For my dayjob at startup Proteges – a startup that co-creates change in healthcare through software – (and my personal startup-world and entrepreneurship enthousiasm) I was attending Start-Up on Tour by Integrand. While listening to the stories of other startups I was contemplating on how much you can take home from those talks.
Integrand Start-Up on Tour
The event was very well organized – by Integrand via Starters Valley – and held at the nice venue of Qeske Maastricht located in the heart of Maastricht Centrum at the Entre Deux shopping mall.
It was an first-time event which included nice presentations by startups Swapfiets, Activitree, and 3 interesting startups Sonder, WePay and Cyber Peacekeeping Forces— who are going through a startup incubation round at Brightlands right now.
I even got to pitch our company — Proteges — to the crowd afterwards 😎. It is always a good thing to practice your own pitch and see if you can get your vision and story across.
In the last 5 years or so, I’ve consumed a lot of content. Think startup background stories, startup approaches, company pitches, and more IRL, via blogs (on Medium, company blogs, etc), communities (like Indie Hackers and WIP.chat), and via Podcasts(for instance, the Podcast by Indie Hackers and The Pitch by Gimlet Media).
They all added up to what I know now and each and every one provided value. Even the ones where I didn’t have much interest in their niche and/or their product.
Really, listening to other startup’s stories – if you dig product development, entrepreneurial undertakings and startup life – is interesting and entertaining at least.
But there is more to them than that: Startup stories.bear.a.lot.of.value*.
*As long as you know what to take from them and how to listen to them
So, without further ado, here are five reasons why you should listen to the story of other startups.
The Five reasons for why it pays to listen to other startup’s stories
- Learn from their failures (aka Lessons Learned) 🤦🏻♂️
Every startup that has moved up the ladder from the idea phase has learned something and at least did a couple of things wrong. Listen to what they’ve learned on their journey and keep those things in your mind. It will help and guide you on your journey.
- You get to see how they present themselves 👩🏾🎤
Look at how they talk. Listen to what they value most. And you get to see first-hand how their style and branding is setup. Check what you like and dislike and learn from it.
- Get to see Growth Stats & Timelines 📈📊
Some startups are bootstrapping on their own while others have been funded by VC’s or are going through an accelerator program. I’ve found a lot of presentations to bear metrics about their timeline, their current goals for the year and metrics about growth. These numbers are interesting at least but they will also help you to comprehend how companies for certain niches and of different sizes have been doing and what they’re aiming for. Very useful to get a grasp at what growth is like for various kinds of startups.
- Find out who’s backing the team 🕵🏻♂️
Often there are VC’s, advisors, accelerators, Angel Investors and other people working behind the curtains of a startup. By listening to startup stories and attending presentations by them you often get to hear the names of these parties-in-the-shades. You get to learn what organisations and people are helping out and via the team you might even be introduced.
- Common grounds create bonds 🤝
Don’t just listen to stories when attending an startup event where startups pitch or present. Ask questions. Meet up with the team members afterwards. Find out what drives them, what fuels their fire and what they’ve been learning so far. Getting to know people that are doing what you want to do, or that are experiencing what you will be in a couple of months is very useful and interesting. Share your take on things and learn from theirs. Get to know each other. In the end, startups will often be fond of help out the likes as long as your not only consuming but really engaging and opening up the conversation.
Some Solid Advice
Are there any pitch events near you? Go there. Any startup event where startups are speaking going to happen soon? Be there.
Listen with interest.
Engage conversation to get to the bottom of things that aren’t.
Meet people from the startup scene.
Share your vision (don’t stop at consuming).
And most of all, enjoy yourself while doing all of the above.
Also published on Medium.