How you can use FEAR as a REVERSE Spider Sense

Fear has been my constant companion all throughout my startup career. I remember feeling I might be laughed at as I was about to present my idea to potential partners or investors. I remember that crippling feeling. That extreme doubt I felt when I was about to resign from my fulltime job. I remember hearing all the "no's" in this journey, the disheartening voices and fearing they actually might be right. I remember delaying the first-ever post of Juan Great Leap (JGL) for weeks for fear other people might judge me. After developing several startups (both successes and utter failures), and the unexpected growth of the JGL audience, you'd think I finally would be free from … [Read more...]

Pitchcraft Postscript

I had a great time at the Pitchcraft Event last Saturday at AIM. With nearly 70 people, there was a lot of energy in the air. Most importantly, I saw there was a lot of learning happening. Just a quick summary of what happened, for those of you who missed it: First, Karen Hipol of Carillion Partners (yup, she of the $100 million fund) came in to give the first talk: WHAT should the pitch contain. Then, Maoi Arroyo of Hybridigm delivers the second talk: HOW the pitch should be given. After a short break, the panel/simulation activity began. First a panel of experts are introduced: technology serial entrepreneur David Cruz, AIM professor and entrepreneurship expert Richard Cruz (not … [Read more...]

24 Hours Left Until Pitchcraft!

Pitchcraft is on for tomorrow, and I'm really excited for all the learning we'll be doing!  Last day to register! (You can also register during the event as well) Attendance is at around 70 people now. See you tomorrow! … [Read more...]

How Exactly the Corporation Kills Your Entrepreneurial Spirit

Gary Sells Soap A few weeks ago I felt I was representing the startup world when I was trying to convince a high-caliber fresh graduate to try out the startup life. (Let's call him "Gary") Yes, while he had several tempting, lucrative offers from MNC's, any of which would've dwarfed whatever salary offer any startup could've given, he was also deeply intrigued by the startup life and was involved in several startup-related activities on campus. Moreover, he had enough of the "I-want-to-do-something-different" streak in him that I allowed myself to hope: "Hey we have a chance." Soon enough, I got a text message from him a few days after... "I decided to try out my luck in corporate … [Read more...]

Universities Represent!

I had an absolute blast early today with 6 awesome student leaders (sorry Angeli, you don't count anymore) talk about ideas on how to propagate the startup movement in campuses. Basically, the group introduced themselves to one another, ate doughnuts, and then the awesome brainstorming happened. There is one big plan the group is concocting (to be revealed soon). The next step is to get more universities represented in the next meeting, when more concrete details, will be decided on. The next meeting will be next Thursday (May 23) at 3:00pm (venue still to be decided on). If you are an entrepreneurial student who wants to help out in spreading the startup movement in your school, do … [Read more...]

How To Assemble Your Startup Entourage

(the following is a guest post by multi-awarded entrepreneur Maoi Arroyo) As a junkie of all things startup, I’ve always loved shows like Bloomberg’s TechStars. Whichever season you watch, these entrepreneurship-themed reality shows try to select the best teams as opposed to the best ideas. As Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar, famously said:  “The view that good ideas are rarer and more valuable than good people is rooted in a misconception of creativity. If you give a good idea to a mediocre team, they’ll screw it up. But if you give a mediocre idea to a great team, they’ll make it work.” If there’s one thing I learned in the nine years I’ve helped tech-based startups get off the … [Read more...]

Last Two Days for Early Bird Rates for Pitchcraft!

Hey people! At midnight tomorrow, May 15, the early bird rate for Pitchcraft: How To Develop a Killer Pitch for Raising Capital and Recruiting will expire. For the content it provides (great speakers, killer panel, chance for real pitches in front of institutional investors), I think this is a great deal, so you might want to grab tickets now. You can do so here.  … [Read more...]

Juan Great Leap Calls on 5 More Student Leaders!

I'll be meeting around 5 student leaders next Wednesday, 4pm, at the STORM conference room, at Unit 602, Centerpoint Building, along Julia Vargas. The main agenda will be: 1) How to push entrepreneurship and the startup movement in universities 2) How to help student entrepreneurs   (Map here) Our conference room seats around 10 people, so there are 5 seats still free. I wanted to open it up to interested parties. Do you want to join this conversation? If you are an incoming undergraduate student, interested in entrepreneurship, and you're the type of person who gets things done, then you might want to join us. If you are interested, please do send me an email at … [Read more...]

May Open Coffee Is Now Brewing! Sign up now!

WHAT: MAY OPEN COFFEE WHEN: 930am-12:00 noon, Saturday, May 18, 2013 WHERE: 47 East Co-working Compound (47 Esteban Abada, Loyola Heights, QC) Inviting ALL entrepreneurial-minded people: young or old, newbie or veteran to join this month's edition of OPEN COFFEE. This event has been outdoing itself every month we have it, so I'm pretty excited to see what this month's version will  offer. Don't you miss it! Sign up here now! Here's how the last one went... … [Read more...]

Just Start.

I think sometimes we overestimate what it takes to "start" - especially for those of us who are first-time entreps and don't exactly know what were doing. (welcome thought: I suspect most first-time startup founders fall into this category - everyone starts out feeling stupid) Perhaps we're thinking: "Oh gosh, I need to raise a million bucks." or "I need a technical co-founder who has a 3.8 GPA in computer science." or "To do this I need to resign from my job and risk everything! Need to prepare." or "I need to win one of those startup contests!" You know, if we always think this way, we might never come to the point when we think we're ready to start. It will end up as just some … [Read more...]