Skip to main content

Startup Lancaster: 1 Year Anniversary

Over the past 12 months, we've held 11 Startup Lancaster meetings. The group is limited to founders only, and only from technology product companies. We opened it up briefly a few months ago, but that diluted the effectiveness of the sessions.

Over the past year we've come up with a model that seems to work: we network for a bit at the beginning, then talk about what the night's topic should be, then break into groups of 3 or 4 to talk about the issues. After that, we get back together and share what we heard in the breakouts.

Friendships have formed, new startups have formed out of old ones, 4 or so have raised capital, and one was accepted into the 3-month acclerator.

We have, in short, a technology startup ecosystem. A year ago, I wasn't so sure, and started the group to find out what was out there.

And I'm impressed.

Steve Palmer and his partner were accepted into and leaves later this week. He'll be missed by the group, but we're happy to see him take the leap and go all in. He's leaving his family for 3 months to do this--it's not an easy thing for him. But he's passionately following his vision, and has the support of his startup founder friends and his family. Hell do fine.

I met with one of our founders last week for a bit; he's trying to figure out how to get from here to there. Here is pretty good--he's got demand for his product in a market ripe for disruption. But he's not a salesman, and wants to add a salesperson but doesn't have capital. it's a great problem to have.

Mentoring works. Founders helping founders works. Most of our founders are doing better than they were last year. At the last meeting I couldn't believe how far people had progressed just in the past 2 months.

I really love my role in this; I enjoy getting them together, leading it, mentoring, coaching, and occasionally hammering them when it feels it's needed (yes, Palmer, I'm lookin' at you). And they have been very gracious, open to learning and sharing, and through that I've learned a lot. From them.

I'm so grateful for this group of people and the hard work they have signed up for. They are creating the foundation for the next generation of startups, and if we can get some capital flowing here, we'll be well on our way as a healthy tech ecosystem.

Recently I decided to create a group for founders of any business. We'll start meeting later in June. From that I expect to start a few more targeted ones, and see how well the model translates across sectors. It's amazing what happens when people get together, helping each other, and through that, helping themselves.

It's a beautiful day--get on out there and stay out of the comments :).


Popular posts from this blog

Beta Signup

I've been working for quite a while on a new search concept, though the further in I get, the closer the rest of the world gets to what we're doing. So today I'm inviting you to sign up for the rather modest beta, which will be ready soon if we can nail down a few difficult  details. Jawaya is a way of navigating the web and getting better results. And that's as much as I can say right now, because we're not a funded startup, and things are moving really fast in this space--it's going to be very competitive. I predict there will be about 10 funded startups in the next 6 months doing something similar. One of them will be mine, and we aim to make it the best. We're raising a round of capital to fund the team, and are shooting for early sustainability. This is my fifth company; my fourth in the tech space, and my third software company. I think it will be the biggest and can possibly have a positive impact on the world by reducing the amount of time it takes

Where Innovation Happens

As I get closer to a go/no-go decision on a project, I've been thinking about the difference about my vision for the project and the supportive innovations to enable the core innovations The vision combines (in unequal parts) product, core innovation as I imagine it, the application of that core innovation, design, marketing,  developer ecosystem, and business development. The core innovation enables everything else, but it's the application of the innovation that makes it meaningful, useful, and in this case, fun. This week we're testing initial approaches to the implementation for our specific application, and that's where we'll develop the enabling innovations, which is basically where the rubber meets the road. The difference is that the enabling innovation happens at the source of real problems only encountered in the making of something, and in a project like this just getting the essence of it right isn't enough; it also has to be safe, the compone

The Real Jobs Problem

It's the economy, stupid.  Well, yes, it always has been, if you're in the distortion field of politics.  But whose economy? The pundits, the White House, the Republican candidates all miss the mark. They keep talking about debt, taxes, and monetary policy. None of those things tell the real story behind today's economy.  The Old Economy Keynes was right--in the old economy. Economy gets weak, pump some money into the economy through public works projects, which  1) puts people to work, which  2) boosts the economy and  3) generates new tax revenue, while  4) leaving us with another generation of reliable infrastructure to support  5) more growth (for growth's sake, which is another post).  The Beach Ball Imagine a beach ball, partially deflated to represent a recession. Got it? Now imagine the govt pumping that beach ball back up through sensible public investment (which we haven't seen for decades). The New Economy Same beach ball, same pum