The Entrepreneur's Bible: Business at its Best

Startup Challenges: Be Nice To Your Engineers

By Matt Sprague (@sprague13) – Graduate of Wasabi Ventures Academy: Startup Foundations & Marketing Coordinator at portfolio company, TestSoup.

As a thriving startup out of Manchester, NH, TestSoup has owned it’s share of ups and downs. The idea of getting it correct the first time is not realistic but the focus has always been to learn from mistakes and strive to be better each day. This post is one in a series of our perception of the start up world. Agree with it or disagree with it. Either way is OK because we already disclosed that we are not always correct. All we ask is that you join the discussion. Please feel free to leave your thoughts below.

Reflections from Cohort I of Startup Foundations

The Cohort I of the Wasabi Ventures Academy Startup Foundations came to an end last week. The 8-week-class offered insight, thoughts, and reflection points for all of the participants.

Some of their thoughts:

Meka Este-McDonald – @mekaworldpeace:

I had two big takeaways from the class. The first was an understanding of all the major players in the startup world, what their key motivations were, and the way they all fit together. The second was an understanding of how a company, or an analyst, or a founder should evaluate a company, even their own. I think the second was even bigger for me, because it really pushed me to reevaluate what I was trying to do, and what questions I still needed to answer about my own idea.

Chris Downs – @BlaiseUrPath:

Have you ever had an idea your itching to pursue or a burning inside you to create, a career your want so bad but haven’t pursued? Well, I most certainly have, but there was always something missing, whether it be know how, a team or even just plain inexperience. The Analyst Training Program via Wasabi Ventures filled that void and with great timing. The startup world can be a complex and competitive landscape. But, now with the lessons offered by both T.K. and Chris Yeh of Wasabi Ventures I feel equipped to tackle my goals and scratch that itch. The last 8 weeks were exactly what I needed! My forward thinking glasses are on and their never coming off. I can not wait to bring my idea to

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reality. Thank you for an informative and awakening 8 weeks. Now the journey begins! Shameless plug, IssueNation coming soon!

Matt Sprague – @sprague13:

Thanks for bringing me in to this class. I loved it!! It was well thought out and all encompassing. Being involved with a WV Startup, it was extremely beneficial to step back and get an understanding of the landscape. The class, also, afforded me the chance to improve some of the skills needed in my day-to-day operations. As a result, I am able to look at the companies I am involved with and contribute more pertinent ideas and experiences to make them more successful. I am looking forward to being part of the continuing education classes and taking advantage of any and all opportunities that come my way.

If you want to learn more about Wasabi Ventures Academy Startup Foundations, take a look at this slide deck.

If you are interested in being a part of a future cohort of the Wasabi Ventures Academy, feel free to email wvacademy@wasabiventures.com

 

Startup Challenges: Controlling Your Time

By Matt Sprague (@sprague13) — Graduate of Wasabi Ventures Academy: Startup Foundations & Marketing Coordinator at portfolio company, TestSoup.

As a thriving startup out of Manchester, NH, TestSoup has owned it’s share of ups and downs. The idea of getting it correct the first time is not realistic but the focus has always been to learn from mistakes and strive to be better each day. This post is one in a series of our perception of the start up world. Agree with it or disagree with it. Either way is OK because we already disclosed that we are not always correct. All we ask is that you join the discussion. Please feel free to leave your thoughts below.

Controlling Your Time

Ever feel like you are being pulled in 17 different directions? This is pretty much every day in the life of an entrepreneur. I referenced this challenge in a previous post (Focus, Focus

Focus….Hey Look! A Squirrel!) and I am revisiting it as to give it more attention. I am going to outline what I do to do my best at staying ahead of the game (sometimes a futile task).

1) Calendars

I don’t have a living breathing secretary but I sure do need one. Enter my calendar. I am religious about using my calendar and reminders to schedule my days. I utilize block scheduling to make sure that I am paying the appropriate attention to my varying obligations. Here is an example of one day last week:

Things might change from day-to-day or week-to-week but I do this to have a consistent starting point. Each day will end up being slightly different than what was intended but the goal is to be productive not perfect.

2) To Do Lists

These are my favorite. I have a digital and physical notebook that are ongoing journals of ideas, meeting notes, etc… Once every two weeks I evaluate my previous list and create a new one by taking those items not yet finished and combining them with new ones created from the journal entries.

These two items help keep me on task. It may not be perfect but it is what I do to keep my head from spinning off. I would love to hear some of your tricks so feel free to share.

 

Investors choose people, not pitches: TK Kuegler

At Wasabi Ventures, we hear 126 pitches per week, 52 weeks per year — that is more than 30,000 pitches we have heard during the last five years. While I have not heard all of them personally, I have seen my share of founders telling their stories.

When people ask me what is the biggest thing I look for when I hear a pitch, the answer always comes down to the person giving the pitch.

Wasabi bets on early stage companies, and in that arena nothing matters more than the quality of the founders. How will these founders react to the way the market thinks of their product? What will they do when one of their key people quits? How will they look at the world when revenues are lagging by 75 percent?

Read the whole article on Technically Baltimore.