Tech in the Windy City: “The Chicago tech scene has changed so much over the last three years,” says the chief executive. The many initiatives around investing in startup companies with Accelerate , now TechStars coming to the city; 1871 here and the Illinois Venture Fund. I think there is a lot of desire to create a strong tech community.”
Tips to Starting a Tech Venture:
Be honest and know your strengths (and you weaknesses) — “Ask for people with skills that are greater than yours to do the things you don’t know,” advises Wimberly. “Money constraints will often have an entrepreneur choose to take on tasks and do things in order to keep costs low, or sometimes even just to move faster, but that can be detrimental to you within technology because technology is constantly changing. You need to surround yourself with people who are going to be within the conversation of that change because you’ll be too busy running other parts of the business to always know that that’s the case. “
Entrepreneurship isn’t cheap—Initially, you may have friends and family that will invest in your business, but most will come from personal savings. “A tech entrepreneur needs to be prepared because, again, if you don’t have the skill set to do it yourself, you’re going to be paying someone,” warns Wimberly. “Excellent folks come with an excellent price tag—unless you find a way to barter.”
Trust in yourself— “You need to be able to be your own cheerleader, your own motivator to keep going. There’s no one that will know the business quite as well as you.”
The Future: “We see Smarteys growing,” says Conanan. “We want to grow our revenue, we want to grow our user base and we really want to be the No. 1 trusted source for college grads entering into the workforce.”
Check back next week to see what rising company becomes Tech Startup of the Week.