You are going to have to face a lot of setbacks on the way to success. A LOT of setbacks. But you can always learn from your setbacks if you have the guts to overcome them. We faced a setback when we got denied to the first accelerator we applied to.
Teamwork Like Magic
It was only 34 days ago when I first met Ben Turley, but already, he and I have done so much together. We collaborated to create a blog for Capital G Design, worked on Bronzeberry, and further developed the idea around a project in the QR code space. My design skills teamed with his magic dev skills are proving to be just that: magic.
Utah Accelerator Program: Boom Startup
So as far as my lil rookie startup mind is aware, there are these entrepreneurial programs called incubators or accelerators. As I understand, you approach/pitch them on your idea and if accepted, then you receive benefits like mentorship, office space, and some money to work with. In return, you typically give up a % of the company to the program. Y Combinator is the most popular of these programs. Tech Stars out of Colorado is also legit. Utah’s version: Boom Startup.
Today, Ben and I pitched Boom Startup on our project.
I was confident going in to the pitch. Not only do we have a good idea being worked on by an even better team, but the whole Boom Startup management knows who I am. Ever since I was introduced to the Utah entrepreneurial scene I’ve run this town like HOV. What I mean is I’ve worked with most of the Boom Startup management team. :)
Today’s judge: Robb Kunz.
The pitch consisted of me passionately explaining the product Ben and I were working on, the problem it was solving, and the talented and determined team behind it. I explained how for us, our motives were NOT financial, but rather, we simply wanted to create something of true value. I told, as if a story, the need for our solution and how we have the necessary skills, personalities, smarts, and sauce to make this happen.
The first question out of the judge’s mouth was about financial projections (and my lack thereof). Gross. Three important points here:
• I believe in financial projections like I believe that Santa is fake. He lives.
• I just told you about a valuable product we are building. Keyword: Valuable.
• Did you not just hear my pitch. We focus on products and solutions. Not finances.
We left the Boom Startup pitch and awaited their decision. Fast forward:
They declined our application into the program.
No worries. Two great motivators in my life are those who believe in me and those who don’t. The second comes in a hellish-spit fire type of passion.
Their explanation/reasoning to me was that our idea wasn’t quite there. All I will say on that is the following: You can take a brilliant idea with a good team and they might do something good with it. OR you can take any idea, good or lame, with a great team, and they will do what they need to (even scrap the original idea if needed) and create something brilliant.
Only Time Will Tell…and So Will I
Who is right? Only time will tell. (unless you want me to, then I can tell you right now :)
But the fact is setbacks are just that. A setback. Temporary. Overcome-able. When you face your setbacks what will you do? Will accept the doubters and walk quietly into the night? Or will you ram your head through that obstacle with sheer force of will and hard work? I’ll tell you what I will do.
That obstacle better sleep with the lights on because I am coming for it.