Back to the Basics - Looking Back on Week One

by Heather Faherty, Product & Design Track

Startup Institute started out with two branches in Boston and New York, and recently expanded to Chicago. I am in the Startup Institute NYC branch and we are now 6 weeks into the program. It’s been a long journey since June 10th but I want to go back to week 1 of 8 as I had written this blog for week 1.

Regarding Startup Institute NYC - the first week is winding down to an end (or winding up to a beginning in another sense). It was amazing! Fantastic. Incredible. Transforming. And this is only week 1 of 8. 

On day 1, applicants who were accepted into the program shared their stories with one another. I was humbled to hear each person’s background; each of us is unique in our past work experiences, beliefs, and future aspirations. Due to those experiences, each of us has strong skills to add to any startup, and an even stronger personality to bring to the table. It will be interesting to see how each of our strengths becomes more shaped in the coming weeks.

Furthermore, Startup Institute NYC is located at 1 Liberty Plaza in Manhattan, which is another great factor to mention about the program. Besides the amazing opportunity to work with people who all have the same goal of jumping into the NYC tech startup world, Startup Institute does not hold back in ensuring we all have a large, quiet space in which to hash out ideas or to just in general call our home.

This past week, we have had the following lecturers share their knowledge of the startup tech world at our location in 1 Liberty Plaza in Manhattan: Alex Tryon (Artsicle Co-Founder), David Tisch (VC), Ellen Chisa (Product Manager at Kickstarters), Caitlin Strandberg (VC), Adaora Udoji, Nicole Thomsen (recruiting manager at U2), Katie Rae (Managing Director at TechStars), and Sam Hysell and Rafael Balbi (Lean Startup Machine). All of these well-known individuals have been incredibly honest and inspiring. We have learned a lot about how companies work from the ground up, and how each of us works as individuals (in personality discussions/analysis, etc.). This has been valuable in seeing the bigger picture of who we would need as co-founders or how we would work on a web development, product and design, technical marketing, or business/sales team.

Finally, today on Friday, we are finishing our first hackathon. This entails working together in separate teams to chop and put together one idea in a way that is presentable to a panel of judges that will visit Startup Institute.

Overall as you can tell, there is a lot to talk about. The program has already been very effective; a lot has been crammed in, and I look forward to seeing how the next few weeks continue to push us each to our limitations.