. And so I’ve proposed the creation of a small business loan fund in the state, as well as restoring state funding for our Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer matching programs that help leverage federal dollars. And then we’ve got to make sure that we’re getting garnering the federal dollars into our research institutions. And the state can be very involved in that. You know, finally, technology companies, as well as lots of other kinds of businesses need technical assistance and mentorship, you’ve seen that I think, at 1871, how important that’s been for those startups. But there are folks who can’t access those incubators, I’d like to create incubators across the state. But there are gonna be areas where we don’t do that. But allowing people to access mentorship and technical assistance will be very important. Finally, I, you know, we need to help our college graduates deal with the, you know, the crushing amount of debt that they usually are stuck with. And so people who already have that debt, and I want to make college more affordable to begin with, but people who have graduated and are holding on to, you know, significant educational debt, you know, there are things that we here in Illinois can do to give them a break. One of them is to lower their interest rate by using the Illinois Student Assistance Commission’s bonding authority to lower the interest rate that people are paying. And that can really put several $1,000 back into people’s pockets each year. If we ask those graduates to stay in Illinois, to be part of the startup ecosystem, or the technology ecosystem, I think that will be an attractive offering for people. So those are some of the things that I’m going to do. And then you know, I think you know, that my, my heart, it really is in the idea that those who are willing to put their capital at risk, to put their sweat equity at risk to start businesses, those are people that the state should be standing up for.

34:22
I’m certainly on the same page with you there. But JB, you’ve clearly done a tremendous amount for tech and for startups here in Illinois and beyond. I wish you the best of luck with the campaign. And thanks so much for the time today.

34:35
Thanks so much, Nick, great to talk to you.

34:42
All right, that’ll wrap up today’s interview. If you enjoyed the episode or a previous one, let the guests know about it. Share your thoughts on social or shoot them an email, let them know what particularly resonated with you. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that. Some of the smartest folks Folks in venture are willing to take the time and share their insights with us. If you feel the same accomplishment goes a long way. Okay, that’s a wrap for today. Until next time, remember to over prepare, choose carefully and invest confidently thanks so much for listening