Monday, May 2, 2011

Not Failure, Opportunity

A great deal of Easter weekend was devoted to the application for 10X, a competition through ONE Fund offering money and mentoring to tech startups. The Metropreneur explains the competition in more detail. The project team matched the set of criteria and could answer all of the questions thoroughly, so this seemed like the defining moment that was going to kick start the business. Not only did the ten chosen teams receive $20,000 in funding and a summer full of mentoring and aid from professionals, but they also had the chance to be placed in front of a panel of angel investors at the end of the summer. This was it-- this is what the team had been waiting for to really get the ball rolling. Everyone read the questions multiple times and had several brainstorming sessions before finally tackling every single question and getting the answers (in 125 words or less) to be concise and meaningful. This went on for about seven hours on Saturday and for another five hours on Sunday. Everyone was trying to get inside the heads of the judges and the mission of the competition to answer to the best of their abilities. After thorough editing the final submission went through with about half an hour to spare.

And so we wait...

The answer came through surprising soon. Less than four days after the submission the rejection letter came explaining the competitiveness of the competition-- of the 120 worldwide submissions just 25 were chosen. Luckily even to those not chosen advice is offered by the local experts, so the team is waiting to hear back from them to see what they need to improve or change. This was a major disappointment and blow to the team's steam, but everyone is trying to look at it as an opportunity. This apparently isn't the road the business is meant to take, and another one with come that better fits its needs and goals. It is extremely disheartening to put your heart and soul into something you're really passionate about only to be rejected, but it's no reason to quit or even slow down. Will it be a harder and longer road? Yes, but this gives the company a chance to regroup, find out what needs to be done, and find the opportunity that will lead to success.

While the engineers are working to improve the prototype and prepare for alpha testing, those on the business side are continuing to crunch numbers to prove the product is definitely a great investment. Also, we've created a spreadsheet to compile a running list of any personal contacts, educators, local experts, mentors and investors we can think of so we can get as much advice and guidance as possible. Though the 10X program would have been a huge asset, we're doing the best we can to attain some of the benefits of the program ourselves. We're continuing to look for networking and funding opportunities for tech startups to get the business of the ground.

1 comment:

  1. Here's a great article on Pete Cashmore of Mashable that I thought went well with this post: