Monday, August 13, 2018

Startups: The Founder's Perspective

 Have you ever wondered the challenges and surprises that come with a startup venture? What makes a person finally take the leap to create their startup company?

We sat down with Nicol Pasuit (Founder and CEO of TechStak), Molly McFarland (One of the Founder's  and Chief Revenue Officer for Ad Adapted), and Nestor Lopez-Duran (Co-founder and CEO of Ripple Science) to see what a startup really takes!


The first part of our conversation was about forming a startup. All of the panelists agreed that in a startup you will wear many hats! They said their products, marketing, and people evolve everyday. One of their tips was to always stay positive and trust yourself. Molly talked about losing a key employee once and thinking they could not move forward. Eventually, you start the task of finding your next employee and realize that everything will be okay. Startups can be stressful and that is why it is important to surround yourself with calm and driven associates. This still leaves the question of why. Why did they leave their jobs to follow their startup dreams? Each individual saw a problem they faced, yet nobody else could fix it. They started the company's because they knew other people must have been having the same problems. For example, Nestor is a professor and created his software for effective research participant recruitment and management.

 Our next topic involved the challenges of a startup. Nestor's main challenges were funding and software engineering. Most startups will have to find a source of funding. This can be challenging when you are a new product or service. Our panelist's recommended being able to create financial projections that are reasonable and backed by fact.


Each founder also agreed that spending time to find the perfect fit for a job position was worth the effort. Nestor co-founded a software company, even though he did not know coding or software engineering. A big challenge for Ripple Science was having someone create their software, but not knowing how to tell if the work was good. Always networking and keeping industry connections can help you solve these challenges. A common theme occurred through the founder's dialogue. The theme was failure as a tool. Each of them could name all of the challenges they encountered. They could also name each lesson they learned from the failure. The biggest piece of advice they left the interns with was to not be afraid to fail!
 At the end of the discussion, all of the panel participants were asked: if you could go back in time, would you still start your company?

Every answer was yes!

It is obvious these founder's have a passion and love for what they created!

If you have ever thought about finally turning your idea into a startup, remember the infamous Steve Jobs quote "Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”



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