Do the Hustle: 15 Brilliant Startup Tools for Working Smarter and Faster

This guest post was written by Alia Lamaadar from inside Dublin’s newest co-working space, Gravity Centres. Alia manages Tapir, a startup offering growth tools to other B2B SaaS startups.

Unsplash - tools

People in tech often compliment each other on their ‘hustle.’ As I understand it, complimenting someone’s hustle is analogous to congratulating them for their tendency to get sh*t done. Apparently ‘hustle’ is what the kids are calling a ‘work ethic’ these days.

Whatever you want to call it, success in startups boils down to a bias towards action and a machine-like calibration for efficacy: only the fast and the smart survive.

This Darwinian law has created an insatiable appetite in the market for SaaS solutions designed to facilitate startup hustle. Founders must have polymathic expertise in both their market and their industry. The latter compels you to understand what tools exist to improve your effectiveness and your speed to market. Not enough startups treat the process with the intellectual rigour it demands…it’s no surprise then that most startups fail.

With Dublin Startup Weekend less than three weeks away, Gravity Centres, asked me to compile an overview of some of my favourite bootstrapping tools to help the teams get an early leg up on their competition.

Using tools to help you work faster and smarter at Startup Weekend is a very good idea, but trying them out for the first time at Startup Weekend? Notsomuch. Most of the tools mentioned below have free tiers and free trials, allowing you to familiarize yourself with the product in advance and add significant value to your startup weekend projects.

To add a narrative element to what would otherwise be just a list of products, I’ve included a brief case study of a micro-project that I undertook a few weeks ago. Using only online tools, a lowly non-techie like myself was able to land at #5 on the HackerNews homepage within 20 mins of launch, become the most popular story of the day on the Next Web, and get hunted to Product Hunt within 2 hours.

So, use your 3 weeks wisely teams, and we look forward to complimenting you on your hustle at the finish line!

Startup Tools Case Study

Plz Don’t Hunt Me Yet

I’m intrigued by the idea of building ‘faux’ products in aid of your real commercial effort. I’ve heard this marketing technique also referred to as “Come for X, Stay for Y”. This could be a booka tool, or a toy — anything that through a related or unrelated product, draws attention to your main gig.

With this in mind, I decided to see if I could build something in fewer than 4 hours, and with less than 20 bucks, with the ultimate goal of eventually being listed on Product Hunt. From this experimental question, the Plz Don’t Hunt Me Yet Badges were born.

RhooverPDHMYtweet

Do the badges look a bit hokey? For sure.

But, did they fulfil the brief and get my primary product thousands of hits and dozens of beta signups? You betcha.

Briefly, the tools I used for PDHMY were:

  • Tumblr: Free website hosting.
  • Microsoft Word: To design mockups of each of the badges.
  • Fiverr: I took my MS Word mockups and paid a designer $5 on Fiverr to convert each into hi-res image files.
  • Typeform: I added a customized, embeddable Typeform to collect submission information from each lead.
  • Canva: Used to design all my marketing and social network visuals.
  • Buffer: To drip tweets over a week at strategic times of day.
  • Rapportive: to quickly evaluate each new lead in terms of value and influence.

TL;DR: I spent 3.5 hours and $16.50 on the PDHMY experiment. My primary product — Tapir — is still in pre-launch, so we haven’t done any marketing yet. Since our existing site traffic was so low, the PDHMY attention made a huge impact (see below). The project was also buckets of fun.

15 Brilliant Startup Tools for Working Smarter & Faster

And now for the more complete list of tools…A quick heads up, that you can’t build a list like this without making some subjective value judgments. At the end of the day, I’m a Mac, not a PC; a Stripe, not a Braintree; a Buffer, not a Hootsuite…you get the idea. Other options exist and I encourage you to tweet us your faves.

Multi-Purpose & General Bootstrapping Tools

  1. Product Hunt (Free) — Product Hunt is a startup kingmaker. Being listed on the PH homepage guarantees fame, fortune, and success. Well, maybe not the last two, but it does promise unprecedented attention for small startups. Read the comments when other products launch to find useful and common critiques that should be addressed in your own products. Suss out the best pre-launch marketing tactics and be inspired by the ingenuity of other makers. And if you need a specific tool for a job, PH should be your first port of call. It’s become a useful compendium of SaaS products, often with exclusive discounts applied for Product Hunters. Hiten Shah has also compiled a particularly good collection of free tools for startups.
  2. GrowthHackers (Free) — regardless of the startup bravado we exude, none of us are pros. By definition, startups must operate under conditions of extreme uncertainty. How well do you understand your market? How aware are you of effective growth tactics, theories, and methodologies? Learn from your peers, eliminate some uncertainty, and get your butt to GrowthHackers.
  3. Intercom (Free Plan & Free Trial) — Hometown heroes Intercom allow startups to send targeted email and in-app messages, triggered by time or behaviour. Once you become familiar with Intercom’s telltale question mark icon, you’ll notice their widget across the internet in the bottom righthand screen of your favourite startups. And for goodness sake, make sure that you’re following the Intercom blog.
  4. BetaList (Free) — How do you get beta users before you’ve even finished building your product? You join the likes of Pintrest, IFTTT, and Fab, by getting featured on BetaList before you launch. While you likely won’t have enough time during Startup Weekend to submit — expedited posting takes 72 hours — BetaList is an excellent resource for startups looking to design compelling landing pages. In fact, Marc (BetaList founder and one of the SW Dublin remote mentors) has compiled this handy document outlining How to Build a Successful Beta Landing Page.
  5. Typeform (Free Plan) — Boiled down, a lot of product development involves forms in one ‘form’ or another (pun verymuch intended). 
    From customer research, to onboarding, to payment and satisfaction surveys, forms are often the medium through which we connect with our audience.
    So, why the heck did we ever settle for ugly, janky forms? Typeform is the form you need, when you need it, looking beautiful and asking awesomely.

Product Management & Communication

  1. Slack (Free Plan) — Slack may be the fastest growing enterprise app in history and it’s certainly one of the fastest startups to reach a billion dollar valuation. That last designation might be arbitrary as f*ck, but these superlatives arise from the product’s extreme utility as a team communication tool. I have a theory that a number of enterprises could forgo their silly corporate innovation programs, instead adopting Slack to achieve a better ROI. For oft-dispersed startup teams, operating across multiple time zones and functional areas, Slack is on a mission “to make your working life simpler, more pleasant, and more productive.”
  2. Trello (Free Plan) — Self-described as “the free, flexible, and visual way to organize anything with anyone,” Trello is many things to many people. Personally, I use Trello as a bookmarking tool, to track and sort online sources I want to come back to later, and ideas I want to blog about. Professionally, my co-founder and I use Trello as a project management tool to track each stage and milestone of Tapir’s development. I’ve also been toying with the idea of creating a Trello board to track and sort all of our beta user feedback.
  3. Peek User Testing (Free) — Peek provides free five minute user experience videos with real people from the interwebs. The current wait time for a video review is 2–3 days, though they sometimes arrive in only a few hours. Peek is a fun way to get a fresh perspective on your product. Just remember to take it with a grain of salt — it’s only the opinion of one person.

Design

  1. Canva (Free — 1$) — I just recently learned that Guy Kawasaki is the Chief Evangelist at Canva. Makes sense, given how brilliant Canva is. Engagement rates skyrocket when you combine visual elements with your social networking content. Canva has the tools and templates you need to make it look like a professional was involved. Their ‘design school’ blog is also a terrific resource for those of us with questionable design aesthetics.
  2. Keynote (Free) — Getting an idea out of your head and communicating it to others is a vital step in the early validation stages of an MVP. If you’re familiar with the Google Ventures 5-Day Design Sprint, you know that Day 4 is devoted to creating a super-realistic prototype in just eight hours. While apps like InVision exist for solely this purpose, bootstrappers may also be drawn to the unconventional use of Keynote. Check out the GV guide to using the “world’s best prototyping tool.
  3. Stock Up (Free) — Sure, you need to work fast, but as David Cancel says, “Ship It, but don’t Ship Shit.” There’s no excuse for startups to use terrible stock photos (let’s leave that to the big corporates). StockUp aggregates and makes searchable hundreds of free stock photo assets…free to use as you see fit.
  4. Fiverr ($5+ but get a free gig using this referral link) — Let me preface this tool with the age-old adage, “You get what you pay for.” Fiverr has a pretty simple pitch: get things done for $5 (though some tasks cost more). Suffice to say, buyer beware, but for simple rote tasks lacking in creativity, I’m down with Fiverr (and eventually you get used to all of the designers calling you ‘dear’).

Payments, Sales & Marketing

  1. Stripe (Fee per charge) — Stripe is web and mobile payments. So simple, so smart, so sexy. How many other APIs can you say that about? Stripe is unapologetically a tool built by developers for developers, combining functionality with intellectualism in a heady digital mix that’s difficult not to find appealing. Stripe understands that it’s god — not the devil — in the details. (And sure, their Irish origins make them even more likeable.)
  2. SlideBean (Free Plan) — Creating your Startup Weekend pitch deck is finicky and time-consuming. Why not give some thought to outsourcing the design elements to SlideBean. In addition to the option to start with a blank canvas, SlideBean offers pre-designed templates including the “3 Minute Startup Pitch” and a “10 Slide Investor Deck.” For inspiration, you can take a look at 10 SlideBean pitch decks from the most recent 500 Startups Demo Day.
  3. HARO (Free) — HARO, or Help A Reporter Out, is a mailing list that connects journalists looking for expertise with credible news sources. Email comes 3 times a day with time-sensitive requests for sources from diverse media outlets including ForbesFast CompanyUSA Today, and theNew York Times. Startups can use HARO to potentially garner international exposure by offering their domain expertise in topics like business, HR, travel, and lifestyle.
  4. Buffer (Free Plan) — Buffer is awesome (literally). As a startup, content is important, but devoting unnecessary hours to the administration of your social presence before your product is even built? Get a life. Buffer allows you to load up your tweets in advance and have them fired out atthe most strategic times throughout the week. I also, highly recommend the Buffer Chrome extension, allowing you to add content to your buffer queue directly from your browser.
  5. Rapportive (Free) — Rapportive shows you details about your contacts, right inside your Gmail inbox. I use Reportive to quickly evaluate beta list signups, to identify who is worth responding to immediately or tagging as a VIP. As an added bonus, it also helps you to discern when seemingly personal emails, might actually be part of a larger marketing campaign.
So, what have I missed?!
What other tools allow startups to work faster and smarter? What are your suggestions for the Startup Weekend teams? Feel free to tweet any ideas to @SWDub,  @GravityCentres or @mostlyalia.







Career Goals For 2015

Sort yourself with a new organisational system. Get your emails arranged into folders, file your important paperwork and get a diary and planner on the go. It’s not glamorous stuff but you’ll be pleased at how much more efficient you’ll be. Your career can easily get off track if you allow yourself to slip into sloppy practises – but you can address this in 2015.

Update your CV. Even if you’re not applying for a job it’s always worth keeping on top of your CV. Not only will it mean that you keep an important document up to date but it’ll also force you to reflect on what you’ve achieved and what, if anything, you want to do next. You’ll also be primed and ready should the job of your dreams pop up on Jobstoday. Tie this in with creating or updating your LinkedIn profile – which can be a useful shop window and a way of picking up useful tips to further your own career. 

Challenge yourself to raise your game. Performing well in your job is one sure-fire way to get noticed and move your career on. Set your sights on one particular aspect of your job and zero in on that. Look at how you can improve and set your own personal targets to do better. 

Create your own personal website or blog. The world wide web has room for everyone to showcase their own personal talents. A website or blog can be a useful way of proving your worth to a potential employer as well as giving you an outlet to write or upload information about a passion or hobby – and also a way of people getting in contact with you. It needn’t be expensive or too time consuming either. 

Enter yourself into a suitable training programme. Find out what courses you can take on in your company or with an outside body and use them to develop your skills and add another string to your bow. It’ll boost your career and give you a fresh challenge to get your teeth into. You might also be able to become an expert in a particular field and be someone others turn to for help and advice.

Engage in a discussion about pay. Don’t bottle up any concerns you might have about your salary – book in a chat with your boss and get it off your chest. Keep the conversation professional and courteous and listen to what they have to say. You might want to offer to take on more responsibility in order to earn more. If you don’t ask you might miss out, pick your moment and get this done in 2015.

Downtime is vital – make more space for it in your schedule. Your home life and career are not completely disconnected. One way to succeed in your career is to strike a healthy work/life balance. If you’re not going in to work fresh because you’ve been agonising over work for hours at night you will struggle to succeed. It’s tough to get this right so factor some time in your diary for leisure activities and stick to them.








Elon Musk Presents His 5 Secrets of Success To Graduates at USC

Elon Reeve Musk is a South-Africa–born, Canadian-American entrepreneur, engineer, inventor and investor. He is the CEO and CTO of SpaceX, CEO and chief product architect of Tesla Motors, and chairman of SolarCity.

He spoke to graduates recently at the University of Southern California. Here are his 5 secrets of success.

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“I think the first is you need to work, depending upon how well you want to do and particularly if you’re starting a company, you need to work super hard. So what does super hard mean? Well when my brother and I were starting our first company, instead of getting an apartment we just rented a small office and we slept on the couch. We showered at the YMCA and we were so hard up we had just one computer so the website was up during the day and I was coding at night; Seven days a week, all the time.”

DyIE6Cx

“If you’re creating a company or if you’re joining a company, the most important thing is to attract great people. Either join a group that’s amazing that you really respect, or if you’re building a company – gather great people.”

S0ewb2T

“Focus on signal over noise. A lot of companies get confused, they spend money on things that don’t actually make the product better. For any given company just keep asking yourself “are the efforts that people are expending resulting in a better product or service? If they’re not – stop those efforts.”

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“Don’t just follow the trend. You may have heard me say that it’s good to think in terms of the physics approach of first principles. Which is, rather than reasoning by analogy, you boil things down to the most fundamental truths you can imagine and you reason up from there.”

9399Smp

“The final thing I think I would encourage you to do is, now is the time to take risks. As you get older your obligations increase, so once you have a family you start taking risks not just for yourself but for your family as well. It gets much harder to do things that might not work out. Now is the time to do that, before you have those obligations. So I would encourage you to take risks now, to do something bold, you won’t regret it.”

Full version: http://www.simplethingcalledlife.com/2015/elon-musk-usc-success-speech/








The 7 Most Surreal Moments of Startup Weekend Education Pittsburgh

Startup Weekend Education Pittsburgh (#SWeduPGH / @SWeduPGH) came and went from February 20th to February 22nd. It was a sold-out emotional roller coaster for its 120+ participants, hailing from as far as Mississippi and ranging as young as nine years old.

I wrote previously that this event was a dream come true, and indeed it was. However, there were moments in this event that made me wonder…

Consider the following moments:

1. Duolingo’s Luis von Ahn basically walked down the street to come talk to us.

luis-von-ahn
Luis von Ahn shares his idea to generate infinite energy from the kinetic activities at gyms. It did not take off. Photo courtesy of Ben Matzke Photos.

I’ve heard Professor von Ahn speak in person and at his now famous TEDxCMU talk numerous times, and I never get tired of the bombs he drops:

mic-drop

Prof. von Ahn also opened up about his struggles as an entrepreneurship – the nightmares of product, the perpetual campaign of “gamification,” and the immense complexity in providing a service for each language.

There’s nothing greater than when a local startup rock star maintains a sense of humility. Thank you, Prof. von Ahn!

2. That moment when Expii’s Po-Shen Loh made the entire crowd gasp in awe.

Po-Shen Loh dazzles the crowd with his brilliance and energy. Photo courtesy of Ben Matzke Photos.

I know it seems silly that I compared myself to Steve Jobs when he first saw Steve Wozniak’s PC and operating system for the first time, but I hope you all understand that feeling now.

amelie-blind-man-sees-o

When Professor Loh showed us all “The Map” – that seemingly endless web of knowledge that continually expands as people actively contribute to Expii via “colossal collaboration” – the entire room was floored.

keanu-whoa

Prof. Loh is just one of many in a community of game changers, and the best part: they’re more excited to meet YOU. Expii is currently live and ready for you to contribute.

3. A mother and son competed AGAINST each other (and, somehow, both won)

I did not discover this until well into the competition, but participants Wesley and her son Porter joined different teams: Project Playground and The Wrinkled Brain Project. Throughout, there was nothing but love and respect – sometimes a rare sight at an intense competition like Startup Weekend.

Mother-son bonding via intense weekend-long startup competition.
Mother-son bonding via intense weekend-long startup competition.

Although Mom ended up placing first in the competition, Porter was the real star of the event. This Startup Weekend featured the first “Reaping” ever – a sacrifice of one participant to entertain the other participants and maintain social order.

Something like this. Actually, almost exactly like this.
Something like this. Actually, almost exactly like this.

In this case, one would be selected to showcase Startup Weekend Pittsburgh’s own MegaBits – an MMOPRG monster-fighting mobile app played in the real world released a month ago at the iTunes store.

However, when the moment of selection came, Porter volunteered as tribute. 

porter-perini
Porter’s heroism was fortunately mentored by MegaBits CEO Patrick Perini. Photo courtesy of Ben Matzke Photos.

He managed to vanquish a Koldiak with a Grimlug’s flurry of tornadoes and saved the day. (I don’t know what these words mean.)

Well done, Porter, and Wesley – way to be an awesome parent. Speaking of which:

4. We’re convinced Pittsburgh would crush a Startup Weekend Youth.

As a judging and coaching dynamic duo, Entrepreneuring Youth‘s proud alums Jesse and Joziah Council were the most poised (and well-dressed) gentlemen at the event.

By far the best dressed at Startup Weekend Education Pittsburgh, or pretty much at any event.
Far too much style for a Startup Weekend Education Pittsburgh, or pretty much at any event. Photo courtesy of Ben Matzke Photos.

Our Youth Choice Panel not only counted their votes faster than the main judges did (that was my bad), they also entertained the audience with their enthusiasm.

Today's students, tomorrow's leaders. Photo courtesy of Ben Matzke Photos.
Today’s students, tomorrow’s leaders. Photo courtesy of Ben Matzke Photos.

Lastly, who could forget that little girl who validated Penny Discovery’s MVP:

Children always make the best customers for validation. Always. Photo courtesy of Ben Matzke Photos.
Children always make the best customers for validation. Always. Photo courtesy of Ben Matzke Photos.

The youth have spoken – they want more entrepreneurship!

5. Startup Weekends are not traditionally done in sub-freezing temperatures. (We Pittsburgh folk don’t care.)

volunteer-sledding
A Startup Weekend Pittsburgh hazing ritual for new volunteers. Photo courtesy of Ben Matzke Photos.

One of our platinum sponsors, Problem Solutions, dared our organizing team to borrow the Environmental Charter School‘s sleds and tear up some powder out in Frick Park.

walt-grata-sledding
Walt Grata of Problem Solutions feels cold in his manly beard. Photo courtesy of Ben Matzke Photos.
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Fortunately, nobody was hurt in this insane endeavour. Photo courtesy of Ben Matzke Photos.

Some of the team made a snowman out in front. We decided to name it “Gusky” after Norton Gusky, a huge advocate in the Pittsburgh education community and the first person to buy a ticket at our event. Unfortunately, he fell ill and couldn’t attend, so we hope that this snowman was a fitting tribute.

gusky-with-team
Our team posting with Gusky the Snowman. Photo courtesy of Ben Matzke Photos.

6. Nobody else than Mandela Schumacher-Hodge could have facilitated SWeduPGH. Nobody.

Not only did we get the Global Director of Education Entrepreneurs, but we also got a woman who grew up in Pittsburgh’s East End and whose local legendary father Leroy Hodge fought relentlessly for the kind of future we hoped to represent at our event.

mandela-mic
Mandela laying down the rules of SWeduPGH. Photo courtesy of Ben Matzke Photos.

One of our judges, The Fred Rogers Center‘s President Bill Isler approached her after the winners were announced. Apparently, Mandela’s mom and Bill were previously commissioners of the Pittsburgh Dynamo Soccer League, where Mandela cultivated her enduring passion for the sport.

A reunion that transcends generation. Photo courtesy of Mandela Schumacher-Hodge.
A reunion that transcends generation. Photo courtesy of Mandela Schumacher-Hodge.

If you can name someone else who should have been with us that weekend… you don’t really exist, for you are a logical paradox. Welcome back home, Mandela!

7. The epic dance party you all missed (probably because you built a company in 54 hours)

No words necessary. Just a video of Startup Weekend Pittsburgh veteran Steve McCarthy showing off his salsa skills with facilitator Mandela:

mandela-dancing-youtube-img
(In case you can’t see it – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7J60ElaTOM)

Convinced yet that there might be a higher power involved? Perhaps, but I’m more inclined to think it begins with this validated fact:

Education is a big deal in Pittsburgh, and entrepreneurship is a great way to stimulate its progress. 

It was too easy to recruit the right organizers and volunteers – I already knew the most passionate, committed, trustworthy, and hardworking people in town.

organizing-team-better-pose
We’re having no fun. No fun at all. Photo courtesy of Ben Matzke Photos.

We really didn’t have any trouble finding the right judges – we knew we wanted a teenage entrepreneur, three prominent women in educational technology, and a veteran in Pittsburgh school policy and philanthropy. Mission accomplished.

judging-panel
Judges Joziah Council, Aileen Owens, Lisa Abel-Palmieri, Stephanie Butler, and Bill Isler having a great time. Photo courtesy of Ben Matzke Photos.

The greatest challenge with any Startup Weekend is outreach – despite our hard work, we never know until the last minute if people will come out to participate.

Not bad for a first time.
Not bad for a first time. So, when’s the next Startup Weekend in Pittsburgh, anyway?

So, on behalf of everyone, I thank you for experiencing what I had experienced just a few years ago – this event is and always will be for you.

I also ask that you do the following:

(Apply here: startupweekend.org/organizer/application/)

epic-rock-paper-scissors
Networking: gamified. Photo courtesy of Ben Matzke Photos.

After all, you’re now part of a big family, and we’re excited to have you.

Pretty surreal, isn’t it? 

Lee Ngo is the Regional Manager of the US East Coast for UP Global and the lead organizer of Startup Weekend Education Pittsburgh. Many of the photos in this post were provided generously by Ben Matzke Photos, all rights reserved.








Insistence on Persistence (Comic)

 

#entrepreneurfail Try Try Again

You think success is only based on intelligence? Nope.

You think success is solely due to the number of contacts you have? Negative.

You think success is pure luck? Sorry.

You think success is based just on education? Nice try.

You think success is only about you? No way!

I could keep listing these, but you get the gist. The line that separates the entrepreneur from the wantrepreneur is not only the number of successes, but it is the number of attempts, failures, disappointments, trials, and tribulations.  This persistence is the distinguishing factor that separates the entrepreneurs from the wannabes.

Additionally, remember, that as an entrepreneur, you are part of a bigger ecosystem of trying, failing, learning and succeeding. For every failure, you or someone else will benefit from it, and will use that learning to adapt it for businesses.  You may not even recognize it, but you are benefitting from other entrepreneur’s failures all the time, and vice versa.  Check out these TED Talks for more inspiration about failures.

Here are some bits of inspiration to keep on trying, even when it seems that you’re in a dead end:

How long have you been persisting? How do you keep going in the face of adversity? Let us know in the comments below.

This was originally created by Kriti Vichare for #entrepreneurfail: Startup Success

 

 








Lavadero: Generando innovación en mercados tradicionales

La semana pasada me reuní con Paulina Arreola, cofundadora de Lavadero, una de las startups de la ciudad de México que nos demuestra que si se pueden solucionar problemas a partir de la innovación.

Lavadero 1
Ellen Dudley y Paulina Arreola, co-fundadoras de Lavadero.

Paulina, con 23 años, es una mujer emprendedora, originaria de Hermosillo, Sonora, quien vino a la ciudad de México a empezar Lavadero, una compañía que transforma el proceso de lavar la ropa de algo complicado a algo más amigable para los usuarios.

Se dio cuenta de que la industria de las lavanderías no ha cambiado en los últimos 15 o 20 años y las familias están acostumbradas a lidiar con el servicio que existe por que es lo “único que hay”, pero muchas han cambiado su ritmo de vida, y fue así por lo que empezó a desarrollar esta idea, pues siempre que iba a la lavandería, la pasaba mal con el servicio, entonces decidió renunciar a su trabajo, juntarse con una amiga y empezar su propia startup.

¿Cómo funciona Lavadero?

 Lavadero 2

Hoy, a un mes de cumplir el primer año de operaciones tienen 9 lavanderías y tintorerías como aliados y proveedores, y 10 repartidores, pasando de dar el servicio en únicamente las colonias Roma y Condesa a tres delegaciones diferentes (Cuauhtémoc, Miguel Hidalgo y Benito Juárez) que representan más de 100 colonias y tienen planes a abrir en el próximo mes en otras dos delegaciones más.

Paulina cree que Lavadero ha crecido por que es flexible y variable en su modelo de negocios. La compañía como tal no es dueña de ninguna lavandería pero tiene un proceso muy específico en el que controlan la calidad del servicio, que es lo que les ha permitido crecer su base de clientes recurrentes. Pues a través de la logística han logrado responder a todas las dificultades que se les han presentado.

No fue fácil llegar al punto en el que están, y aunque han tenido un proceso rápido, durante los primeros meses utilizaron ahorros y los recursos que tenían para la operación en los primeros 10 meses. Desde hace dos semanas Lavadero forma parte del más reciente batch de Wayra, una de las aceleradoras más importantes de México en la que les ofrecieron 75K dólares para seguir con su startup y llegar a más estados del país.

Llegar a una mayor penetración en el mercado Mexicano no es nada fácil y Paulina piensa que lo más importante es volverse el mejor en el servicio que ofrecen para después pensar en expansión hacia latinoamérica, inclusive dice que por el tipo de producto (mitad tecnológico y mitad físico), cambia mucho el mercado incluso por ciudad. El objetivo de entrar a una aceleradora es integrar un poco más de inteligencia en la aplicación que lanzarán en dos meses para los usuarios en el país.

Para Lavadero, más allá de la inversión que reciben al formar parte de Wayra, lo más valioso es formar parte de una “familia” de personas que tienen experiencias similares y están ahí para ayudarlas en el proceso en el momento exacto que lo necesitan.

En este momento, Paulina considera que el producto no es lo que sueñan, pero aún así, tienen el diferenciador de tecnología. Ellos creen en la generación de procesos, herramientas y sistemas para optimizar su operación. Y se han divertido mucho haciéndolo.

Por último, le pregunté a Paulina acerca de emprender y su experiencia, y esto fue lo que me dijo: “Tienes que lanzarte a construir una solución, por que siempre te pones barreras y sólo hay que hacerlo. Si funciona, ¡excelente!. Si no, el aprendizaje, es lo que más te queda.

Cuando piensas en emprender, claro que te da miedo, y si hay riesgo pero es impresionante la cantidad de información que estás absorbiendo todos los días, además de que te empiezas a conocer y sabes lo que puedes lograr. Conoces a gente increíble en el camino que cree en ti. No es tan difícil cómo te lo pintan.”

Así que si estás pensando en emprender, lánzate y atrévete a generar soluciones a problemas que tal vez se te presentan a diario.

Si quieres contactar al equipo de lavadero, te invitamos a que les escribas a: hola@lavadero.co.

Para unirte a nuestra conversación de emprendimiento, innovación y startups sobresalientes, síguenos en Facebook, Twitter, y LinkedIn.

 








Startup Weekend Volos: Metavallon is coming with Prizes!

metavallon

Metavallon is a model social enterprise that empowers and accelerates startups at the very early stages. Through its three-stage program (Τhe LabThe Accelerator, and The Hub), Metavallon seeks to motivate talented individuals, expose them to experienced entrepreneurs, experts and investors, and provide them with the necessary resources to start their own high impact businesses. Its mission is to uplift the endeavors of active entrepreneurial spirits around the world and generate a powerful venturing movement in Greece and beyond.

Connect with Metavallon on the social media FacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedinInstagramGoogle+ and/or check out thecompany blog for some nice stories.








Startup Weekend Volos: Yiannis Giokas as a Speaker!

giokas

Yiannis is a serial entrepreneur with over 7 years’ experience in the High-Tech and Security Industries. Prior founding Crypteia Networks, he has been active in the fields of Telecommunications, Network Optimization and Security enabling Telecom Operators to optimize their networks, expand their added value services and enhance their customers’ experience. He holds a B.Sc. in Electronics Engineering and an M.B.A. from Athens University of Economics & Business.







Startup Weekend Volos: Start Tech Ventures is also our Sponsor!

start tech ventures

StartTech Ventures is the investment & incubation arm of the Materializing Innovation Group, having three divisions: Seed Fund, Incubator and Business Angel Network. StartTech capitalizes the experience gained out of starting Virtual Trip, the first successful student start-up in Greece, spinning out more than 10 high-tech companies via investing 4.5 MEur and creating a next generation start-up accelerator via introducing the “Entrepreneurial Ecosystem” concept.








Startup Weekend Volos: Microsoft as a Platinum Sponsor

Microsoft-new-logo

SPECIAL PRIZES FROM MICROSOFT!

  1. Free Bizspark Software (www.bizspark.com). Software worth of  10,000 euro
  2. 150 euro free cloud resources (azure) a month and access to Microsoft’s global         startup community
  3. mentoring sessions and aquaintance with the startups that Microsoft incubates
  4. Evaluation for admission in Microsoft’s incubation programms that allows the team to be hosted in Microsoft’s incubator for 6 months and more…