My experience at PR Ventures’ Startup Bootcamp Part 1

sbI decided to join Puerto Rico Ventures’ Startup Bootcamp starting on April 12, 2014. I will share with you my experience on this blog. Why? Because I’m generous, and awesome, that’s why!

I’ll try to share as much as I can without spoiling the fun for you. Hopefully you’ll feel compelled to participate in the near future (hint, hint).

What’s the Startup Bootcamp? How does it work?

The Startup Bootcamp focuses on teaching how to create your startup using modern methodologies. The mentors will help you think, experiment, define, validate your business idea, and get your first clients. Since time + money = risk, the faster you get started and the less money you invest, helps keep your risk at a reasonable minimum. The goal is to get you up and running in thirty days.

prst-logoMy sessions will take place at the Puerto Rico Science, Technology & Research Trust building, located in the old Oso Blanco Penitentiary Complex (Rd. 21, Río Piedras, Puerto Rico). Facilities are brand new, and very nice, free wi-fi, adequate parking.

The format is straight-forward. Four Saturdays, four-hour sessions 10am – 2pm. , starting on April 12, 2014. Bring your ideas, snacks, notebook, etc. Don’t leave your brain at home you’re going to need it!

What’s the cost?

Regular price for the program is $500 USD per participant. My opinion so far: it’s worth every penny!

A little background history on how I got to Puerto Rico Ventures

Antonioserviceful-logo Tangarife founded Puerto Rico Ventures in 2013 after his (very successful) participation in Dreamit Ventures‘ Startup Accelerator in New York City that year. His startup Serviceful was one of the top sixteen startups chosen from amongst many worthy contenders participating in the accelerator. This achievement lead him to realize the unexploited potential of similar initiatives here in Puerto Rico. With enough startups constantly created, critical mass will be achieved, venture capital will flow, wealth will be created.

He invited mprventures-logoe several times to participate in the past, but after attending a free “eye-opener presentation” and workshop, the stars finally aligned inside my head, and I decided to go for it.

Having tried my hand at launching a startup the old-fashioned way… I’m no stranger to failure. At least I’ve learned enough to know you only really fail when you stop trying. So it made sense to lick my wounds, and take a fresh new look at how to build a startup in the twenty-first century, with twenty-first century methods (for a change!). Makes sense, right? Right. Glad we agree!

The Mentor Team

Antonio Tangarife – the driving force behind Puerto Rico Ventures; he’s a time proven senior developer, and parallel entrepreneur, with so many projects and accolades under his belt, that having access to his first-hand knowledge and experience will prove of great value. Plus, he’s a great guy!

Christian Colón Goss – impressive academic credentials, and experience in business administration and law. Trust me, you want this guy on your side! (When he shaves his head he looks like Aang, The Last Airbender)

Miguel Hernández – self-taught direct sales and marketing expert with a proven track record. Strong willed, and driven individual. Aspiring entrepreneurs that follow his lead (and example), will develop the mental toughness and prospecting skills required to succeed in business (and at anything in life, if you ask me). Word of advice: don’t give him any excuses, he’ll crush them with his abs.

They all have a great attitude, and friendly disposition. They also seem genuinely vested in your success. If you succeed, they succeed. That’s as transparent and simple as it gets!

What we did on the first session

Ok. Here’s a fast and furious overview of what happened:

  • Quick welcome introduction by Antonio. Went over the facts of startup businesses today. Some statistics. Some terminology definitions so we’re all on the same page. Check!
  • Christian and Antonio give an overview of how things were done in the ol’ days. Overview of how things ought to be done now. The paradigm shift. All makes so much sense, you feel kind of dumb. Good God! How come I didn’t I invent the paper clip? Don’t torture yourself with the past. What is this strange feeling? Is this hope?
  • Learned about risk, but most importantly how to work around it, use it to your advantage.
  • Observations, Ideas, Experiment, (Rinse and repeat), Make Sales, Make Product, Grow! Wait, what? Are those out of order? No, that is the correct order. Mind = blown!
  • Forget your solution for a moment. Identify the problem you want to focus on. Your first experiment will be based on this. Learn the key questions to ask. Warning: do no contaminate your experiment. Be a true scientist.
  • Crash course on mental toughness, prospecting, and talking to strangers with Miguel. You now have homework. Go experiment. Bring your results to be discussed and shared with your fellow classmates on the next session!

My Summary

We are now on our way to master the art of failing, failing fast, failing plenty, without loosing anything, and with a purpose. I was not bored, and by the time I ate all my snacks, it was time to go home.

I will keep you updated with future posts about this excellent adventure! Thanks for reading!

dreamit-logoABOUT DREAMIT VENTURES

DreamIt Ventures helps exceptional people build exceptional companies. DreamIt operates accelerators in New York, Philadelphia, Austin, Baltimore and Tel Aviv. Since its founding in 2008, DreamIt has launched 127 companies including: Adaptly, LevelUp, Parsely, SeatGeek, MindSnacks, SnipSnap, Reactor, Peeractive, TrendKite and Biomeme. More information about DreamIt Ventures is available at www.dreamitventures.com, or via email at info@dreamitventures.com.

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