The leaky tech pipeline issue has been well documented and largely acknowledged by the industry. As various companies struggle with how to attract more women and minorities in their hiring process and how to train their personnel in “tolerance” (please don’t call it this!), I’d propose that we examine this problem through the lens of growth hacking as I think there is much to be learned from this approach. In essence, the problem that growth hackers are trying to solve is identical: how do you attract and keep people using your product? The question that executives at tech companies ask is similar: how do you attract and maintain a diverse workforce?
I had the pleasure to attended a great panel discussion put on by Strawberry Creek Ventures and Castor Ventures, firms that invest in Berkeley and MIT alumni respectively. The two panelists were both fantastic entrepreneurs working on genuinely world-changing solutions, and over the course of the evening, they recounted their entrepreneurial journey. After the moderator finished asking her questions, the discussion was opened up to audience questions.
I asked the two entrepreneurs how they got their ideas off the ground at the earliest stages of their enterprise. This is a topic that I’m obsessed with given that it’s my job to help entrepreneurs launch their startups. Both answers were great, but one truly resonated with me.
Beta Boom works with very early stage tech and life sciences enterprises to develop their solution, get traction, and solidify their business in order to win significant follow-on funding. Program highlights include:
- Intensive 10-week program (June 11 through August 18) near beautiful Salt Lake City in Utah
- $20K in funding
- Personalized program to fit your specific needs and challenges
- Access to local and global mentors
- Demo day where participants will pitch to venture capital and angel investors from Utah, the Silicon Valley, and beyond
Founders can apply at http://betaboom.com/apply/. Application deadline: May 6, 2018. Teams that apply by April 1st will get a 10-point scoring bonus.
I recently read a question on Reddit by an individual who was having difficulty finding a co-founder and asked whether she should first try to get funding, which would allow her to hire the team member that she needs. If you’re in a similar situation, my answer might offer a helpful perspective:
Investors look for the four ‘Ts’: total addressable market, tech, timing, and team. (I’d add a fourth T, which is traction.) Of those factors, my experience is that investors pay the closest attention to the team. Not having a single co-founder would put you at a tremendous disadvantage in that category.