Tech Start day 1

Today was the first day of TechStart, and it was quite the experience. The day started just like a school day, wake up at close to 6 in  the morning then get ready, and drive down to Connecticut Innovations, to get to work. For the people who don't know what tech start is is, it is a ten week business accelerator program that aids start-ups by providing them with resources such as mentors, funding, office space etc. we had applied towards the end of February.

The application consisted of a questionnaire that was basically a business plan in brief form plus a 5 minute video.  (Turns out making a video and sticking to the script is a LOT tougher than it looks  - but we got through it!)  The worst part though wasn't the video, I thought that it was actually the questions because we had to answer each question within 1000 characters, which made that whole possess a LOT more challenging. We couldn't have done it with out the help of our friend Mason Rabinowitz, whom we met through The Grove.  Mason is a top-notch copywriter and he got our long-winded answers down to a laser sharp focus.

After submitting the application on February 22, we were all nerves waiting to hear back.  On Saturday morning we got a call from Charlie Moret, the head of the TechStart program saying we got in!  That's  an amazing turn-around time on the part of the reviewers and Connecticut innovations.

Today was the first day, and it was mostly gaining info talking to mentors, pitching and orientation.  I made some new contacts and learned a few things.  The first thing I learned was always take in new information if you can, even in an informal or other such setting.  The first presentation (after orientation) was on how to most effectively use your mentors. Mentors are a great resource, but at the same time they are giving opinions and you may suffer from “Mentor Whiplash” as the presenter put it.  That's when you keep shifting direction based on what each mentor tells you.  What I gathered is that you should make sure that you filter the information you take in, and go with what works for YOU. 

Another thing that I learned (the hard way) was that you should always have a 30 second pitch on your company ready to go.  As you progress in your venture you will be updating this pitch, but always be ready.

I was prepared for our team's 5-minute pitch to mentors, but  at the beginning of the day they asked us to give a quick (30 second) intro about who we are and what we're all about.  I felt like I fell flat on my face because I didn't expect this pitch.

Our team's 5-minute pitch went great. I enjoyed pitching to the audience, and I feel we got our message across. I hope that the rest of the week is even more productive than today. I look forward to making new contacts and telling more people about our mission as TechStart Progresses.

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