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Entrepreneurial Battle Scars

This article is written by Jeremiah Uke, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.

Bill Kenney has founded 6 companies and currently leads two growing ventures. MEET (My Expo & Event Team) specializes in helping growth companies and economic development agencies effectively exhibit at trade shows. Test My Pitch is an online platform helps students, entrepreneurs and professionals develop their communication skills quickly in a safe and collegial environment. Bill entertains audiences frequently and speaks on a variety of topics, including entrepreneurship, networking, revenue generation, and community building. He also leads several community building efforts in his home state, Connecticut, USA. 

As a guest speaker at Startup Turkey 2019, Bill Kenney’s speech was focused on sharing some of the toughest experiences’ entrepreneurs face through their journey. He started out by citing 5 thoughts which are basically the center of what these entrepreneurs face. These 5 thoughts are:

  1. Winning
  2. Investment
  3. Revenue
  4. Prospects
  5. BMC (Business Model Canvas)

Starting with Winning, this has to do with events and competitions a startup might choose to engage in. In reality, only 1 out of 100 startups will win Startup Turkey. The questions is, is it possible for the majority of the other 99 startups win as well?. The true winners at Startup Turkey are the startups that will go on to make the most development in their businesses.

How do you define winning? As a startup in an event such as this one, several things can make this a good experience for you. Including getting to the next level, building your network, making an impact, getting new ideas and much more. It’s important to build an agenda for yourself when coming to events, something that tells you what exactly to do at the event, and is different from the event’s agenda. Doing this helps you walk out of events feeling that you have won.

Almost 100% of the people Bill interacted with at the event had set their eyes on securing investment. It’s all about “How do I get the money?” and “As soon as we get the money, we are going to be great”. This is the same mentality in every ecosystem which says ‘you need money in order to be a successful business’ and honestly this ideology is just a myth. Entrepreneurship has been sold to be this easy process where you have an idea, get funded, and then buy a yacht.

It might not be that easy and this is the case most times. The truth is that only 1% of companies get to raise Angel or Venture Capital funding. Therefore, if your success as a startup is dependent on getting investment, it is likely going to be a long and difficult road for you. But if your success is based on questions like “how do we create value?” and “how do we test our business to get revenue?” then it is likely going to be an easier road for you.

─ April 3, 2020