Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Startup Lehigh Valley, First Meeting

Last night we held the first of what I hope will be regular monthly meetings of tech startup founders up in Allentown.

It was a good start--7 startup founders at different stages of life and progress with their dreams. Let's see if I can remember...we didn't talk about models or the specifics much, just about making stuff happen:

  • A security software company. I'm not quite sure what the product is, but the company currently performs services and is/has developed something he believes will have impact. 
  • An online menu system (I'll have to check that out Mark)
  • An education thing that will help with managing classroom workflow. 
  • Something around online coupons, but I didn't quite catch the gist of it
  • Something around monitoring ocean fishing
  • an online fundraising thing for alumni
  • ...ah...that's 6 because there were two of three co-founders from the Ed company. 

The theme that emerged from the introductions was about going all in. We've talked about that here a few times, and I've pushed people to find a way to go all in because it frees you to plunge into the warm waters of beautiful startup life (yes I'm kidding), and it's also very hard to serve two masters.

That's a lesson I relearn and relearn and...well wait. It's not learning in the first place if I keep doing it again.

Focusing on a single thing--having that freedom to not worry about the bills (much), to test your assumptions, find customers/users (only two industries call their customers users; in the other one you'd be the dealer), test your models, and finally start to build a company, go from zero to one.

So thank you Anthony Durante, Mark Koberlein, and the crew of founders up in Lehigh Valley trying to make stuff happen. You can do it, you're not alone, and you're already on a good path. Don't worry that you don't know everything--you'll figure it out.

See you next month.


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