Hi, I’m Thomas Knoll

I unburden entrepreneurs.

I started building online communities back in 1996, and was the Community Architect at Zappos.com. Then I built 5 startups but only sold 2 of them. I mentor hundreds of founders through Techstars, 500 Global, and other local communities. I have been through the ups and downs, and know first-hand how much more valuable stories are than advice. It is difficult and exhilarating to create something from nothing and convince others to get on the bus. This is why nothing brings me more joy than to help people build their ideas and their teams.

While I have a technical background, I prefer to speak in gardening and architecture metaphors. I am inspired by storytelling, psychology, evangelism, architectural theory, social economics, game mechanics, cultural anthropology, compassion, and ants. Yes, ants.

Before I dropped out of college, I was studying to become a missionary. I left that path because I grew tired of the business of religion. Now, I help entrepreneurs understand the needs and behaviors of their customers and employees, translate their own vision and mission into the language and culture of their customers, and convert their customers into communities of evangelists.

Oh, and I fall in love with almost everyone I meet.