Feel free to call me an entreprenerd. Why? Because my idea of a fun night is hanging out with entrepreneurs, and then writing up event coverage so others can feel like they were there with all of us learning something new to create success. Being new to the Houston area, I was very excited to learn that Houston’s entrepreneurial community is growing by the day, plus Houston is poised to pass Chicago as the third biggest in the United States in the next decade (Reuters).
Well, I didn’t expect to be attending an event so soon, but when the right dynamic group presents an interesting opportunity, I pounce. This new entrepreneurial group I discovered is Platformit, who is thrilled to have positioned itself as a hub for new ideas and inspiration. As someone who lives and breathes branding, Platformit won me over with this strong foundational belief:
We have shared that strong branding, social media and public relations comes early in the formation of a successful business.
It would be easy if a manual teaching us the key social skills for talking to strangers, creating engaging conversations, and forming amazing partnerships existed, but it doesn’t — which is a okay; as the randomness and lack of rules contains the power to spark real serendipitous connections and collaborative kinships. My advice is to find a local group with shared interests and similar intentions centered around a live event in an open, inviting environment in order to produce the best community engagement and new connections.
Here is what one of the attendees said:
I thought it was much better than your usual networking event with the “hello my name is” name tag and awkward conversation.
This event took place around a live taping of the season finale, episode 5 titled “Financing the Beast” (event participants are listed below). Here are the highlights:
One on One Interview:
Founders must decide if self-funding, outside investments or crowdfunding is best for their business.
Of course, your venture starts with an idea, and then continues with your commitment (would you put your own money into your idea?) and may include a stress test (will your friends and family invest in your idea and do you want them involved?). Really look to see if you can be resourceful to bootstrap in order to prove your concept first. Then, make sure you can explain your idea in ten words or less before you start talking with investors, if you take that path.
Power up!® plan: Get up everyday, take a step forward, and keep going with the goal to gain clarity, reduce risk, add value, and shape your idea into a viable and vibrant business.
Once there is money in the bank, it is important to create systems and processes on how to manage those finances.
Before the money goes into the bank, make sure the terms, partner involvement and accessibility are specific, attainable, and mutually beneficial with tangible milestones spelled out. Map out the systems and process to avoid mismanagement and unfulfilled expectations, keeping in mind this is more of an art than a science. Have your team dissect the business to make sure key members can execute their deliverables, and be ready to shift if the ecosystem and/or environment changes (which it will) with the goal to get it to the next level without additional funding.
Power up!® plan: Focus on the basics first, get rolling and create word-of-mouth momentum before you spend a ton of money on business generation.
There are times we stand and stare, as if someone is coming to welcome us in. After time we near the door until we are face to face. We follow with a knock. And then another until our fingers bleed from our eagerness to be let in. It is not until we are exhausted that we move our hand towards the handle to find that it’s been unlocked the entire time. We begin to enter the door to be greeted by nothing other than our goals and dreams. No matter how simple things can be we tend to complicate them by our lack of focus, confidence and courage. The things we are fighting for are in hands reach. We must reach out and take hold of what’s ours. By txc_daniel via instagram
What an awesome first local event to see what Houstrepreneurs (Houston + Entrepreneurs) are all about — thank you Daniel Martinez, Co-founder of Platformit, for the invite!
Suggested reading: 5 Steps to Brand Your Startup for Success (Article via Entrepreneur)
Hosted by Joe Martin, Houston Business Journal Reporter
Peter Hans, CEO/Co-Founder, Harvest Exchange Corp.
Josh Tabin, Managing Director, vcfo
Apurva Sangham, Branch Manager, Network Funding, LP
Food Sampling + Rémy Martin Cocktails
Honeychild’s Sweet Creams are handmade frozen custards. They pride themselves in unique, seasonal flavors using only the freshest, local ingredients.
Rémy Martin is vibrant on the rocks and the soul of any cocktail.
Platformit serves as Houston’s inclusive community of young professionals who are blazing a path for personal and professional success in their respective endeavors. An invitation to join is extended to anyone who is in pursuit of knowledge, connecting with others, and immersing themselves in the best that Houston’s vibrant social community has to offer.
About the Platformit Show Episode 5: Financing the Beast
In episode 4, many new and soon-to-be founders were introduced to the legal aspects they may encounter after getting started. After identifying the basics of a business legal structure, episode 5 will demystify many of the unknowns associated with business financing. Founders must decide if self-funding, outside investments or crowdfunding is best for their business. Once there is money in the bank, it is important to create systems and processes on how to manage those finances.
A note from the co-founder, Daniel Martinez: “A little over a year ago I had this idea. I saw the opportunity, teamed up with some friends and took a step forward. Although we’ve had our ups and downs there’s no doubt it’s been a great journey. I wanted to thank you all for such a wonderful season finale. Through The Platformit Show we have been able to touch on topics that affect our daily lives as entrepreneurs, spotlight business startups and most importantly the people who run them. It only gets better from here.”
If you are in Houston, you can join the Platformit group for the Houston Innovation Conference and Showcase After Party at The Platformit House in partnership with Houston Technology Center, on Wednesday, October 7th from 5-8 pm.
This event is open to:
Entrepreneurs, Small Businesses, Large Companies, Developers, Freelancers, Non-Profits, Early Stage Tech Founders & Startups