Start up academy

Skills I have (40/50)

My top-three skill sets have been honed within highly competitive team environments

Inspirational leadership skills where my dominant style is collaborative, not authoritative
Ruthless time management skills
Setting and achieving SMART goals (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, time-based)

Skills I want (62/100)

Front-end (UI) code development and stronger Powerpoint skills for faster prototyping to give stakeholders/potential investors something visual to react to…faster
To acquire an arsenal of guerilla techniques to become a much better shameless marketer (e.g., 1-800-GOT-JUNK)
To develop a stronger “engineering mindset” that enables me to see even more questions to ask to “further scratch the itch of curiosity”


What’s your favorite startup? And why? (146/150)

A 50 year-old company in start-up mode is my favorite. They cannibalizing their core business and starting over. Why? Bigger, better-capitalized competitors circling in for the kill, declining revenues due to legacy sales force and commodity products in a shrinking market. Change or die.


They’ve tapped into the resources of Zingerman’s and rewriten their vision, mission and recruited a brand new team with a start-up mentality that is focused on growth, hustle and hard work. Open-book management has been implemented. Internet technologies made possible new services allowing them to change the game they play (Blue Ocean Strategy). So why is it my favorite start-up? They have tapped into the wisdom and economic benefits of sustainability. Pursuing sustainability and the triple bottom-line has enabled them to pivot their business model and position this 50 year-old start-up to not just survive, but thrive, for the next half-century.



What’s currently stopping you from starting up? How are you going to fix that through the Startup Academy? (204/200)


Resource constraints: time and knowledge. First, as a student-athlete at Michigan, SAAC rep and Student Ambassador, there are precious few hours left each week to head out on my first entrepreneurial journey without a map. Second, I’m not stupid but I am ignorant; I don’t know what I don’t know about the start-up process. As I analyze my situation, I have two choices if I remain on my own: 1) I can spend my time on the start-up idea OR 2) I can spend my time learning the methodology to start-up; but I cannot do both.


Through the Start-Up Academy I can gain access to three specific resources: one, I’ll have the privilege of being ensconced in an inspirational team environment that will move me from the weary theories of the classroom to actually getting things accomplished; two, teaming with like-minded and driven future entrepreneurs will enhance and accelerate my own efforts; and lastly,  I’ve been told my whole life by teachers and coaches having someone like me on the team or in the classroom makes those around me better. Contributing to another’s success is something that fills me with joy and I’ve learned the more I give the more I get back.

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