Building a startup is not easy. Keeping it alive even less. From the moment an entrepreneur makes the decision to start a business, it is crucial that they follow the right steps in order not to waste a commendable initial effort. In this post, I want to point out six important things about building a startup:
Pitching a business does not come naturally. In the context of the bootcamp, a startup has to convey what their business is about but also convince someone to vote for them or simply agree it’s a great idea. And that is within five minutes or less and an ever-changing panel of judges. You must be able state the problem you are solving in a sentence, and how you are going to make money with your solution within a few more. It’s a good skill for convincing almost anyone of anything!
Having a solid team
We welcomed some single founders and some teams. While we do recommend having a mix of skills (hence a team), what matters and helped individuals and teams over the weekend was the ability to not lose their nerves, to be able to change their game quickly and to keep their focus.
Networking and interacting
Getting into the startup game is not only about business but also about connections. You will – and must – meet all kinds of people. These are people that could be your next co-founder, or investors or just the random person who will see the glitch in your rocket ship idea.
Things happen when you turn up and participate. And you never know just what that might be.
Our bootcamp is both a competition and a learning experience. In both cases, the feedback will be honest, aiming to help but also, sometimes brutal.
If you have truly done the background work, and taken your idea through some good validation processes then take it with a pinch of salt. Otherwise, do not despair and take feedback for what it is too, advice from smart people and fellow entrepreneurs.
Crisis of confidence are one of the most common reasons businesses fail. Do not doubt yourself, make it happen!
Tech is not everything
People, entrepreneurs or not, often need a reminder that technology does not make a product. A need in a sizeable market may. And potential customers in that niche who would be ready to pay for your product will. Success on the market comes from relieving a (real) pain point, that many people have, with a solution that, also, makes good financial sense.
Experience has value
Experience is another pitfall of startups. There is also a reason why 40+ is the age of the most successful startup founders… experience (and networks). We try to bring a mix of experience to startups taking part in the bootcamp as well as highly-skilled enthusiasm in order to add value all along.
Also published on Medium.