HOTB Software Solutions
HOTB is a highly experienced software development company that provides in-kind angel capital to startup entrepreneurs with a viable technology based business. HOTB helps startups bridge the gap between their friends and family round and their venture capital round by subsidizing expensive technology needs. HOTB specializes in building custom software platforms to provide certainty of execution, experience, credibility, security and compliance. Additionally, HOTB Ventures has been formed for instances of passive investment when software development is not needed.

Manatt
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP is known for quality, for extraordinary commitment to clients, for integrated, relationship-based services, and for a range of capabilities typically found only in boutique firms. We are progressive and entrepreneurial compared to other major firms, and we are deeply committed to diversity, to public service, to involvement in the communities we serve and to excellence in all we do.

TriNet
Tech companies partner with TriNet Passport to compete for top talent by using our bundled HR products that cover the core services of payroll, fortune 100 benefits, risk and compliance, a scalable HR team all on a cloud platform. TriNet reduces the time businesses spend managing HR and administrative issues while providing enterprise-grade cloud capabilities. This enables entrepreneurs and management to focus on what’s important from raising funds to driving revenue. Join hundreds of executives in high tech who have experienced the TriNet Passport difference, working for companies in hardware, software, SaaS and telecommunications. Contact choy.chew@trinet.com for more information.

Eureka
The Eureka Building is a 3-acre technology campus in Irvine, California designed to help accelerate innovation. Founded in 2014 by Peter Polydor, our goal is to support local entrepreneurship by giving innovative companies and entrepreneurs in Orange County a home that is centrally located and easy to access. Through partnerships we are more than just a home, but are a support network hosting startup events while fostering mentorship relationships with our partners all within one of the most creative spaces in the region.

CrashLabs
CRASHLABS IS A VIBRANT COWORKING AND EVENTS COMMUNITY THAT ENHANCES WORK/LIFE BALANCE FOR THE NEW ECONOMY OF UNTETHERED WORKERS. CRASHLABS OFFERS CREATIVE AND FLEXIBLE SPACES SUCH AS OPEN DESKS, DEDICATED DESKS, PRIVATE OFFICES, AND EVENTS SPACE THAT SERVE EVERYONE FROM THE INDIVIDUAL TO CORPORATIONS.

Real Office Centers
At ROC you’ll find a cohesive and progressive working environment with professional support for entrepreneurs, innovators, and today’s leaders. Beyond merely providing the physical workspace, we contribute to your capital growth by facilitating innovation, inspiration, and collaboration. With professional support services, educational events, and a stimulating environment, ROC is where you and your company will grow. Our open-source work environment and friendly staff complete with private receptionists keep business running smoothly. ROC handles day-to-day operations and facility management so your company can focus on what it does best.

3 Lessons Learned from the Founder Institute, by Vladimir Blagojevic

Posted by Jonathan Greechan on 2012-01-24

Founder Feedback gives you insights from the startup trenches.

On his blog "Be Launched", Vladimir Blagojevic, Founder of Grant Snap and newly minted Graduate of the Brussels Founder Institute, described the three top lessons he learned from the Founder Institute. 

The original article can be found here. Below is an excerpt. 

 

 

"One of the things that makes life so interesting for me is constant learning. And I don’t think I ever learned so much in four months time, as I did during this program.

I’d like to share my top three lessons with you.

 

1. Feedback really matters.

I got feedback from 26 experienced entrepreneurs, and many, many times from my wonderful peers in the program. Two things really surprised me.

The first one is the effectiveness of the short pitching format. I got to a point of believing the pitch to be a real reflection of the quality of your business idea, and the work you’ve put in it. We were forced to explain the complete business model in 3 minutes. We had to make a compelling story that clearly shows our customer, their problem, our product, market, competition, business model and projections, route to market and our team. And every time you would address one issue, another one would show up.

The second surprise was the effectiveness of mentor feedback. I started out by thinking that the only feedback that really matters is the one from your customers. How will other entrepreneurs, I thought, with little or no knowledge of your domain, ever be able to give you meaningful feedback? It turns out, they can. After hearing your story for three minutes. Especially for the early stage startups that we all are.

Remarks we got weren’t always easy to hear, and many times we were confused about what to do about them. The best remarks required you to dig deeper and work harder on a particular aspect (e.g. product, or the revenue model).

 

2. You get to choose your market, and choosing early is important.

Our second week’s assignment was to study three potential markets, and choose one with the biggest potential. Desk research of three markets in one week time. This was one of the most useful assignments I had.

I was researching (1) the market of online collaborative writing tools, (2) online project management and collaboration tools (groupware), and (3) the  gamification market (not a real market yet).  And after looking at the size, dynamics and the major competitors, I decided none of the three were where I wanted to be with my product. So I went on to research the fourth one: a €375 billion grant market.

 

3. You will make plenty of rookie mistakes as a first-time founder.

I am grateful to the Institute and the mentors for saving me from quite a few. Choosing a wrong market. Targeting the wrong customer segment. Not thinking through agreements between co-founders. Not paying enough attention on branding and naming (or spending too much time on it). Not taking care of legal aspects. And so on and so forth.

I am glad I’ve done it. I would have never been so far in such a short time. At the same time, I am glad it’s over, and I am looking forward focusing on my product.

What are your major lessons or questions about such a program?"

 

Grant Snapa service that helps you write winning grant proposals to get your innovations funded, is a Graduate of the Brussels Founder Institute. Follow Vladimir Blagojevic on Twitter at @vladblagi, and Grant Snap at @grantsnap

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