Technology

Techstars + Target: Week 2

The Madness Continues.

Mentor Madness that is. Seriously though, it's madness. Meeting up to 11 people a day in 20 minute bursts is really exhausting. Food breaks? Nope! Pee breaks? Nope! I'm not really sure if the lack of breaks is on purpose, but it doesn't matter because IT'S MENTOR F***ING MADNESS!!

Using your brain makes your body tired.

It's true. Everybody is toast after these things. The trick seems to be to make sure you have a good breakfast and decent lunch. Since our first meeting starts at 12:37pm, we have enough time for an early lunch.

The funny thing is that even the mentors are beat afterwards. At least, most of them are. But, the hardest part of this whole thing isn't the meetings. It's getting prepped for them.

How to prep for eleven 20-minute mentor meetings.

We usually go through everyone the night before and note their background, things that might be relevant, and questions we may have. Sometimes it's really tough to find things in common with everyone, especially for us.

We're the odd kids out.

Because we decided we wanted to scale the brick-and-mortar business, as opposed to the technology platform, it doesn't always make sense for us to meet with everyone. Our scaling demands are way different than that of a software company and, unfortunately, much more difficult. We have to be extremely strategic about how we grow. Opening a new location has a significant cost associated with it ($150k +).

Only 2 minutes between meetings.

Prepping before all the meetings is crucial because 2 minutes is just enough to read the name of the next mentor and their bullets. Sometimes, it's barely enough time to do that! We've walked in, started the conversation, then looked at our notes during the meeting. Obviously not how we want to do it, but the pace is incredible.

Getting the meeting right.

Having so little time with each mentor means you have to nail your message, ask your questions, get input, and build a relationship. We're struggling. Being surrounded by hardware+software companies means we have to pay special attention to the fact we are an actual retail store. Some mentors miss that fact entirely.

Practice makes perfect.

Or, at least, it makes you better. The more we do it, the smoother it goes. But, we are still getting questions like,

Are you a technology company or a retailer?

*Sigh* Message fail. Luckily, the Techstars crew is super helpful. They want us to win as much as we do. This Friday is our day off from the madness and we're going to hit a practice session with Entrepreneur in Residence, Brett.

What's next?

2 more weeks of madness, a quick flight back to Denver for Refresh Denver, a TEDxAdventure, then back to Minneapolis for more Techstars fun times!

Read Week 3 Here.

1 comment

By Ted, on

Keep your heads up and keep grinding.

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