Mediaworks: Full Speed Ahead

It is the 2nd year of MediaWorks: 9 new teams, 9 new ideas, 30 new mentors, and so much more. More importantly, we have last year’s experience to draw on. We knew we had to make the program more meaningful this year by giving it teeth and increase the rigor so our entrepreneurs have a better shot at competing in the market. Let’s face it, starting a business is hard, succeeding at it is even more difficult (and unlikely). Here are 3 things we did to beef up this years program and why we think it will work.

1) Co-founders required- No man (or woman) is an island. You need a team and that starts with a partner. If you can’t convince ONE person to join your team, how are you going to convince the market. Its the first and one of the most important missions. No race is won in the first turn, but many are lost there.

2) Everybody’s Working For The Weekend– After “What’s the Big Idea” back in January, we learned alot can be done in a weekend. We also calculated that if our teams did 1 working weekend each month, it would DOUBLE the amount of hours spent in the program. So, we set it up. The first was dedicated to interviewing customers and validating each teams customer  segment and value proposition. The second weekend is a hackathon- coders from all over the city have volunteered their time to help our companies get a prototype made. The Third is dedicated to prepping for investors. We cover pitch decks, financials, business plans, the art of persuasion, and so much more.

3) VIP Dinners- We are creating access and exposure to the communities best entrepreneurs. Our teams are having dinner with Ashley Capps of AC entertainment, Randy Boyd of Radio Systems, and Susan Packard of HGTV. This kind of exposure is priceless for young entrepreneurs .

I feel and  We don’t have to look to far to see how the work being done with startups in our community is making a difference.If the growth of this year’s teams isn’t already validation enough, some of last year’s teams are making some great headway too. Check out the video to see more!