What it’s like to be a LAUNCH Incubator company

Your life is a series of decisions. Every day you make thousands, if not millions, of decisions. Some decisions have little to no long-term affect on your life, but some can be life-changing.

Starting a company is no different. As the founder of your company, every day is a series of decisions. Who should we hire? How much more money should we raise? What features should we build? What features should we kill?

Joining an incubator was one of the biggest decisions Huckle has made for the future of the company.

If you’re considering taking the leap to joining Jason’s incubator, this will be an inside look into what the 12-week process looks like, and hopefully will give you some insight into one of the biggest decisions you can make for the future of your company.

The speakers

Once per week, you will have the opportunity to showcase your product in front of some of the most influential and successful people in technology. People like Steve Huffman, Josh Elman, and Kara Swisher — to name a few.

Getting real-time feedback on our product from Steve Huffman (co-founder of Reddit and Hipmunk) was like getting a guitar lesson from Jimmy Page. Huckle is a messaging app and we’re building communities on college campuses — his thoughts on the product were invaluable.

Each week is a new adventure as each guest has various backgrounds in the industry. You will be put through the firing range of some of the heaviest hitters in the industry. People that have grown companies to millions of active users will be giving you unabated feedback on your product. Get’cher popcorn ready.

The product

You join the incubator with an MVP and you come out of the incubator with a first version. Each week, you’re iterating your product based on feedback from the previous week’s guest, plus Jason, the LAUNCH team, and your fellow incubator companies.

You’re immediately going to know if your product is confusing, hard to use, and/or has a bad user experience. You’ll get exactly what your company needs in its early stage: harsh feedback.

Your friends and family will rarely, if ever, give you negative feedback on your product because they don’t want to embarrass you. The incubator will be your source of truth for where your product really stands.

Jason

What’s it like to work with Jason?

We heard this all. the. time. So, I’ll tell you here.

Jason is a master of the spoken word. My biggest takeaway with Jason was his guidance on how to speak to anyone in the industry with confidence and conviction: investors, CEOs, entrepreneurs, journalists, and even judges (in front of 4,000 people at the LAUNCH Festival no less…)

He will push you for perfection. If you’re giving 99%, he’ll push you for that extra 1%. Unlike anyone I’ve worked with before, he has a keen understanding of human interaction and will be able to guide you through the (somewhat painful) process of explaining and pitching your company to anyone in our industry.

I heard a rumor that they added the word candor to the dictionary after Jason started speaking his first words as a child.

Camaraderie

As a LAUNCH Incubator company, you’ll be one of 7. This is the perfect number. You’re not a small fish in a big pond. You’ll get one on one attention and help, but one of our favorite experiences with the incubator was the camaraderie between the companies.

We’ve formed lifetime friendships with people we had never met before that first week. We’re honored to call the founders at Bento, Momunt, RushTrix, Recurrency, Red Tricycle, and Requested our friends.

Even with all of the stress of starting and building a company, there weren’t any assholes in the entire incubator group. Average of 2 founders per company — 14 founders and all of them are great people.

The pitch

So you think you can pitch?

I had no idea how to pitch a company before this incubator.

The natural human reaction is to talk your way through a pitch.

Here’s why my company is awesome! Here’s why you’ll love it!

Jason taught us the importance of connecting with your audience through showing, not telling. Like the play-by-play announcer for a sports broadcast, you’re explaining what the audience is seeing on the screen.

At any point: beginning, middle, or end, you have about 15 total seconds of monologue before someone in the audience will lose interest.

The pitch style that Jason was able to teach us over a 12-week period will be how we pitch Huckle to every investor, employee, etc. for the duration of the company.

Festival

I wrote a post called Top 5 things we learned launching Huckle at the LAUNCH Festival. Follow the link to read about everything we learned through the process of launching on stage at the LAUNCH Festival.


My name is Jordan Stone and I am the co-founder and CEO of Huckle, an app for iPhone that allows you to find and chat with fun people nearby.

Download Huckle in the App Store: huckle.me/download

Have friends or family in college? Tell them to apply for our paid, on-campus internship program here: www.huckleapp.com/internships