- Have an idea
- Are you the only one doing it?
- Test, test, test
This class is for people serious about taking action to achieve their goals.
This class is for people serious about taking action to achieve their goals.
Come one come all to our StartUp Show & Tell Evening! You bring your startup, business, tech, idea and we will bring the refreshments!
Simple: You come, we drink & hang out for a bit, then let the show & tell begin!
you have 3 minutes to pitch us. Then we get to ask questions, share ideas and critique your service, product, business idea. Thats it! We will try to fit everyone in for their pitch time, this is a first-come-first-serve situation. We take the first show&tellers who sign up and fit on the time table!
Be cool, no worries if you do not get on this round, there will be others to come!!
See you soon!
The life of a startup has two paths: success or failure. The successful startups are those that are both able to address their current day to day issues and identify the various possibilities that are available while being mindful of what is needed for the future. But how would you know what these issues and possibilities are? How do you go about knowing what you don’t know? And what about what you don’t know that you don’t know?
TechMasters brings together a group of experts with over 250 years of combined business experience in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, valuations, marketing, accounting, taxation, insurance and finance for a highly interactive session that will be driven by your questions.
by Shane Barbanel
Last night I took part in a stakeholder meeting hosted by Tecnical.ly Brooklyn about the problems facing entrepreneurs, startups and tech biz in Brooklyn and to hear about potential solutions. The question being asked: How do we keep startups here once they blow up?
I was too busy to pay attention to the question at hand because I was stuck in a time-and-space vortex of deja vu mixed shaken and stirred with a feeling of gratitude and sliced up with Shazam!
Translation: I was so giddy I could barely sit still. Seriously.
I was seated near the conference table which was like watching a movie I could participate in. Among those in attendance were Zach Seward and Tyler Woods of Technical.ly Brooklyn, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership , The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival , The Red Hook Initiative, Agrilyst,and Urban Future Lab.
I was happy because I have been involved professionally with downtown Brooklyn since the 90’s but more intimately since 2002 when I started regularly attending FMIA (Fulton Mall Improvement Association) meetings. What a whirlwind of change has taken place since then! I felt like a teenager driving for the first time listening to Zach Seward asking the Founders in attendance about the problems we face today. Back in 2002, we could not draw attention to ourselves, if we ran naked through the streets of Brooklyn offering free office space no one would would’ve blinked an eye, they just did not want Brooklyn. There wasn’t a tech startup anywhere to be found here back then! Seriously, having a meeting with the likes of Agrilyst, the Urban Future Lab and Technical.ly! Talk about Future Shock? How awesome, to even be having this conversation in the first place!
So before I could contribute to our current state of tech and startup affairs, I have to say nothing compares Brooklyn to in the realm of startups, tech, fashion, retail, robotics, food. Wow! We rock! We’ve got some of the most dynamic, upward thinking, innovative people doing some real interesting, life changing stuff here. The big question for tech businesses was: How do we keep them here once they blow up? My take on this is: Don’t worry about the ones who head out to the west coast, we are giving birth to some of the top newcomers, and some WILL stay, some will not, but we have created the ecosystem for this to happen. We are in a state of growth, of unbelievable change, and in all of it is Brooklyn. We are more than Silicon Valley, more than Colorado, than Toronto. We are diverse, because along with tech companies, Brooklyn hosts fashion, real estate, manufacturing, film & tv, construction, and retail — of course we’re stronger. We are the sought after place to make it any industry – we are most certainly not a one trick pony, there’s power in that. And because Brooklyn has everyone – all races, religions, ages, sexual preferences – there is magic there as well. My prediction? Now what we will see is tech companies from the outside, globally, nationally looking to open up shop here. They will be wanting Brooklyn, her proximity to Manhattan, the diversity, the numerous markets and peoples we represent and the competition that fosters the very best of everything. THAT’S my prediction, and you can take that to the bank!
by Shane Barbanel
Yep I said it: The Martian (the movie staring Matt Damon) is the quintessential Entrepreneur Movie, why am I saying this?
Because its true, but also because to be an entrepreneur or single person startup is very much what happens in that film.
The log line in IMDB: “An astronaut becomes stranded on Mars after his team assume him dead, and just rely on his ingenuity to find a way to signal Earth that he is alive.” Amazing!
Amazing because this is what happens to a lot of us. We are on a team, a group building a startup, something happens, perhaps is a disagreement in vision, or an argument on how the mechanics of something should work, or just the seemingly never ending infighting that happens, and before you know it Boom!
You are all alone, floating out there by yourself on Mars, a Starbucks, your mothers basement, or perhaps a coworking space, but you are out there all alone. You got no money, no resources, no team, and you are broken, broken to little pieces and feel like the lowest creature in creation… Lower then that really, lower than the amoeba that is sticking to the piece of gum stuck on your shoe. You’re feeling low my friend.
But you gotta move, you have got to get up and pay for that fucking chai latte, the rent, that app store purchase dammit! If you do not get up out of that pity pot, you will not build a thing, forget about changing the world with that talking widget.
And as Matt Damons character says: “In the face of overwhelming odds, I’m left only with one option… I’m going to have to science the shit out of this thing.”
Exactly! You have to come to that moment within yourself when you get up, turn yourself on and move forward towards your goals. You must internalize that declaration, sometimes thousands of times a day! Once you do, once you understand you are truly alone, that no-one will build that app thats living in your head for you, then you will know freedom. Because thats the first step to adulthood, the next step is doing it.
Where Matt is figuring out how many days he can stretch his rations to reach the time it takes for the next mission to Mars, he is doing it, he is no longer a grain of sand being blown about the universe. He is now the captain of his ship moving toward a solution to his problem, and in his case its something along the line of – staying alive long enough till help arrives, thats his Super Goal, the the objectives within that are oxygen, food, water, shelter and heat.
Then he will break those down even further. Whats important here is once we figure out our super goal, then we can have the objective, and break that down into smaller achievable parts – mini-goals, the steps that are doable to achieve.
Theres a new term, I’ve heard it bouncing around: Incrementalism – which is taking small steps to achieve a much larger and more grandiose goal. As an early stage startup entrepreneur you are faced with failure all the time, the only way out of it is to have a sober plan, take action based on that plan, and achieve. When faced with setbacks, improvise, adjust and continue to move forward! Life is not a movie, but movies can be sources of inspiration for us here on planet earth.
Leading with our strengths produces greater results and makes building a business more fun.
In this workshop, we will get to the heart of:
The workshop will be led by Lenore Champagne Beirne of Bright Coaching. Lenore is a coach for founders and leaders, and holds an MBA from NYU Stern.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Have some coffee, network and talk about your startup. We act as your own private startup advisory council. Members and attendees walk out each week with sound business advice, leads and introductions.
Don’t worry about the coffee and bagels, we got you covered.
By Edward Denegre
Here are some free resources to help your business grow and develop. As a new startup, you are pinching pennies every step of the way. There was a time when people said “nothing in life is free.” Well, lucky for you, the Internet’s changed that. There are many free apps that will help you run your business. Here are some to make your life much easier.
Being a Photoshopper is great, but if you can’t afford it, you can be a Fotoflexer. The website lets you edit images for free online with a vast array of functions. You can cut out images, combine pictures, change colors. With a little bit of practice, anyone can learn the online application’s learning curves.
Buffer is a free app that lets you post content to all of your social media platforms at once. Social media is the best free way to promote your business, but it can be hard to keep track of posts to Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Why not post that picture to all of them at once?
Adobe Photoshop Express
You can use Photoshop free, on your smartphone! The mobile app has many of the features as the classic computer program. Edit pictures right on your phone and upload them without even having to use a computer. If you wish, email yourself the picture after you edit.
Any.do is an app that goes beyond helping you organize. With it’s smooth, easy to read interface, Any.do manages your day. It comes with a smart “assistant,” a robot you can text to carry out certain tasks. For example “please order new coffee beans.”
Document 5 lets you edit documents on your smartphone. Not only that, you can view most media and files stored on your cellphone. Easily share the documents back and forth between a computer smartphone. Remember an edit you were supposed to make- but you’re at the park? No worries.. Document 5 has you.
That lazy team member isn’t going to be happy about this one. The Startup Team plan is free. It helps team leaders dictate and follow out tasks. You are able to assign tasks to your team members, and become updated with all new activity and developments. It will also send you reports so you know what’s being completed.
Having trouble remembering your three Gmail passwords, Amazon password, and social media passwords? With Lastpass, you only have to remember one password. The app stores all the rest. With the one master password, you are able to log into any account.
With Instapaper, you can read articles and save links. It will change the layout of the article so you won’t be bugged by all of the advertisements. If you become overwhelmed by all of the extra pictures and ads on a website, this can help by preventing that sensory overload. You can also use it offline, meaning you can save articles beforehand and read them on the subway.
Zipbooks is invoicing software. This is completely free bookkeeping software. You can alter the rates, track teams, add project managers. Time tracking, expense tracking, credit card software. Instead of shelling out money for fancy accounting software, why don’t you first try this completely free online system?
Some say money isn’t everything, but with a business, it’s more than everything.. Track your balances, accounts, and bills for free with this app. It’s easy layout lets you see all your spending habits by category.
These tools will help your business flourish. You won’t break your bank on software you don’t understand. Why are you wasting money on over hyped expensive products when there are free alternatives that are as good and in some cases better?
by Shane Barbanel
A retail endeavor that does not take stock of itself – an inventory – is a fool’s dream that will eventually fail.
To prevent the failure, or alter the trajectory of your startup’s downward spiral — taking an Inventory is a MUST!
I’ve done it by the way, barreling headlong into oblivion building a business, growing it fast, but not really looking at the balance sheet, just shooting upward, and building without knowing. Believing that by working hard enough, and keeping the business moving forward, I could look at the Debits and Credits later, after we were really built. Big mistake! It’s so important to grow the business, and it’s equally as important to objectify what is working and really, what’s not working so we can assemble a better more effective machine.
To use a retail model: What is selling and what’s not, which items are gathering dust? Are they perishable? If so how much time before that product is a complete loss? Should you drop it, lower the price or reposition it?
If it’s selling then why? Can we sell more? How do we duplicate this with other products?
What strategies work best for foot traffic? How do we get more customers in? Why do the customers we have today stop in? Is it time of day? Lighting, HVAC, or the configuration of the isles? And more importantly: what & why did they buy?
What is that one service, amenity, product or offering that your customer MUST Have! What is it?? Also, what is it on your menu that does not move? (I think I’ve stressed this enough;-)
Also, what question is it you are answering? What’s the problem you are solving for your members or customers? Can you pinpoint the solution you provide? If so then it’s a hop, skip and a jump to massaging that issue out of your prospects. But you cannot do this without clarity, and clarity comes from the inventory.
Now let’s break it down:
What is the best seller?
Why is it selling?
Who is buying it?
Taste, look, feel?
How do we duplicate this?
How do we improve?
What is it on your shelf that is sitting there costing you money?
Why is it not selling?
Is it inferior?
Can we reposition / remarket / drop price & alter the current condition?
All businesses must put themselves through the same set of questions – of course adjusting them for your speciality – but ask yourself direct questions, be honest and open minded to change. Do Not Get Married to a product, service, amenity or whatever you sell, don’t do it! That is at the most business death and at the least a painful endeavour. Be open to hearing about your children in unflattering ways, but then Use This information to improve your overall position in the marketplace and to achieve more peace within your company, because with honest stock taking comes clear communication and a more focused cohesive team.
If you would like to know how we conduct our staff meetings at the CoLab-factory just ask we’ll tell ya!