Channel Sales – Not a Silver Bullet

The lure of distribution partners is a very costly, bright shiny object for a startup tech company. I see channels treated as a silver bullet sales option far too frequently and saddened that this advice often comes from mentors and investors who don’t understand the fundamentals of early-stage tech adoption. I’ve been preaching the demand-first then distribution approach for longer than I care to remember and this Andreessen Horowitz podcast on B2B2C nails it. Startup founders that think they can jump the queue and proceed directly to a partner sales model should rethink their go-to-market.

a16z Podcast: B2B2C

Reviving Tech Rant – Brainstorming for Tech Startups

We started Tech Rant back in late ’07 as a supplement to the workshops hosted by TBTF’s Emerging Companies Academy myimgprogram. These weekly coffee chats were structured as an informal support group for start-up founders and early stage tech companies. They were held every week for almost two years before moving to the IdeaField space, the first full-time coworking facility in the Tampa Bay region.

With the Hillsborough County Entrepreneur Collaborative Center (ECC) about to officially open this week in Ybor, it seemed like a good time to revisit the Tech Rant format to see if there was interest in restarting these startup brainstorming sessions.

Please let us know what times / days work best. As a test run, let’s shoot for a brown bag lunch format on Thursday Dec. 18th at 11:30 am.

As it was before, all topics are fair game. Stop in to discuss any challenge you may be facing in your start-up including:

• Idea validation
• Creating a product roadmap 
• Finding co-founders (and do you need one) 
• Creating / refining your business model & roadmap
• Market validation & product readiness 
• Sales & distribution strategy 
• Hiring contractors or full-time employees 
• Applying for an incubator / accelerator program 
• Raising outside funding (angel, venture, crowd, etc.) 
• Partner development & agreements 
• IP strategy & licensing 
• Hiring service providers (attorneys, accountants, other) 
Thursday Dec. 18th
11:30 – 1:00
Hillsborough County’s Entrepreneur Collaborative Center
2101 E. Palm Avenue (in Ybor City)
Parking lot north of Palm is free 
RSVP on TechRant’s MeetUp page

If you have any other questions, feel free to ping me on MeetUp or on Twitter @StartupMonkey.

Startup Tampa Bay – Nov. 22nd

Commissioner @MarkSharpeFL hosted this week’s webcast on startups and technology-based economic development in the Tampa Bay area. The usual list of guests discussed what it takes to nurture and attract talent and what tech jobs are in demand. We also had a guest highlight some of the activities planned for the centennial celebration of the first commercial airline flight which originated in Tampa Bay in January of 1914.

The webcast crowd this week included:

@MarkSharpeFL – Commissioner & Chariman of the Hillsborough County Commission
@Fritz_HotSpaces – Fritz Eichelberger, Founder Executive Recruiting
@HillsboroughFL – Stephanie Cvetetic Mgr EDI2 Program –
@Joy_Randels – CEO of NewMarketPartners & local startup ecosystem expert
@StartupMonkey – Product & strategy guru – economic development rabble-rouser