I work at a company called Super Dispatch. We are digitizing the trucking industry helping carriers eliminate paperwork, streamline their business and get paid faster. We have thousands of users and companies working with us. A sales pitch of our competitors sound something like this “Our app is just like Super Dispatch”. We have some prominent investors investing in us and we are constantly growing.
However, 4 years ago we failed. When the first version of our software came out, nobody wanted to use it. However, we got very valuable feedback and worked on it. Then, we released the Super Dispatch v2.0. We started getting positive reviews by our users although there was a long way to go. As our user base grew, we constantly improved our software. Then, something amazing happened. We got accepted to one of the most prestigious startup accelerators in the world, Techstars! I am sure that we learned in this program strongly helped us get to where we are today.
The most amazing part of this Techstars program is that they don’t tell you what to do or when. They create an environment that is conducive to helping your startup every day by surrounding you with people who will mentor, inspire, and challenge you.
They have an amazing pool of mentors who will be committed to helping you with product development, market fit, and who will also provide valuable introductions to help grow your company — fast. With the help of these mentors, you learn how to gain traction and hit your milestones – whether that’s a prototype, building out the next phase of your product, finding your first customer or hitting $50M in revenue. You learn how to determine your fundraising strategy and prepare to meet with investors. You learn how to communicate your vision and prepare to meet with investors, partners and other key stakeholders who can help shape your future.
After all these crazy 3 months, you show the world how much progress you’ve made in just a few short months on a Demo Day. Then you graduate from this program. However, Techstars is for life even if the program itself may be over. You still can leverage the network through Techstars BizDev Days, Techstars Investor Days, Techstars FounderCon, ongoing mentorship, monthly alumni events, and access to a deep well of resources.
Sounds interesting but you don’t have a startup? Time to build it then! There is a mini version of this accelerator program called Startup Weekend, which I talk about in more detail here.
If you are interested, make sure to attend one of these Startup Weekends in your city.
If you are in Tashkent, Uzbekistan from 27th April through 29th, we will be happy to have you 🙂
See you there!
Tallis had never heard the word “startup” when he decided to attend the first ever Startup Weekend in Brazil in 2011. On his way to the event, after trying for more than half an hour to hail a taxi, Tallis became frustrated. Waiting really bothered him because it’s about our time, and time is the most valuable asset in the world.
That’s what sparked the idea of Easy Taxi in Tallis’s mind.
Though he and his team were initially working on another concept, they pivoted directions after Tallis’ frustrating taxi experience. They worked all weekend to pitch their idea on Sunday night, when Tallis and his team won the competition and launched Easy Taxi. The mobile app allows users to request a taxi with the tap of a button, connecting drivers and passengers in a much easier way.
The rest is history…
Now it is the most downloaded taxi app in the world and operating in 30 countries and more than 420 cities. It is also backed by millions of dollars from such prominent investors as Rocket Internet, Millicom and iMENA.
And where did all start? You guessed it right…Startup Weekend!
Startup Weekend, powered by Google for Entrepreneurs, is a 54-hour boot camp that allows anyone to turn their idea into a reality. Attendees arrive on Friday night, present ideas, form teams, and then work tirelessly through the weekend. They do research, interview potential customers, and build working prototypes of their product, with the help of Startup Weekend staff and mentors. On Sunday night, the teams regroup and pitch their new company to a panel of judges.
If you can be in Tashkent Uzbekistan from 27th April through 29th, consider yourself very lucky. Why? Because Startup Weekend is happening here for the first time ever.
Use your weekend wisely! Come join us, network with your smartest peers, learn from our awesome mentors and international guests. Seriously, what can be better than this? Only Liverpool kicking Manchester City’s butt in the Champions League and only this. Nothing else.
And maybe the company that you will found here will become the next Easy Taxi? Everything is possible in Uzbekistan. If Scorpions are giving a concert in a country where tattoos are not allowed to be shown in music clips, you can do it too. Join us.