StartX: Week 2

Holiday Slowdown

We’ve been so focused on working on our company, we didn’t really pay much attention to the upcoming 4th of July holiday. When we figured out most of our users would be taking Friday off, we moved our upcoming feature release to the beginning of next week. The StartX office itself was pretty quiet towards the end of the week, but we used the opportunity to get some new experiments built and grab lunch with some folks in our cohort.

How We Meet and Manage Work

Most days we start with a meeting, share updates and divy our work for the day. We keep a big goal for the week, but we plan daily since things change so often and time can be limited.

Our discussions usually touch on a few of the following questions:

  • What have we learned?
  • What are we testing?
  • What can we do next?
  • How does this fit into our overall strategy?

Sometimes this results in product deliverables, design work, or sometimes we need further research so we set off to solve those issues individually. We limit our meetings to an hour, because we’ve found we make worse decisions when it gets any longer than that.

We also split up tasks. Alex is handling the bulk of the fundraising with Priya and I (Greg) focusing on the product and the users. Priya also has a visa application she’s working on, so that takes up a chunk of her time as well.

Mentor Dating

Given holiday schedules, meetings with mentors were also difficult to lock down. We had two scheduled meetings that didn’t connect and two that did.

Technically our own internal ranking of who we want the most was due on Wednesday, but given scheduling issues, teams were allowed to delay pairing till we’d completed our meetings.

It’s been a balance of determining what applicable skills a mentor has, whether they are interested in our space, and what kind of relationships they seek. We set our tentative list and we’re impressed with most of the mentors we’ve met.

StartX Fund

Alex had a meeting with the StartX fund to get some more information as well as general fundraising strategy.

StartX itself is a zero equity, non-profit accelerator. But there is also a separate StartX fund that invests 10% into companies rounds. Theres a few requirements to qualify, at least 30% of the money in a round must come from professional investors and you must raise a minimum of 500k. It’s also available for follow-on investments.

A good start, but we hope to cover more ground in the next week.

Self Assessment

We’ve been in the program for two weeks and there’s ten weeks left, so it’s important to us to stay aware and optimize on time.

We see it like this:

  • We’ve ran some interesting product experiments, processed the results, and discovered some interesting behaviors
  • We’re looking for strategic advice, but this isn’t progressing as quickly as anticipated. Lead mentor pairing happens next week, followed by the fundraising coach, so we’re at least on track for these resources.
  • We’ve gotten a lot of value out of casually chatting with peers and alumni, but we want to reach out and actively connect with more folks in our space.

General Team Mood

Eager

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