Highway1's Cofounder, Brady Forrest, just plain knows everybody.
It isn’t surprising, really. He started the first Ignite talks in Seattle and has worked for O’Reilly Media and Khosla Ventures.
You might’ve seen him onstage at a TechCrunch Disrupt conference, judging a Startup Battlefield. Maybe he ran into you backstage after speaking at Google I/O, SXSW, or Le Web. His card might be in your pocket right now; Brady’s network is that good.
In fact, that’s how he ended up running Highway1: in 2005, he became pals with Chumby’s bunnie huang, and through him met PCH Intl CEO Liam Casey in Beijing a year or two later.
They stayed in touch, and Brady got a call from Liam in 2012 asking if he was busy. “I love seeing ideas happen,” Brady admits. “I used to do that at O’Reilly with conferences, where I’d find people that had interesting ideas and share them; that’s why I created Ignite. I view Highway1 as a merger of the three things I’ve done: tech, media, and investment. That’s why I love doing what I do here.”
And what does Brady do? In a nutshell, he says, “I try to make sure the startups get what they need while they’re in the program; I oversee what resources we have available to them.”
Brady can flip through his contacts and connect a Highway1 startup with a particularly specialized mentor, an honest and insightful guest lecturer, or a powerful conference organizer without looking too hard.
A veteran of a million startup pitches, he’ll be the one with final say over whether your company gets into the program — and once you’re in, he’ll be there to help you tune your presentation. On the one hand, he says, he spends a lot of time recruiting new startups, but on the other, “I also focus on getting investors to help them on the way out.” With a network like Brady’s, that might be all the help anyone needs.