By Mathilde Gratiot, Startup Program Officer
The Fighters Program works with entrepreneurs who come from underprivileged backgrounds, who may have been refugees or have had difficult personal stories. This one-year program passes by very fast, so we wanted to recap some of the best moves that can help for this fight.
1/ Focus on your moves
This may seem like an obvious piece of advice. But, as a Fighter abd when you have to deal with an extraordinary personal life – when you’ve just come out of prison, or were a former homeless person, for instance – it can be harder to focus only on your project. Your main paint point? Getting money. You may think you need to raise money right when you start… but no!
As an early stage startup with little people in your team and no product, your first move should just be to launch your first MVP ! (Give your first kick in the game).
Michael Jordan and his infamous jump
Try to start your first product by yourself: you want to launch an app? Learn how to code! You want to create a prototype? Learn how to do it…. just like our ex-Fighter Kevin Besson from LeadBees: he learned by himself how to develop his first prototype (a sensor for beekeeper, even though he was not an engineer) as it was too expensive to build it with an external company (Kevin is now within the OMN program on campus).
2/ Don’t be scared to take a punch
When you start your company, you will have to implement ideas quickly at first (to know what works and what doesn’t). This implies taking tough decisions and could lead to some hard punches.
Don’t blame yourself any decisions taken: keep fighting even though you have been knocked out during one round, you will learn something from it at the end anyway and your next move will be better! You might even make the right move right away. Don’t think too much at first to launch the perfect product on market. Waiting too much for perfection will prevent you from doing anything. Be ready to start small, with only some main features for your first MVP and adjust later on.
Ronda Ronsey – one of the top female MMA fighters – out of her game with Amanda Nunes that made her KO in 48s
3/ Learn how to deal with feedback
In order to excel at your game you will need coaching. The large community of entrepreneurs you’ll be surrounded with at STATION F will be your best asset and will help you to avoid wasting time. Don’t hesitate to get as much feedback as you can and learn how to deal with negative feedback. Feedback doesn’t mean constantly changing your strategy. Getting feedback from a community of over 1000 startups will help you to sort out quickly recurring feedbacks – the ones you can take into account – from one-off (occasional) feedback – which you can pass.
In any case: feedback should always keep you moving forward.
Laure Manaudou and her coach – she finally decides to quit to move on!
4/ Use data to drive your performances
Athletes look at data to boost their performances. Same thing for your entrepreneurial projects: you’ll need to be data driven in order to improve your growth and know which direction to take. Ask yourself the right questions: why do you need to track this? What is more important to track at first? And be rigorous about it. This methodology will help you later on.
Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill in movie Moneyball – the true story of Billy Beane head of Oakland Athletics (baseball) who redefine the all Oakland baseball team based on players analytics against every odds and turned out to build the best team for Oakland.
You think you have the spirit? Apply to our Fighters Program to join our upcoming batch in January 2020.