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. 14th

In his final Startup Tampa Bay video as a @HillsboroughFL Commissioner, @MarkSharpeFL discusses his successful EDI2 program and how it has helped the local tech ecosystem grow in both activity and visibility.

A few recurring topics came up in this video that are worthy of additional discussion:

  1. Finding startup resources in Tampa Bay
  2. Branding Tampa Bay as a active & growing tech ecosystem
  3. Availability of investment capital in the region

Continue reading Startup Tampa Bay – Nov. 14th

Newton’s First Law for Start-ups

With apologies to Sir Isaac …

The first law for start-ups = an idea at rest stays at rest

Whatever your plans are for the next big thing, be it software, hardware, service or other – you cannot just sit on your idea waiting and hoping for something to happen. Ideas are not meant to be static; they have to be worked on, challenged and sometimes scrapped in favor of something better. Some minimal level of activity and momentum are critical to the on-going development and maturity of your idea and all too often I meet wannabe entrepreneurs and potential start-up founders who are frustrated with the lack of interest in their idea only to find that they have not made any effort to move forward since their initial scribble on a napkin.

If you’re not motivated enough to break a sweat trying to test and improve your idea, why should anyone else listen, assist or invest. Show that you care enough to make your idea better and if you are unsure of your next steps or lack the resources to get there, ask for help.

In Tampa / Central Florida there are several places start-ups can turn to for support and encouragement. IdeaField Coworking was created to assist freelancers and entrepreneurs by providing a comfortable, collaborative workspace where ideas can develop and grow. Another resource is STAR Tec’s TEC Launch program which is specifically geared towards innovators and entrepreneurs who want to validate their ideas and create cool new products. On November 6th, TEC Launch is hosting a workshop for anyone that has a good idea and has the motivation to make it better. Only 20 ideas will be accepted for this hands-on workshop, so please submit your IdeaCamp applications ASAP (deadline is October 21st).