Since the launch of Innovation Destination Hartford in September 2015, Website Curator Nan Price has met with dozens of successful, innovative entrepreneurs from all over Connecticut. Based on their experiences, many have tips for other entrepreneurs who are trying to get their startups off the ground. Read on for some of their tips:
1. Just do it
Eric Sirois, PhD, CEO of Dura Biotech
"My advice is always to do. People who talk about planning and strategy, and I think there’s a place for all of that. You need to have a business plan and you need to have a strategy, but at some point you just have to get your hands dirty, do some work, build a prototype and get in front of customers."
Dura Biotech is a startup company in Storrs CT that has developed an innovative heart valve replacement.
2. Failure is an option
Adam von Gootkin, Co-Founder of Onyx Spirits Co.
"[Failure] can be a more valuable learning tool than success. There’s nothing like failure to challenge your growth as an entrepreneur. One thing’s for certain: Your plan never goes exactly how you originally intended—and sometimes (often) these unexpected glitches involve varying degrees of failure. The question to ask is: When things fall apart, are you one to stand back right up and make alterations to your plan as needed, or do you give up and settle for less than you deserve?"
Connecticut moonshine distillery Onyx Spirits Co. opened a speakeasy tasting room in East Hartford, CT.
3. Find your passion
Tony Karlowicz, Co-Founder of Back East Brewing Company
"You have to do something you’re passionate about. Sometimes if you get into things just for the money, you lose sight of your mission and don’t enjoy what you’re doing. Make sure you’re passionate about starting your business and make sure you take your time."
Startup craft brewery Back East Brewing Company is located in Bloomfield, CT.
4.Give them what they want
Spencer Curry, CEO FRESH Farm Aquaponics, Inc.
"Ask your (potential) clients what they want and then give it to them! It is that simple. Of course, at the end of the day, the final say is up to you, but don’t be afraid to question, poll, and survey your audience to fine tune and tweak your offerings. Don’t waste time working on a feature if it turns out your customers don’t want it!"
Glastonbury, CT-based startup FRESH Farm Aquaponics, Inc. is working to cultivate a sustainable food future for communities in Greater Hartford.
5. Start now
Michelle Stronz, Founding Partner of Formata and Co-Founder of the ARTTN Gallery
"Don’t wait on your dream. Do the dream. What are you waiting for?"
About the Author
Nan Price is Website Curator for Innovation Destination: Hartford.