The Agile Startup Week 20: Chicago and New York City

Note: The Strategic Agility Institute has been following Gild Collective, a startup in the crafting industry, from its inception to its current adventures as a growing startup. Check out previous posts to get up to speed on this project. 

This past week, Gild Collective (yes, that’s “Gild,” not “GILD” due to a recent branding decision) was on the road. 

For the first part of the week, they were in Chicago and met with a venture capitalist to discuss potential funding opportunities, along with participating in other programs facilitated by The Brandery, the Cincinnati-based business accelerator from which Gild Collective is now a graduate. 

Then, the team headed to New York City.

Gild Collective co-founders in New York City. From left: Kelsey Pytlik, Jessie Deye, Rachel Bauer McCreary.

Gild Collective co-founders in New York City. From left: Kelsey Pytlik, Jessie Deye, Rachel Bauer McCreary.

This trip included a few meetings with people whom they’d only previously talked with on the phone, and they picked up a few lead for potential investor connections. 

Overall, it was a very different sort of week for the team. And it’s unclear—like so much of startup life—where the meetings, the connections, the conversations might turn into meaningful relationships. 

But at the very least, they were able to spend a considerable amount of time together in close proximity and still remain committed friends and coworkers. 

It was, overall, a calm week. The team’s ratings of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA) during the past week were low. But they anticipate an upswing in their VUCA next week.     

Here are the summaries of their ratings of each aspect of VUCA. 

Be sure to check back in next week for another update from GILD Collective as they navigate the VUCA world of startups. 

About GILD Collective
GILD Collective is the brainchild of three friends—Kelsey Pytlik, Rachel Bauer McCreary and Jessie Deye. It’s a business focused on crafting, which happens to be about a $29 billion industry. GILD Collective seeks to join that industry by offering instructor-led craft parties, in which customers will pick the project, location and participants. GILD Collective will bring the supplies and expertise, allowing party participants to explore their creative sides and make something with their own hands. For more information, visit:

About The Strategic Agility Institute™
The Strategic Agility Institute™ (SAI) is a collaborative, global effort dedicated to the production and communication of agility-focused knowledge. We're building a community founded upon a common interest in helping people and organizations become agile and thrive in the face of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. For more information, visit: