The Sputnik VC/Entrepreneur BBQ: What We’ve Learned
We asked Austin entrepreneurs about business ideas and local resources. They answered. Also, learn about our final BBQ of the year and how to meet our VCs.
In late September, I was told by our office neighbors that there was a way to skip the line at Franklin’s BBQ — you know, the place that shut down Kanye for trying to cut ahead. As it turned out, Franklin’s did have an option for those who could think ahead: the pre-order.
What was originally meant to be a farewell meal for our summer interns turned into our first VC / Entrepreneur BBQ when we found out the farewell was sooner than we’d thought. We had enough meat for 5 hungry entrepreneurs, so we set up a challenge. Entrepreneurs who answered our question would get free BBQ. The catch: they had to have lunch with a VC.
Here’s what we learned from entrepreneurs from our last three BBQs, plus the upcoming challenge + prize that’s bigger than all the rest.
August Challenge for Franklin’s BBQ: What app should exist that doesn’t already exist?
These were the winning responses.
September Challenge for Salt Lick BBQ: What edu-tech business should exist that doesn’t already exist?
“One issue I see in education crosses over into employment: people need jobs and employers need employees that are ready to perform on day one. Companies and organizations can be more efficient if they hire people that don’t need extensive job training. Most hard and soft skills can be broken down into smaller, more manageable modules that employers shouldn’t have to deal with. My idea is to create an online learning tool that does mini-courses in the skills/areas that employers need the most. Employers will be able to use the tool to list the skill sets they need in employees. People looking for work will be able to use the tool to get hired with the skill sets in greatest demand.” — Julia Simon
Julia is pursuing a Masters degree in Curriculum & Instruction with a focus on Learning Technologies at UT Austin.
October Challenge for Stubbs BBQ: What is the best resource in Austin that nobody knows about?
- Scott White
The community is a great resource. You can find it:
1. online at Austin Startups
2. in person with Open Coffee Austin
3. and you can find local help including devs, designers, writers and marketers at Austin Freelance Gigs
2. Shelley Delayne
Ada Ryland brings unbelievable clarity to early-stage founders, so they know what to focus on next and spend their time and energy effectively. Plus, they become more knowledgeable and capable entrepreneurs, whatever happens with their current idea. I’ve seen her course-correct a founder’s trajectory in an instant, saving them weeks and months of wasted effort. She’s a gem. Truly.
(I have lots of resources to point people to — but she is far and away the most valuable.)
3. Annie Hardy
SCORE free mentorship program through the Small Business Association. 13,000 volunteers Nationwide dedicated to helping small business owners figure out how to grow and scale. https://www.sba.gov/off.../headquarters/oed/resources/148091
4. Katie S.
I found this article to be enormously helpful: https://austinstartups.com/looking-for-funds-in-all-the-right-places-ca15dc684bbc
5. James Mensch