The Startup Factory – Application Deadline this Sunday

In my day job as one of two managing directors of The Startup Factory, we help early-stage software startups through investment, advice and back office support (legal, space, etc.). This Sunday, June 30th is the deadline to apply for our Fall program (the 4th so far).

This week, I have been asked at least 15 times, “should I apply” or a derivation of that, “we are considering applying”.

APPLY. OMG. APPLY!!!

Rule #1 for entrepreneurs is to create as many options as possible. For those of you who think you are past the need for $150k or to be surrounded by the areas best mentors – what do you have to lose? An hour of your time? Make that call a month from now when you are offered a slot. Things change all the time. By definition, you know less than you know.

Think you are too early for us? Wrong thinking. Your job is to find every path available to grow your company. Make us decide you are too early. If you already decided you are not ready to jump on the roller-coaster and launch your company – your fate has been determined.  If we decide you are too early the worst thing is you are now on our radar screen.  Apply again next round and show us the progress you have made.  This is part of my “drip, drip, drip” advice I gave previously.

Lastly, are you afraid of what you have is not ready for prime time?  Well guess what – it isn’t.  Again by definition.  Startups are not for the faint of heart.  If you think “two more months of mktg/dev/research and I will be SO much better and ready for public consumption”, you are way off.  Even companies that have raised $1m have more questions than answers.

I look forward to your application . . . .

 

Speaker, investor, mentor, startup founder. One of 3 or 4 Co-Founders of MapQuest (sold to AOL for $1.2B). Managing Director of $25M Venture Fund in late 90's. CEO, COO or President of various companies ranging from $200k to $20M in size. One of two Managing Directors of The Startup Factory (35 investments across 7 cohorts), founder and MC of the Big Top Reverse Job Fair and national writer and speaker waxing poetic around startups and startup communities. Currently EIR @ Techstars with Brad Feld ~ Startup Communities, to help community leaders around the world grow their startup community.

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