My Wasabi Ventures Startup 101 final assignment

Unit 4: Final Assignment

Hello world! This is my final assignment for my Wasabi Ventures startup 101 course. I’ll be touching on the startup world from my view in Baltimore and from experiences around the US.

My local startup ecosystem…

The local startup ecosystem here is rather boring! My city is it an upheaval on the verge of collapsing (depending on who you’re asking). Damn near every startup is tech. Tech, tech, tech…you know because what other types of businesses exist right? My local startup ecosystem is also ruled by people that aren’t even local. The future of Baltimore is now in the hands of transplants, looking for the “next” boom and believe it can be found in Baltimore and in tech. I have no real interest it tech, I am more of a creative. One industry I see trying to come to the forefront is manufacturing and textile production. This is exciting to me because of the industry I am in, custom apparel and accessories. I think if we can focus more on textile production and soft goods manufacturing, Baltimore could actually become an industry hub for something worthwhile. This could provide 100’s of needed jobs a give Baltimore a real economic backbone in America.

My thoughts on startups…

Theirs is this fixation on tech startups as if no other types of businesses are important or even exist. It can be somewhat discouraging because I know most people are not in the business they are in because they have an undying passion for it or really want to change the world around them. They are in it for the money. And that’s not so bad because the purpose of a business is to make money but the slogan for my startup apparel company is “chase the dream not the dollar”. Not pipe dreams but real dreams, dreams that you would pursue even if there was no pay day attached to it. We know this to be true because most of the most innovative and game changing products are created by people and teams that will not rest until they don’t have to dream anymore. But most of us aren’t chasing a dream; we’re running a rat race to the next multi-million dollar company instead of the companies that can change millions of lives. There is a completely untapped and overlook type of innovator that is in every city including Baltimore. The mastermind. The purple cows. The maven. We are being overlooked in the startup world unless we have a tech company or have already made a certain amount of revenue. The startup world is being oversaturated with copy cats. My favorite MC Nas said “there’s nothing new under the sun, it’s not what you do it’s how it’s done. Very true but I don’t even think most startup are trying to bring anything new to the table. It’s a table full of stolen ideas with a different name and packaging. It should also be noted that an overwhelming number of startups are being founded by flunkies that just don’t want to work a 9-5 lol as if a startup doesn’t require more work and discipline than any 9-5! Everything will eventually balance itself out. The startup world is not for the weak willed. Instead of starting up, I’d like to see the trailblazers out there start again.

Why I’ll be a founder one day?

What you talking bout Willis? I am a founder two times over. A broke founder but a founder none the less. I am a founder because I have no choice but to be a founder. The country, this city was not built for me to succeed. The American dream will never be my dream. We’re talking about a country that still treats me like I’m 3/5th’s of a person…less than human. I have to found my own dreams and a platform for them to grow. I have no degree, no money to pay for school, no connections, my family is poor, and I’m a black gay women…jeeze! For everything that I don’t have, the creator has given me very special gifts that can’t be learned in school. No amount of money will endow you with the thought process that I have or the level of intelligence my mind moves at. I am young, gifted, and black! My duality used to leave me in a deep depression. I went to school for engineering and the left side of my brain is so technical and logical but by nature I am an artist. My creative projects have drawn attention from audiences across the US and other countries. I can activate and use both sides of my brain in a way most cannot. Even with all the heartache my startups has given me, I still wake up every day ready to give it my all. I am not scared of the fall. I am a founder by purpose. I have no other reason on this earth but to create, build, and impact.

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