Interview and article written by our Sponsorship Lead John Gray @grayperspective
We recently caught up with Rob Atwell one of the co-founders of MyBestHelper. It was great talking about their Startup Weekend experience, and what’s been happening since topping 13 other teams, and winning the November event.
With the genesis of the idea (an eHarmony-like approach for sourcing the right caregiver) co-founder Alexandra Greenhill & Rob came into the weekend with a game plan… they were ready to pitch, ready to build a technical team, and ready to execute with a sound understanding of Lean Start-up methodology. As much as SUWE is a collective and collaborative learning experience, it is a competition, and the MyBestHelper co-founders came prepared to maximize their experience.
They’ve been executing the game plan since Alexandra delivered one of the best pitches of the Friday night, and acheived a key goal: The team secured their technical co-founder: Francois Deschenes.
With 54 hours of putting theory into reality behind them, the celebration was fleeting, and there wasn’t any time to rest. The team kept rolling right into the Global Startup Weekend competition (finishing 10th). Chew on these numbers, a 10th place finish is an exceptional accomplishment.
68: Startup Weekends that took place during GEW (Global Entrepreneur Week)
50: winning SW teams who participated in GSB (Global Startup Battle)
29: countries represented in GSB
The team was also a little taken by surprise at the exposure they received. They’re really pleased how many people outside of Vancouver are familiar with them. Rob mentioned a trip to Seattle for the meeting of a local Angel group, “we weren’t an unknown team”. Accolades are nice, some swag and in kind prizes courtesy of our sponsors is great, and extra exposure is a huge bonus too, but sustaining a startup needs more than this for fuel.
Distractions aside, the team launched the beta version of MyBestHelper.com on February 14th.
Continuing to focus on the task at hand, Alexandra, Rob, and Francois grabbed the opportunity to get the most value out of additional entrepreneurial resources. Startup Weekend helped them prepare, gain acceptance, valuable advice, mentorship, and even more exposure courtesy of the BCIC Mentor program; BCTIA Centre for Growth; and AceTech Market Valuation program
Looking to the future, they are making plans for MyBestHelper.com next significant release by the end of June (stay tuned).
The significant development for the team was recently announced at Canadian Venture Capital Association Conference in Montreal and at the FounderFuel Demo Day on May 23rd. MyBestHelper is one of three startups accepted to the The Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX). The Consulate-operated Canadian Technology Accelerator give the team the opportunity to work at RocketSpace. Free rent is great, but working closely with the Canadian Trade Commissioners, and gaining access to the C100, Angels, VC’s, and other companies they want to meet is “priceless”. Alexandra, Rob, and Francois will be packing their bags, and will be Silicon Valley bound for September 1st. We wish them well!
Finally, here’s some friendly advice to keep in mind for your Startup weekend experience this August 17-19…
Have a plan; practice & be ready to pitch; it’s is a “competition”; Alexandra communicated the need to solve a “personal pain” – it was more than just an idea!
Have No Fear; bring your idea, pitch it, share it, take the critique, absorb the feedback, and turn your words into actions!
John is helping organize his 2nd SUWE. He’s been part of the start-up community for the past 3 years, and did right by his team helping lead them (Mentionmapp) to an exit in Oct 2011. John’s focusing on new sales & business consulting opportunities. He’s really looking forward to spending the summer also helping with the Random Hacks of Kindness event, and Launch Academy.