Tips for Entrepreneurs from the 2017 Summer Venture Program Cohort
This past summer, the Blank Center had the privilege of accelerating 14 startups through the Summer Venture Program. Over the last 10 weeks, our participants have gone achieved many milestones, but have also faced challenges. Here are tips for aspiring entrepreneurs from this year’s SVP cohort:
- Just get started doing things – nothing is worse than regretting something you could have done.
- Always vet your assumptions, and always be talking to customers.
- Focus on traction. Get your product into the hands of your users as fast as possible, even if you think it’s unfinished. Getting traction should be your number one priority.
- Never ever build anything before you have somehow delivered the value you expect the product to deliver to your end user.
- Find and cultivate a community willing to support you through both failures and successes.
- You’ve got to be obsessed about what you bring to the market.
- Take the time to listen to your instincts amidst the ample advice from others. It’s easy to get sidetracked by a single data point if you aren’t grounded in your vision and research.
- Entrepreneurship and business is a team sport. With a team, you will focus on things you do well and your teammates will take care of the areas you are not so good at.
- College is the best time to start a venture…so what if you fail? You still learn a lot.
- Reach out to everyone you know, it’s surprising how often they can help introduce you to someone you weren’t expecting to be able to talk to.
- You must be persistent. It will be one of the most difficult, draining experiences of your life. However, it will also be one of the most rewarding experiences in your life.
- Take what everyone says with a grain of salt. Be discerning and comprehend advice in context, because at the end of the day, you still know your business and yourself best.
- Word spreads fast but you have to move quickly and take risks.
- Remember your grand vision for what you believe you can be. That will be your north star when you begin to lose direction and not knowing where or how to keep working.
- Just do it!