Startup Open Winner Shares Kauffman Labs Experience
Mar 15, 2011
First, I’d like to thank the Kaufman Foundation for hosting me on my visit to Kansas City. It was a very intense and exciting journey that ventured into every aspect of our business model and plan.
A light, yet important note, they have the best cafeteria food!!! Also my “Master of ceremonies” Jennifer Kearns was terrific and ensured that there was never a dull moment during my visit, including providing me with the very important local knowledge such as where to find the best Kansas City ribs.
The pace for this experience was set on the first morning in my first meeting with Bo Fishback, the Vice President of Entrepreneurship who set the fast and furious pace that would be my visit. Needless to say he had the intensity and broad vision that befits this organization full of over achievers…. I remember him saying “you may not necessarily like everything you hear, but you’ll get ideas and feedback on your business from every angle.”
He was certainly right about the “every angle part”, but in retrospect, our Business Plan certainly seemed to hold up to the scrutiny and the various creative inputs it was put through by everyone. Other than my reluctant acceptance that I need to look more carefully into the wonders of social networking tools, I was very pleased by the feedback.
I am now more confident than ever that there will be less that will surprise or derail me in the future. I suppose what I was put through by the various staff members was no different than what I imagine a Graduate student goes through when orally defending their final dissertation. In this case, it just happened to be our business model and plan. I am quite certain that this process has great value to potential entrepreneurs particularly prior to being exposed to the “real world” of fund raising.
The final bonus was a phone conference with a Vijay Chandrasekharan, who has developed a new technology being tested by NASA….(Not bad) and who is interested in refining our patented technology in a manner that will bring our performance to a new level. Between what were already doing in computer modeling at the College of Aeronautics at the Florida Institute of Technology and now with the potential of using Vijays invention (and potential use of the wind tunnels at the University of Florida), I’m not sure we could do any better in the refinement of our blade design.
Thanks to: Doug Krebs, Matt Pozel, Adam Hoffman, Nick Seguin, and Jamie Rice -- all of you have made me stronger and one step closer to having a reasonable chance at executing on this business plan in an effort to create a transformational company!!!
The timing of my visit could not have been better, as over the next 2 months, I will be attending various fund raising & networking events where I will be faced with the exact variety of questions and scrutiny that all of you put me through.
Startup Open is a featured event of Global Entrepreneurship Week. This post originally appeared on the Startup Open website.