There’s a lot going on now with two of my startups, STORM and STRATA.
People movement, scaling, fire-fighting, creating processes, client meetings, projects, you name it, we’re doing it right now. For STORM specifically, we usually do systems implementation around this time in preparation for the coming year. Plus we’re also renewing with all our current clients. These next few weeks leading up to the first quarter of 2014 will be quite taxing for our team.
I wish there were two of me sometimes.
November marks the 2nd year anniversary of JGL’s first post. While the blog has been growing and our events have been successful. There’s so much that I’ve wanted to do in JGL which we didn’t get to do.
Two of the things we were ABLE to do was launch two projects, two concepts. In lean startup parlance, these were two “experiments.”
The first one was Startups Unplugged. The questions it wanted to answer: can a musical-chairs type of entrepreneurial event attract people?
It did. It attracted 20 of some of the best entrepreneurs in the country.
It also attracted hundreds of people. We filled up a big venue. The event was free. It was paid by sponsors. It made a little bit of money.
The second experiment was Pitchcraft (joint project withy Hybridigm). The questions it wanted to answer: will people pay for to learn entrepreneurial concepts in a classroom-type environment? Can the JGL platform attract enough people for it to be sustainable?
Yep, people paid. That event made almost 6 figures net.
I was supremely excited. The vision for me was getting clearer – JGL was to be primarily an entrepreneurial education and advocacy play. We drew up a lot of plans. A startup “school” with both classroom and online features. Perhaps a startup or two could be incubated in the process.
There was one problem.
Since this was my passion and my “baby,” I was really hesitant in ceding any control or equity (I’ve been burned a lot of times in the past). So everything was on me – veritably doing yet ANOTHER startup, this time by myself, going against a lot of the very things I’ve written in this blog.
Since my time was taken up by my other responsibilities in my other startups, none of the other JGL plans transpired.
This was frustrating.
So the past few days I’ve been pondering and praying.
Do I keep things as is, or do I try to change things?
Conclusion: I want to go after that vision. And I want to do it more aggressively than before. This will mean changes.
I would need two very crucial (and familiar) things: funding and an entrepreneur.
JGL IS RAISING MONEY
I’m going to be raising capital. I’m thinking of raising it from 4 individuals, ideally representing 4 very different areas of entrepreneurship. (maybe one from tech, one from social enterprises, etc….). They will also serve as JGL’s advisory board. The capital will go mainly to hiring 1-2 people who will be on the ground and as capital to set up the first few courses. There’s also an online content strategy I want to pursue.
What’s in it for the investor?
1) First and foremost, you get to help Philippine entrepreneurs. Call me corny, but this for me should be the primary motive of the investor. I won’t partner with anyone who doesn’t share the same passion for the Filipino startup ecosystem and the country as a whole.
2) Second, yes, this will monetize. (see “experiments” above)
3) Third, networking. First crack at getting to know up-and-coming entrepreneurs and startups. I think this is a huge thing. There’s now a growing number of entrepreneurs who have acquired funding from JGL events.
Note: I want this process hopefully done by this year, so JGL can “relaunch” at the start of 2014. I will be approaching investors from my circle as well, but I would like to talk to as many people as possible (as this is VERY important to me, and I want no stone left unturned).
Resident Entrepreneur Needed
So, because of the update above, obviously I would needing someone to help me run JGL. I was thinking of what the official job title should be – GM? Operations Head? Business Manager? CEO?
I thrashed all that and ended up what I thought was the most functional one-word description.
The key elements of what I think an entrepreneur should be are: used to uncertain environments, used to risk, creative problem solver, maabilidad (there is no english translation), and a great sense of urgency.
Because of the nature of JGL, I would ideally love it if you would be: a good writer, used to online content management, can handle events, has charisma.
One thing I’m REALLY going to take a look at: integrity.
Man, I’ve been burned so many times by not screening for this enough. (if you KNOW you don’t have any integrity, please don’t bother reaching out to me)
So there you go. I thought long and hard about making this public. Obviously I’m going to approach people in my circle (and I have already) for both these needs. But I wanted to make this public here as well so I can cast a wider net. (Stealth sucks.)
Interested in helping out? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s do this!