NB: This is a guest article by Tak Lo from The Travelst.
Bright eyed and bushy tailed, we recently attended a TechStars¬†event in Washington DC, heading over from our base in the UK.
This particular TechStars gathering was what is known as the Patriot Boot Camp, a place to hang out with other startups and learn more about business, funding, strategy etc.
Given that we’re a travel startup from Europe, entering the often intense world of the US tech scene, we collected a number of ideas and perspectives (some serious, some less so) from what we learned.
1. Embrace being different
Sure, people asked whether it’s London, Texas (still USA), London in Ontario (a little bit better – Canada), or if it’s REALLY London in the UK?
But at the end of the day, flying over 3,600 miles cannot fail to impress a few.
2. A British accent wouldn’t have hurt
Wish I had one. David Cohen said to be memorable, and methinks having an accent would have definitely helped
3. Do what you do best
It’s pretty evident when you go to these events the competitive advantage of each entrepreneur ecosystem.
Silicon Valley has innovation and engineering in spades, NYC its marketplace models, design, and UX, and TechStars communities its mentorship-led camaderie.
Coming from London – we had to emphasize our design, beautiful UX, and international sophistication. That was what we do best, and we think that’s sticky.
4. Do more faster
The title of David Cohen and Brad Feld’s book, this mantra should be a key takeaway for all startups, but especially for London-based ones.
There were plenty of startups at Patriot Boot Camp that had no technical founders, but that didn’t stop entrepreneurs from finding resources to develop code.
Hustle is the key to start-up life, whether it’s hustling for contacts, networking, coding, or fundraising. Adopt the American brethren’s propensity to hustle, for that is the key to startup success.
5. Embrace military veterans
No question about it – from General Casey to Medal of Honor awardee Paul Bucha, the things I learned throughout the three days point to the fact that veterans know how to risk, manage it, and overcome it.
If only veterans were given more opportunities like these rise and shine – note British veterans!
6. Lastly – some things are better European
We heard plenty of American football allusions, consumed bad beer and coffee like there’s no tomorrow, and even met a Chelsea fan.
If only football (the real type) was more discussed, London Pride and French wine were available, and a good cuppa to ease in the afternoon.
We missed London.
NB:¬†This is a guest article by Tak Lo from¬†The Travelst.