The Crux team is incredibly proud to announce we have graduated from the LAUNCH Incubator, ran by the one and only Jason Calacanis. It was an incredible 3 months that gave us insider knowledge and resources that can’t be found anywhere else.
We’d like to share our Top 5 takeaways from the experience:
1. BRING YOUR A-GAME
The caliber of companies in the incubator is so high, that you always have to perform at the highest level. It’s a competition and you must be ready to shine above the rest. At any moment Jason or his guests ask the really tough questions, and as a founder you have to be ready for it. There’s no time for second-guessing yourself or stalling.
At first everyone is a bit nervous and excited, so some slack is allowed. But as the weeks progress, everyone really starts to become much more polished and the bar is continuously being raised. If you don’t bring your A-game everyday, it will become obvious and you’ll simply be asked to leave.
2. THE EXPERIENCE IS WORTH 10X THE INVESTMENT
Being accepted into LAUNCH gets you a cool $25,000 in exchange for a small percentage stake in the company. However, the combined value of the knowledge you receive, the access to top level investors you have during and after the incubator, and the continuous refining of your vision via storytelling is worth 10 times the investment you receive.
You would have to hire countless advisors and consultants, spend months trying to get in contact with investors and angels, continuously fail and learn from your mistakes, and read countless books on public speaking to get what we experienced in 3 months working with Jason and his team.
3. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
When we entered the incubator we were fairly certain we had a defined vision for our company moving forward. Little did we know that Jason is excellent at capturing the essence of an idea or vision, and saying it in a way that is much better than your own. We recall many moments where incubator companies would be pitching and Jason would stop them midway to pitch the company himself. It was incredible and unexpected how well he could communicate the vision of others.
There were many unexpected moments like this, so the rule is don’t expect anything. This is not your typical incubator!
4. BECOME A GREAT STORYTELLER
Week after week, Jason emphasized the importance of founders having outstanding storytelling abilities. We didn’t see it at first, but we soon realized that storytelling becomes the medium by which founders can make anything happen. It helps to convey your grand vision to investors, it enables you to recap how you’ve achieved your success and traction to the press, and makes it plain simple to tell your users/customers what your product does and why they need it.
5. COME PREPARED TO STUDY AND LEARN
Be prepared to learn a lot from some amazing people. Throughout the experience we were taught new skills that we were able to implement almost immediately into the company. Topics that stood out to us include growth marketing, user testing, fundraising, user support, and product design.
What was really interesting is the fact that we learned just as much from our fellow founders participating in the incubator. The collaborative environment encouraged us to build deep relationships with the other founders, share our resources, and support each other in ways that went above and beyond the expected.
After the countless hours rehearsing our pitch, thousands of miles traveled back and fourth from LA to SF every week, and the once-in-a-lifetime experience we got at the LAUNCH Incubator, the journey has just begun for us.
Watch out for Crux!