Class: 2013 Summer Accelerator
A mentor and funding platform for women entrepreneurs.
On Thursday, August 8, 2013, the topic was ‘Entrepreneurs Tell All’ - Entrepreneur War Stories. Our veterans were Trisha Blanchet, from Operation Delta Dog as well as the last Sandbox accelerator, and our very own David Parker. The main themes of this meeting were funding strategy and ‘pivots’ (a decent-sized change in direction based on market). Most of this session was question and answer.
Already Trisha has accomplished a lot in the past year: she has applied to a lot of big companies such as Raytheon, been invited to participate in the Science Expo where she hopes to gain a lot of exposure, and is currently fundraising. She is also making plans to start paying herself by the third year and someday branch-out and franchise.
David began his entrepreneurial path from humble beginnings as the first bike messenger in Boston professionally catering to companies. He has experience fundraising through VCs and Angels and as both an employee and co-founder - in leadership and in being the CEO.
Tips that we gained from these two entrepreneurs were:
As you grow, keep your vision/mission in mind. Make sure that it is in sync with what you are trying to accomplish and keep repeating it.
How are you going to treat people? As you manage employees, you are managing their life (they have a say in this).
Be true to yourself - know why you are doing this. What is your goal? Is it to make money or to start a non-profit?
Don’t underestimate yourself - sometimes you may not need a lawyer or a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) to fill out paperwork.
Learn as you go.
Penny-pinching will keep your company longer - keep expenses as low as possible.
Make sure that consumers are happy, and that bigger companies are as happy as possible.
Something that David would NOT recommend doing is fundraising at the last minute.
Being an entrepreneur is all about coming up with an idea and making it happen.