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Startup Resources in Columbus

The startup community is not only alive and well in Columbus, Ohio – it’s flourishing. When I joined the BULX team in July 2010, I was completely new to the tech startup world. I had always considered myself an entrepreneur and had founded a handful of my own companies. But it wasn’t until my involvement with BULX, TechColumbus, and social media that I became conscious of the incredible network of people and programs available here in Central Ohio. As we work to grow and evolve ChatterJet, the network of talent people and the number of resources we have at our disposal are astonishing. Accelerators 1492 (http://onefourninetwo.com/) – A partnership between Columbus State Community College, CCAD, and TechColumbus, this Ohio Third Frontier-supported program provides early stage startups up to $20,000 in funding along with access to mentors, resources, and weekly business development sessions during an intensive 11-week program. 10x Program (http://10xelerator.com/) – A mentor-driven accelerator ...(Read More)

Lean Experiments

Launching a startup is about more than just building a great product or service. In fact, in the early days it is as much about making hypotheses and testing assumptions as it is about actual product development. Many a talented entrepreneurs have embarked on journeys that led nowhere because they failed to ask two simple questions: Am I solving a problem that people actually want/need solved? Can I build a solution that people will actually use? At ChatterJet, we are dedicated to understanding how small businesses currently use social media. Most importantly, we are interested in uncovering their biggest challenges and frustrations small businesses face online. On a recent Skype call with my founder, I alluded to the fact that I didn’t feel like we were tracking “enough” and that we should consider some other metrics to ensure we were making progress. The problem: I didn’t really know what else ...(Read More)

Good is Great (When Learning Is the Goal)

We all want to do great work. Inspiring, life-altering work. But the way we frame “great work” is different to each of us. My newest venture, ChatterJet, is a shift in the way I have approached business in the past. By utilizing a new framework, we are applying many of the concepts from Eric Ries’s The Lean Startup. Perhaps most exciting is our willingness to ship early, continuously deploy new features, constantly collect feedback, and evolve our product based on the hard data and soft feedback from our users. To me, this is shaky ground. I’m a reformed perfectionist. In the past, I only bet on sure things – things that I could extensively research and plan, labor over, refine, revise, perfect, and absolutely love. The problem is that every goal is a moving target. The time it takes to build out a full-featured version of any product often means that ...(Read More)