An ideal business partner for myself would be someone with exceptional quantitative and data analytic abilities. My skillset lies more heavily in verbal communications skills like leading a pitch meeting, marketing, or coming up with a new idea for a product. A quantitative counterpart would be able to bring these ideas to fruition with superior skills developing algorithms and creating numerical deliverables that better elaborate on the usefulness and feasibility of our product. I’d be most likely to find such a counterpart in a STEM-field, particularly someone who’s in a class like advanced computer science yet still has an interest in engineering and entrepreneurship. There are many STEM-oriented students in student entrepreneurship organizations who I would ideally reach out to as well. Furthermore, at the highest level in leadership, because quantitative workers are so essential, I would likely give my partner or main partners the same amount of equity that I have in the project. This would foster a democratic organization where no one feels beholden or controlled by my interests, and also offers a crucial economic incentive to these individuals. After listening to subsequent episodes of the podcast, I still hold my previous opinions on having a business partner. I most likely wouldn’t be pitching a business alone in the first place and finding a person as my complement in the business would essentially be like finding my equal. I believe that equity in entrepreneurial space is crucial to preventing toxic power dynamics that can hamper a business. That being said, I would probably pay people proportionally to their long-term performance and investment in the business as well, while also taking into consideration when I hired them.
If you’re like most young entrepreneurs, you likely have a great deal of doubt about your ability to succeed. Entrepreneurs tend to overestimate just how reluctant venture capitalists and investors are to dish out their money to a young kid or group of kids with very little experience. However, after listening to an illuminating discussion between entrepreneur Alex Blumberg and Chris Sacca, I know realize that this assumption is sorely mistaken. Given the right pitch, you’ll have venture capitalists throwing money at you. The key to a great pitch is not just a solid pitch deck, or fundamental understanding of the financial landscape of the industry. As was demonstrated by Blumberg’s sidewalk pitch, they key to a convincing pitch is a truly conversational and intuitive understanding of one’s business and purpose. If you stop leaning on the crutch of statistics and metrics, you can unleash a bevy of charismatic potential sure to attract any investor. Focus on the “unfair advantages” that truly set yourself apart. If you don’t get the pitch, re-evaluate your investor, and whether this is what you really want in a funding advocate.