Best Practices Panel on Pondering for Startups…
It was my extreme pleasure last evening to have been invited to sit on a Panel of #HamOnt local startup entrepreneurs at an event held by Fullerton Media and a great set of Sponsors to follow the first screening of that great entrepreneurs movie “The Startup Kids!” And what a great event it was too!
The screening was open to all established and aspiring entrepreneurs in the Greater Hamilton Area and it was a documentary about young web entrepreneurs in the U.S. and Europe. Founders of Vimeo, SoundCloud, Kiip, InDinero, Dropbox, Foodspotting and many others talk about how they started their company and their lives as an entrepreneur. Innovation Factory, kitestring creative branding studio, Fullerton Media, and Mohawk College all teamed up to Sponsor the screening of The Startup Kids.
The movie is made by two Icelandic entrepreneurs, Vala Halldorsdottir and Sesselja Vilhjalmsdottir, who founded their first company shortly after the economic collapse of Iceland and wanted to motivate other young people to become entrepreneurs.
So, first…I loved the movie – and if you know me, you know that I’m not the young startup entrepreneur (any more!) but the “longer-toothed” version…who’s been there and done that. That said, I loved being on that Panel and here’s the members of same….
• Debbie (hottiebiscotti.ca)
• Mohamed (Nervu.ca)
• Stephanie (REfficient.com)
• Phi (TheProjectShaman.com)
• Kevin Browne (SoftwareHamilton.com – DemoCamp and StartupDrinks)
• Moderator: Chris Farias of KiteString
As you can see, there’s a real blend there of entrepreneur, Lion’s Lair winners and community organizers too…and the best part of all happened right off the bat. Introduced by Chad Fullerton and then turned over to Chris our Moderator who opened by throwing the pre-set questions on the floor….and he winged it and what a hoot that was!
I really can’t remember all of the great questions…but I do remember a couple of my own responses, hence this post…
To the question about “have you been successful?” I think that I replied “doesn’t matter”…in that there is a lot more to being a successful entrepreneur than cash in the bank….it’s more IMHO about what you’ve done with your success than spending money….and that in my life “friends” are so so important. We make friends as startup entrepreneurs in many ways….and that it’s important to “keep” those friends for life…sort of like “Co-Founder Dating for friends!”
To the question about “our most valuble lessons learned as an entrepreneur” I admitted candidly, that I learned more…so much more…from my startup failures than I learned from the successes I’ve had – and I really do think that this is a truism that exists for many of us Type A personalities who startup a new business and then wonder how it’ll do.
And it wasn’t just me…but every single one of the Panelists had some great insites too…Phi on how he left a successful career in another industry and moved to Hamilton to do something “new!” Stephanie on what 2013 was going to mean for REfficient, her own tech based startup marketplace and Kevin on how community and culture go hand-in-hand! I just kept on nodding my head….there was a lot of great startup entrepreneur wisdom passed along and the questions that came from the audience itself were also great!
And lastly, something else to think about too…Tim Draper of DFJ is recognized as a true VC leader…and I loved that he said that in his opinion, either skill or serendipity led to an entrepreneur’s success….and that really resonated with me. Serendipity….right place at the right time with the right product/service….ah….there’s another way that we entrepreneurs succeed, eh!
Great movie. Great panel and more’n 150 of us #HamOnt entrepreneurs in the audience too….just another sign that our city has startup momentum, eh! See you all at the next one!Google