September 24, 2007
One of the other founders and myself made a trip over to the Houston Technology Center for the first part of their Educational Seminar Series “Raising Capital in Texas Today”. The first part of the series was a panel disucssion comprised of local companies that had recently completed successful fundings. Their was a lot of great Q&A generated out of the session and the meeting was definitely a worthwhile event for us to attend as we’ve started actively seeking capital. We’ll be back on October 25th to attend the next part in the series, “Current Active Capital Sources in Texas”.
While these events are always informative, the networking opportunities are always a key reason that we feel the need to attend. We met many entrepreneurs at the event and its always invigorating to see other people with the start-up spirit and to reconfirm that there are a ton of other people like us, moving and shaking, to get our start-ups off of the ground. We were able to meet a fellow entrepreneur that served on the discussion panel, Stephen Straus.
Stephen, was unique to the discussion because he used to work as a venture capitalist for Austin Ventures, and now is on the other side of the table having just raised money for his new start-up BarFly Interactive Networks. Stephen has found some provisions in liquor advertising laws that are allowing his company to bring a completely new type of advertising to the bar industry. They’ve made a ton of traction with some of the major producers/distributors in the alcohol world and seem like they are ready to explode.
I took the opportunity to approach Stephen, as he is Austin-based as well, and he went out of his way to talk to me at the conference and then graciously offered to lend an ear to one of the other founders and I this morning over breakfast in Austin. Stephen had a lot of advice for us that we’ll take to heart and hopefully we can build some type of mutually beneficial relationship with him going forward.
We’ve started to realize just how small the start-up community is in Texas and how building relationships with key contacts will be critical to our success. Additionally, we’re really learning how to multi-task. While we’re attending these events, we still need to keep the business going and sell cars. Friday was a great day for us as we were able to close on two separate vehicles on that day. We actually sold a vehicle while we were at the conference and then another truck later that afternoon. Our sales are really starting to pick up, as has the general traffic and interested leads to the site. It should be interesting to see how this week plays out.
Also, we added a new email alert product, you can view the news release for it here Email Alerts.