Every startup (every business for that matter) has an untold story. Not the sanitized, after the fact summation of our success types – but real stories about getting from Point A to B via points 1,2 12, 37, 42 and 61. Brainstorms, meltdowns, pivots, dating, breaking up, funding, compromise. In the end, either against all odds success or going down in a spectacular ball of flame. Failures? Hardly, Life’s lessons? Absolutely. Why do the rare few succeed? What really happened? It may not be pretty, but it will be real.
There is more to telling stories than simply regurgitating facts. It’s about curating, learning and ultimately editing – editing not in the sense to make the players good but to get to the heart of what was truly going on. What was the context? What were you feeling? What was your agenda? Why was George Michael playing in the background? (We’ll get back to that one)
What’s the point? Somewhere between scrubbed case studies and reality TV is a level of transparency that is entertaining and offer actionable insights on building a startup, raising more and growing a business. And so we begin….
And to begin, we have to go back. Back to the beginning, back to where it started.
Anthony (Anthony Barba of FreewayWorks and the Mobility Report) and I met at Startupbootcamp’s Selection Days in Berlin in the spring of 2015. Anthony and his team (Dennis and David) were finalists trying to secure a space in the Mobility Accelerator. I was one of many mentors meeting 20 teams to narrow the selection to 10 participants for the programs. I think we may have spent 30 minutes together. They pitched and we (the mentors) questioned.
The company was HeyRide and Anthony and his team successfully secured a spot in the next program. Over the next few months, we casually stayed in touch via Linkedin and the occasional email. They were busy in the Accelerator and I had moved on to clients and other stuff. I didn’t run into Anthony again until Demo Days at the end of the program…
Although very different, Anthony and I shared some common elements. We had both grown up on the south shore of Long Island. We had both somehow landed in Berlin. We were both involved in the Silicon Allee/Startupbootcamp world and we were both trying to figure out our next move.
And so begins another startup journey….
Oh, and as for George Michael? Well, that’s another story for another time.