Elevate 2014, was a fantastic day-long event presented by Entrepreneurs Unpluggd!
They created a wonderful atmosphere at Morgan Manufacturing, for an amazing variety of Chicago start-up companies to network and exchange ideas. I was so impressed by the passionate people with such a range of interests: Designation, a design boot-camp that a former classmate of mine works for, and an exciting Chicago news source Breaking Voices were among the multitude of companies there.
The speakers were were so inspiring! They were broken down into the the various stages that a start-up will expect to go through, from start-up through acquisition. While the focus was predominately on for-profit companies (which we are definitely not), the foundations of starting, nurturing, and growing a new organization were important for any kind of start-up. The two major takeaways for me were:
–Perfect is the enemy of the good: Most speakers touched on this concept to one degree or another, but Maria Christopoulos Katris the CEO of Builtin Chicago summed it up well when she said ‘if you aren’t embarrassed by your first project you waited too long’. In other words get your work out there in the public sphere and then respond to feedback, positive or negative as it will all help your project, but you have to start and keep working!
-Solve the problems that exist: Again each speaker addressed the importance of really listening to your client regarding what they really need and how they can best use your product. Make sure you are solving the primary problem that exists, not just the one you want to solve
This second point is going to be crucial for us as we move forward with our pilot project with the aim to support both museum outreach and student education.