By Daniel Roche, Entrepreneur-in-Residence
The list of questions in our opening article is just the beginning of the never-ending list for a start-up. As the list grows, items become broader and seemingly more urgent. Who is the expert making all these decisions? You! But wait—you’re not an expert at legal, accounting, finance (different from accounting), human resources, marketing, sales, contracting, customer relations, real estate, etc. You are the person who had a great idea—you’re an expert in your field, and often that field is technical (as an example, let’s assume software engineering). Well, that’s okay; because you’re smart. You can figure it out. How hard can it be? And like software, if you make a mistake, you can just fix it later, right? (long pause with self thinking, weighing the costs and consequences of poorly designed and developed software applications, and how these bad or incomplete decisions can lead to more ‘fixes’ that create more problems).
Yet, you have advisors you trust. Or, at least you think you trust. They are professionals bound to some certification board, even if you haven’t worked with them for very long. The fact that everyone knows you are a start-up with minimal cash resources wouldn’t affect the advice they give you, would it? Would the size of the budget ever affect the design or quality of a newly engineered product, system or application? I think it would. Where are you going to find the time to locate, call, and set up meetings to properly vet multiple qualified legal, accounting, HR or other experts to help guide you?
The solution is TechFire. TechFire is designed to provide start-up entrepreneurs with access to a full cadre of trusted advisors with experienced people who have ‘been there, done that’—starting with the Entrepreneurs in Residence— who are serial entrepreneurs themselves and know the ins and outs of how to select advisors at each stage of your company’s growth. TechFire can also introduce you to a network of vetted professionals who have already agreed to work with you in early stage situations, often at discounted rates.
TechFire’s mission is to facilitate the collaborations you will need, when you need them. To accomplish this, TechFire will work with you to develop an action plan. We will meet with you periodically to help you accomplish your objectives by making sure you are getting access to the resources you need, when you need them. Additionally, TechFire has the relationships to potential customers at the federal, state, and local community levels, to help you get the feedback you need to build and refine your product or service. In addition, TechFire can provide an address, office, and meeting space, to give your business the professional presence your customer base expects.