Whether they're actually involved with one or not, people love talking about startups. And amongst all the chatter, several stereotypes have emerged. Here to set the record straight are a few of Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky's startup connoisseurs.
Special thanks to Eric Weissmann of Cintrifuse for the pitch.
MYTH: Startups are full of young people in hoodies.
"Startup life isn't for everyone. I came from the corporate world where I was used to dressing up more times than not. Now I find myself participating in no-shave November and wearing hoodies, athletic attire. I have even been caught wearing socks and sandals..." – Alex Burkhart, Tixers
"Entrepreneurship spans all ages. Out of the 60-plus companies inside HCDC's business incubator at the Business Center, the average age of entrepreneurs is 42 years old." – Bridget Doherty, Hamilton County Development Co. Business Center
MYTH: Venture capitalists (VCs) sit on bags of money and live a glamorous life.
"(VCs) are hard workers hard workers, very smart, travel a ton and don’t make very many investments in a year. They’re patient and deliberate with their funds (see Dov Rosenburg at Allos Ventures
)." – Eric Wiessmann, Cintrifuse
"VC's are very much like entrepreneurs. They are out raising money themselves. They are constantly fundraising and tied to performance. They definitely don't just sit back and kick it, that's for sure." – Alex Burkhart, Tixers
MYTH: Every startup has to be a tech startup, and every employee is tech-savvy.
"We work with over 100 entrepreneurs each year, and of those 10 percent fall into the tech category." (See PetWants
, Creative Invites and Events
, Project Blue Collar
, Functional Formularies
.) – Corey Drushal, Bad Girl Ventures
MYTH: Startups have to go to West Coast or East Coast to find investors.
"(Some entrepreneurs) don't consider the advantages of things like an increased runway because of cost-of-living if you build a company in the Midwest." – Patrick Henshaw, Strap
MYTH: There are no women in startups, no women in tech and no system in place to support them.
"The Greater Cincinnati/NKY startup eco-system has a friendly and inviting environment for female founders. The latest Uptech
class has five female founders, including myself and Amanda Kranias of Seesaw, a family social network. ... We also have a fantastic female founder, Brooke Griffin, at the CincyTech
-funded company." – Candice Peters, Seesaw
MYTH: If you start your own business, you will have fewer people telling you what to do.
"Some people want to start their own businesses to get away from long hours ... or the horrible bosses of the world. However, starting your own business requires a substantial time commitment and possibly more people telling you what to do." – Bridget Doherty, HCDC Business Center
MYTH: In the startup world, no one gets paid until you have a big exit.
"Many startups have attractive pay and competitive benefits (see InfoTrust
)." – Eric Weissmann, Cintrifuse
MYTH: Startup owners just eat Ramen noodles and drink beer from their office fridge all day.
Ramen — if you add hotdogs, it makes it that much classier and better tasting." – Patrick Henshaw, Strap
"There is never a problem finding beer. No keg per say, but always a case of Miller Lite or craft beers in the fridge." – Alex Burkhart, Tixers