David Fry is a technology entrepreneur and small business owner. Fry is the founder of Tanuki Interactive, a web consulting company focused on the hospitality industry. In 2015, Fry founded Board.Vote, an online voting system for non-profit boards which won first place at Startup Weekend Maui. Fry lives in Haiku and serves on the board of the Haiku Community Association.
For many aspiring entrepreneurs, it’s exciting to come up with an idea for a new business. But after some initial brainstorming, and talking about an idea with friends, it can be challenging to take the first steps. Too many great business ideas are never pursued and remain nothing more than a daydream.
At it’s core, the value Startup Weekend provides is to help entrepreneurs overcome that inertia. In a single weekend, a small motivated team can take an idea and create a new business. The key factor is the ethos of the program, “no talk, all action”. An idea can easily fall victim to “analysis paralysis” – the endless brainstorming of the idea before any work is done. By focusing on the work first, a team can make a lot of initial progress, while learning and finessing the idea as it develops.
Startup Weekend also provides an opportunity for an entrepreneur to build a team. While it is theoretically possible for a single person to conceive and build a new business from scratch, a few good team members can make a big difference in the success of a project. Without a team, an entrepreneur often lacks the kind of feedback that could improve their idea. Team members provide valuable insight, specialized skills and much needed encouragement to continue. And beyond your team, Startup Weekend brings together a great team of coaches to provide advice when you need it.
Startup Weekend has become an important first step in the process for those companies seeking venture capital funding. An idea that is presented at Startup Weekend and nurtured through that process is then better prepared for a venture accelerator which can further develop the business to the point where funding is possible.
But many of the companies that succeed at Startup Weekend are not a good fit for venture funding. These teams still see a great value in the program because it helps to build a team, flesh out an idea and overcome the inertia to get started. Some of our previous participants in Startup Weekend have used the program as a launch pad to start successful companies here on Maui.
The 2016 Maui Startup Weekend is coming up. If you’ve got an idea for a new business, all you need is a 60-second pitch and a willingness to work one very long weekend to get it started.