Know how I know? Because of the questions we received from the attendees….that’s always a great ranking factor when it comes to the “value” of what it is you’re passing on to the seminar attendents – and after more than 100 speaking engagements over my career, I think it’s the best way of all!
But before I mention those items I should let you know that yes, the weather has been terrible lately, there was a snow squall the night before the Fair and yes the roads were bad…not bad enough to stop the 200+ folks who came out to the Fair nor for that matter for a bus or two of high school students enrolled in EntrepreneurShip training to attend. Continue reading “MIPs Entrepreneurship Fair 2014 – A True Success!” »
The first ever Maker Edition of Startup Weekend Hamilton is happening on November 21st-23rd at Mohawk College. Startup Weekend events are 54-hour weekend long events during which groups of makers, hackers, students, developers, business managers, startup enthusiasts, marketing gurus and more pitch ideas for new startup companies, form teams around those ideas, and work to develop a working prototype, demo, or presentation by Sunday evening where a panel of judges will select a wining team.
A couple of terms here to explain I’d imagine before you even get the thrust of this post would be in order…. #JerkTech is a phrase that is fairly new, and refers to what TechCrunch labels as “…emblematic of a compassionless new wave of self-serving startups that exploit small businesses and public infrastructure to make a buck and aid the wealthy. Let’s call these parasites #JerkTech. It’s one thing to outcompete a big, stagnant company with new technology. It’s another to screw over the little guys just because you can sell what’s usually free…”
So….#JerkTech (also a real live Twitter handle!) is something not so good, right? Wrong in my world…because I’ve always been a “let the market decide” type of guy.
Not trying to be oblique here….but the title above says it all. We’ve all been trained to believe that it’s far far better to sow a seed and then know that when it ripens on it’s own, it can be harvested by us gaining the strategic startup founder the crop that he seeks.
That is, I think that this is the completely wrong paradigm to pronounce as the “right” way to think about success….and finally, there’s some other thought leaders out there that agree.
Not that I was the first – my own mentor from back in the 1970’s taught me to “farm always…but carry a spear” and from the success that I’ve had in closing deals, it appears that he knew his stuff. Which is what I learned. Which is why I now say the same strategic goal….that hunters win.
Thinking today, that as I’ve had to push off 7 prospective clients in the past month (due to a multitude of reasons), that I am lacking really in one major “help” item – a worthwhile SEO Starter Guide to try to give them some “best practices” SEO help for them to use.
What I mean is that say for the last client who wanted our $5,000 monthly package for $250 a month – someone again who had no business intelligence to know that an investment is a real live SEO program has a real live ROI, that they were working from a POV that just isn’t real in a cost vs benefits comparison. They believed that as they only had that $250 a month to invest, that they would find an SEO firm that would accept that revenue but do a job at 20 times the value of same. And that, as we all know just doesn’t happen.
StartUpWeekend – what’s that you might be asking right off the bat and I’m not surprised to be honest. The whole StartUpWeekend movement began years ago out west in Seattle and while the number of events already held is over 1000+, it’s understandable that the whole experience is just not as discernable as it could be. Why?
Well, as it’s “hosted” by brand-new-to-event-management folks each and every time, it’s easy to see that these folks lack to a certain degree the knowledge and ability to push out the brand to the community in which it’s being held. They’re new to this kind of output for community notice and they miss a few or sometimes more opportunities but thats a part IMHO of the whole “coolness” of the event itself. As the rules state that no one can “host or run” a StartUpWeekend more than three times, it promotes the onboarding of new folks at the top to run and look after all the details of an event and that is one of the best parts of any event!
Okay, you’re startup is up and live…you’ve had the EUREKA moment and it got passed every single vetting moment by friends, family and your own peer group. You found a great company name, a matching domain name too, it’s up and live and yes, you’re ready for that all important traffic to start to drop by to be amazed…and to buy your online products or services.
You’re ready – but is your website itself would be the question – and from our own long-time SEO practice, what we know already is that the site is NOT ready at all.
So why do we think so?
Here’s how the flyer reads and it’s a great opportunity for any founder or team to consider, eh!
Do you have a background in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) and were recently laid-off or down-sized from your job in Southern Ontario? Have entrepreneurial aspirations and a big idea?
It’s said “…it’s not what you know, but who you know…” and what we’re going to post today…is all about the exact opposite…i.e. what you need to know to be a Startup Mentor.
Seems like there’s a fair bit of chatter on the whole topic of Mentorship happening with many of the bloggers that I read at least weekly and I thought that here maybe I’d add my own voice to same. Disclaimer – I know only a couple of these entrepreneurs personally but would vouchsafe them all as knowledgeable, talented and yes TRUE mentors in their own right as they all own that “Been there & done that” T-Shirt, eh!
That said, what am I talking about when I say “mentorship” as a definition of what is done in any startup ecosystem? Well, to my mind, it’s the creation of a network of like minded individuals who will be instrumental in helping new startups gain traction for their ideas…and lead them to success.
It will come to no surprise to those of us who follow closely the goings-on at our #HamOnt Innovation Factory, the the final decision on who will replace our leaving Exec Director, Ron Neumann has just been made – and it’s Dave Carter their in-house CTO in Residence who is stepping up to lead the organization!
As many of us staunch startup supporters know, Ron after being the ExDir of the Innovtion Factory for almost 3 years now, is moving on to head up his own new business (hopefully from right here in #HamOnt, eh!) and those ExDir reins get handed over to Dave in about a week or so….till then both are using their collaboration skills to aid in the transition….and we’re all chuffed about the new vision that Dave will be bringing to our community of startups!
Well through the week I’m often at the Innovation Destination milieu, at our beautiful McMaster Innovation Park where startup entrepreneurs drop by on a daily basis. Not all or even a major number wander over to say “hi” and ask for some advice/counsel…but the ocasional one does in an off-hand sort of way….as when I ask “what’s new” I usually then get a list of current issues, problems and crossroads that they’re facing…