Earlier this month, Bryan Shannon shared his “Startup Journey” with our class. Bryan stressed the importance of finding the right people to help you grow your business and that utilizing the amazing resources in his city that helped him there. Click on this link to watch the video with Q&A or you can read his story below.
I am pretty sure I set some sort of record for the most traffic violations ever accumulated by one individual. The desire to resolve these issues in a quick efficient manner helped me birth the idea for my company. TicketRX was merely an idea until approximately 18 months ago when I made a decision to move the company forward. I came up with the concept a little over 10 years ago while I was still in college. After I graduated and went into the corporate world, got married, had kids and put my business on the back-burner. While climbing the corporate ladder, I continued to have the entrepreneurial spirit. While sitting in my office at work, I started looking at my business plan that I wrote for TicketRX several years ago. I remember thinking about all of the research and work I implemented on vetting the idea at that time and how much better it would be now. At that moment sitting in my office, I made the commitment to myself that I would launch the venture and take it as far as I could possibly take the company. My driving force at that moment was not wanting to look back at myself later in life and wonder “what would have happen if…” After I made the decision to “dust my business plan off” and move forward with my company, things began to fall into place. I was introduced to the E-Scholars program, paired with mentors that helped me move from the “idea phase” to an actual “proof of concept,” and the rest was history.
The first time I ever pitched my business for money was through the Venture Creation Challenge put on by E-Scholars and the Reginer Institute. At that time I still didn’t believe we were good enough to win anything. There were companies already generating revenue that seemed light years ahead of us participating in the competition and I merely had an idea at that point. My wife actually talked me into entering by telling me “You don’t have anything to lose; she was right. We were a semi-finalist in that competition. The feedback I received helped me propel into the next phase of my company. I was told to go out and build a team. That first pitch session which I was reluctant to do, set the foundation for other opportunities to infuse capital into TicketRX. Receiving the grant from Digital Sandbox helped validate our company.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned on my short journey is that “no one does it alone.” It is virtually impossible to build a company on your own (in my opinion). Having the right people in place will not only save you money, but will save you time which is vital in business. Double down on the things you are really good at and “punt” the things you are not to individuals who have that strength. Have a mental picture of the next addition to your company, then got to work finding them. Continue to evaluate your circle of mentors/advisors as well as the individuals you are in business with.
Learn more about TicketRX here.