No products in the cart.
Tespack to be Mentored by Billion Dollar Company maker Neal Dempsey in Silicon Valley.
So what does it take to become a Billion Dollar Start-up company today? That is the golden question everyone has been asking themselves since forever. When in reality, we should perhaps be asking what it takes to make a successful company (which are two very different things).
After graduating from Startupbootcamp, we understood the importance of being surrounded by people with
expertise. Actually, people who have gone through what we have lived in business on a daily basis, in order to endure as a company. Running day-to-day business: handling complaints, dealing with bad partners & suppliers, hiring the right people, dealing with stress, PR crisis, uncertainty, as a start-up this list can go on.
Obviously we will never know it all but there are certain decisions that are very crucial for the success of a company. An important one being that it never hurts to ask around if you do not know the answer to something.
We have always taken advice and consulted our surroundings before making crucial decisions, investment, valuation, product launch & you name it; we always brainstorm before acting (even then, not always leading to success) so we learned to take in what is good and ignore what does not go with our company’s vision/values and move on.
That sounds easy right? Wrong! It is very difficult to find the most important part of this equation… The right mentor, advisor or consultant (We are talking real consultants, not just someone looking for a quick job, or people trying to suction as much money from start-ups as possible by validating thoughts), we mean the opinion of experienced & successful people.
Finding good advice or guidance costs money or equity. But finding GREAT advice is always free, yet very difficult to find, you say why? We say, because truly successful people will never charge you for advice and they are constantly busy.
During our time at SBC we talked with more than 200 mentors and stuck to the best ones till this day (thank you guys, you know who you are!). We spoke with people from all walks of life from whom we thought we could learn something new from. People such as Peter Frans Pauwels (Co-Founder of Tom Tom) who mentored us about negotiating equity for investment and choosing the right investors for our company, because as he once politely said: “Entrepreneurs are always the ones with the balls on the line, so wisely choose your investors and make sure they’re hands-on and not a bunch of pen pushers’’ (Yes, he’s very Dutch).
Max Kranendjik (Innovation manager at Vodafone Netherlands) taught us that in hardware, it is better to start with few essential features in a new product and get validation from the customers before expanding features (never assume what the customers wants, always get first-hand approval). This is a very clever approach and we are implementing it in one of our next products, set to launch this year on Indiegogo.
Mentors are one of the key reasons why we were able to overcome the most challenging parts of our business. The best part? We never had to pay for it and we never will (As we wouldn’t charge for advice either!)
We were lucky enough to win the “White Bull award”, an innovation award organised by Farley Duvall and Elizabeth Perry (both Silicon Valley veterans), and during the event they announced a once in a life opportunity to be mentored by a Silicon Valley Legend called Neal Dempsey. In the beginning we were wondering who this Neal guy really was, as we never read his name in Techcrunch. After reading his resume, we seriously wondered why this man wasn’t making daily TV appearances! Simple… He doesn’t need to. This guy has more “exits” to date than the London underground and is more connected than the internet, with a humble, almost 4 billion dollars exit to back up his experience.
Not only is Neal listed Nr. 72 in the Midas list on Forbes but he is also one of the founders of Bay partners in Silicon Valley. He likes to mentor and give back to the community by assisting struggling entrepreneurs, so they can bring their business to the next level, as he knows what it means to start from scratch, thus Neal’s program.
So after reading his achievements, we were determined to apply for his program, even if we thought we did not stand a chance to get chosen. Finally out of thousands of applicants we were lucky enough to be chosen. I say lucky because A, he specializes in Software and B, the White Bull Award is only given to few selected start-ups, so we knew the competition was going to be fierce.
It is in this way that our CEO Mario Aguilera will be joining him on an adventure with three other candidates to learn more about the “Next level” real world of business. A full month of mentoring in Silicon Valley, where they will be tackling their biggest challenges in scaling as a start-up.
Mario will be living and pitching on a daily basis in the challenging field of technology and business for Start-ups in San Francisco. Learning PR tricks and marketing must-know tactics from experienced people such as Jane Gideon from Incendio International and others.
Our team is really excited to find out what this opportunity will bring to us in the near future. However, this already feels like a success as we know that the best investment is always knowledge.