We will give you the inside scoop on key SF/Bay Area events/meetups to attend, people, companies, VCs, blogs, incubators, programs, and hot issues. Come meet others getting started in the local
We will give you the inside scoop on key SF/Bay Area events/meetups to attend, people, companies, VCs, blogs, incubators, programs, and hot issues. Come meet others getting started in the local startup community.
Intro to theSF StartupCommunityWith Ahmed SiddiquiIllustrations by Jeremy SypniewskiWant to get in touch? I’m on Twitter @ mrrioki.Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was living in Minnesota, working at IBM. Dreaming about startups... Hi. I’m Ahmed Siddiqui. INTROWhen my Uncle said: There’s a saying... If you love startups, you HAVE to move Welcome to San Francisco. to SFO.I imagined things going like this: I even had a plan: I’m going to build an app to teach my two year old cousin English! 2
So I ate some Ramen and got to work. But our customers weren’t using it to Eating Ramen. learn English. We kept building, and building. But the product still wasn’t that great. They were using it as a healthy And eventually we eating came to the co-founder app. disagreement phase. We realized that eitherWe should We should We should We should We should way the market wasn’t be this. be that. pivot. iterate. eat Ramen! big enough. Can you tell Sure.But I survived. us how we get involved COOL!!! in the startup Any community? I’d actually love to. questions? Huge fan by the way! 3
Tech meetup. Another tech meetup. Tech. Tech. Initially, I went to all the tech meetups and kept meeting 1. MEETUPS the same people. It’s a circuit.Cooking meeetup. Everywhere you go here Tech. people are into startups and tech. Variety; pretty Business card stack inexpensive; in the will be HUGE; very But they also evenings. social—not action like to cook... oriented. Are you really interested in doing a startup? 2. HACKATHONS Hackathons can help you find out. 4
They’re about working with people, getting stuff built, and getting it out there. The schedule looks like this... WE DID IT!!! Action based—all Whatever you build, about doing. No you’ll probably scrap. 3. MENTORS business plans. You It’s ok; it will give might find a you an idea. There is co-founder (look a time commitment, for people that can but you can find out complement you). a lot about yourself. Also, prizes. This is important. What What I can help you. should should I’ve done it. I do? I avoid? 1. Ask for guidance and advice. YOU NEED 2. Learn as much as A MENTOR. possible. 3. Build relationships. 5
Unfortunately, there’s no badge that Where do you says "I’m a mentor." find a mentor? You choose them; You choose them; the relationships you they could take you But they’re build could lead to down the wrong They’re out there. funding; you’ll always path. (Though this is allover. learn something. rare).They tend to drink coffee. Sometimes they speak at conferences. Should you give them Yes. They get equity? vested with you. It’s also a way of retaining the mentor. This is the rage of late. 4. INCUBATORS/ ACCELERATORS 6
A lot of mentors hang out at incubators. What happens at 1. You’ll work on your the incubator? startup for three months. 2. You’ll get some 5X funding to stay GREATER afloat. 3. They’ll provide networking and dinners so you gain exposure. It’s good to learn some of the stuff Take some yourself... classes. Seed funding; some Hard to get into. free legal services You have to pick 5. CLASSES & it will help you have conversations with (usually cost about $700–900/hour); a one. They’ll take a percentage of your TALKS developers. large peer network. company, but for the value of services they provide it’s worth it.Also, classes can be springboards... Structured learning; Some can be usually in the very expensive. evening; great Sometimes it’s networking; can act a large time as a springboard. commitment. 7
It’s lonely working on your startup, by yourself, in your house. This is kind of a big thing. And I was6. COWORKING skeptical at first, but I found out it’s all about the network. Coworking spaces are great for: 1. Meeting amazing people. Work with other Pricey; some places startups; build a (like Rocket Space) 7. ANGELS 2. Sharing ideas. network; free events; require seed funding. good exposure. 3. Getting work done. Typically they invest: YOU They’ll help get the business WANT off the ground. THEM. 8
Find a reputable Somebody that angel. has a vested interest in your They do convertible Smaller increments domain. notes. They’re great of funding. A lot of 8. VCs advisors. They will angels aren’t that help you raise more seasoned—be careful money because whom you choose. they are invested in the business; well connected. Typically they invest: When you’re at a point But there’s just not to raise VC money, take a enough VC money to look at their portfolios... support all the startups. find places that are similar or complementary.When you get to the big rounds the money isn’t there. The bottom line is don’t just go to angels and VCs for their money. Go for their Incubators knowledge. Angels It’s worth more than Big money the cash money. 9
Awesome. Let’s wrap this up.Funding typically They take a bigabove 1 million; chunk—means more 9. EPILOGUEgreat advice; they’ll accountability, youtake a bigger chunk, have to make your Some advice...but will help with numbers, there’slater rounds. a board, and your valuation could go down if you miss. Get ready for the ride of your life. THANKS FOR READING! Don’t be shy. I’m on Twitter @ mrrioki. Or email email@example.com. 10