Posts tagged startups

How do startups that go through accelerator programs scale so quickly? One reason is because they collaborate with and get advice from peers outside of their industries.

“Every Tuesday we come in here and go over everyone’s fundraising deck,” says Maisie Devine of Poacht, a candidate-minded recruitment platform. “Everyone gets feedback on what they’re seeing and what’s confusing. When I think about my deck before I came into this program and where it is now, you wouldn’t even believe it came from the same person.”

Read on for two more reasons why accelerated startups see results faster.

10 Rookie Mistakes Startups Make When Building Web Traffic

1. Relying on search engine submission services

2. Not having a blog (or equally bad, an off-topic blog)

3. Not using catchy headlines or images

4. Not participating on other established sites

5. Not seeking publicity

6. Not communicating with your email list

7. Not advertising

8. Not paying attention to local listings

9. Not analyzing your traffic to see what works and what doesn’t

10. Not writing a marketing plan for your website.

Read on for how to fix these common mistakes business owners make in their rush to boost website traffic.

This Company Flew Single New Yorkers to San Francisco for a Love Connection

“There’s a running joke that there are more single men in San Francisco and more single women in New York City,” says Lauren Kay, a co-founder and CEO of matchmaking startup Dating Ring. ”So we thought it would be fun if some of them met each other.”

The stunt—their business model doesn’t actually fly out singles on the regular—attracted a ton of attention and investment. Kay spoke to OPEN Forum about the Dating Ring and what it’s really like to be a woman entrepreneur raising funds.

What was it like to fundraise with Y Combinator and afterward?

It was really hard! Demo day with YC is insane—there are hundreds of investors on the floor. It felt like this weird speed dating event where you ask people for money. I was super uncomfortable.

After demo day, I was determined to land additional investment to grow Dating Ring, so I’d go on up to seven meetings per day with angel investors and VCs. Some of them were awesome. After 15 minutes, one investor offered us money because he believed in our vision right off the bat. But other investors would ask me out on dates or openly ask when men would be brought into the company. I had no idea the sexism in Silicon Valley was so bad.

What advice can you offer other female founders to get through it?

Look for investors who aren’t known to be sexist. Talk to other founders that you trust and only take meetings with VCs who have a track record of respecting women. Don’t put up with anything, and leave meetings if you’re uncomfortable.

A new fleet of startups are popping up to help local retailers compete against companies like Amazon and Walmart that promise same day delivery. Though these companies tend to serve a relatively small area compared to big online brands, they prove there’s a need for same-day delivery options for brick-and-mortar stores, too.
From OPEN Forum’s “4 Startups Helping Local Retailers Offer Same-Day Delivery”

A new fleet of startups are popping up to help local retailers compete against companies like Amazon and Walmart that promise same day delivery. Though these companies tend to serve a relatively small area compared to big online brands, they prove there’s a need for same-day delivery options for brick-and-mortar stores, too.

From OPEN Forum’s “4 Startups Helping Local Retailers Offer Same-Day Delivery

This company has totally reinvented one of the most used products in everyone’s homes: the mattress. Meet Casper, the most “outrageously comfortable” mattress on the market.

This company has totally reinvented one of the most used products in everyone’s homes: the mattress. Meet Casper, the most “outrageously comfortable” mattress on the market.

How a bad haircut inspired Melody McCloskey to found a StyleSeat, an app worth $300 million.

How a bad haircut inspired Melody McCloskey to found a StyleSeat, an app worth $300 million.

3 Things Businesses Do To Make 9 Figures

It’s hard to make a buck, and even harder to make $100 million of them: “72% of all startups stall before they get to $100 million; only 3 percent ever see $1 billion.” So what’s the secret for those that do make it?

  1. They excel at market creation.
  2. They disrupt.
  3. They set new standards.

Via OPENForum.com: "3 Things Businesses Do to Pass the $100M Mark"

BloomThat, a San-Francisco based startup, is changing the model around flower delivery: fast (within 90 minutes), affordable (starting at $35) and easy. It’s also very committed to a brand of customer service that’s winning it fans right and left.

A poor review on Yelp is viewed not as an insult to be ignored but as an opportunity to turn an angry customer into an evangelist. Schwab recalls a one-star review by a customer whose flowers arrived a mere 30 minutes late. “We dropped the ball, and we went above and beyond to make her happy,” he says. “We sent her a free bouquet, gave her another one to send, and called the recipient to tell them it wasn’t the sender’s fault that she had to wait an additional 30 minutes.”

The result: The one-star review became a five-star review.  As Schwab explains, “Part of setting an expectation is living up to the expectation.”

Via OPENForum.com: “BloomThat: The “Uber of Flowers” is Planting Seeds of Disruption

Ever wonder how successful businesses scale? These two professors from Stanford tackle that question in their book, Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less:

To scale faster and better, you need to slow down to take the time and effort to instill the right mindset in people as your project is rolled out. Just running up the numbers as fast as you can is a recipe for disaster. You also need to slow down because scaling requires so much mindfulness—it requires so many changes in organizational structure, tactics and strategies, and so much thinking about how what you’re doing now will set the stage for success later.

Via OPENForum.com: “Scaling Up: Stanford Professors Reveal Surprising Perspective on Success”

Ever wonder how successful businesses scale? These two professors from Stanford tackle that question in their book, Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less:

To scale faster and better, you need to slow down to take the time and effort to instill the right mindset in people as your project is rolled out. Just running up the numbers as fast as you can is a recipe for disaster. You also need to slow down because scaling requires so much mindfulness—it requires so many changes in organizational structure, tactics and strategies, and so much thinking about how what you’re doing now will set the stage for success later.

Via OPENForum.com: “Scaling Up: Stanford Professors Reveal Surprising Perspective on Success

The Shocking Discovery That Led to Disruption For This Entrepreneur

“We found out that a $60 T-shirt from any upscale brand cost about $8 to make. We thought, ‘Holy crap! That doesn’t sound right.’” everlane founder Michael Preysman

Via OPENForum.com: “Everlane: How a Shocking Discovery About Luxury Goods Led to Disruption