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Part of having an entrepreneurial spirit means actually doing things that are entrepreneurial. While most of the time my career in advertising has been about helping other people drive their businesses, there’s a lot you can learn from sliding over into the drivers seat. Over the last 8 months or so I’ve had some great experiences trying to do just that.

StoryLyft is one such adventure. Partnering with social media guru Joe Federer we’ve set out to build the Getty of Content. Both working in the digital/social space we’re constantly challenged with generating new and exciting content for brands. StoryLyft connects real people who do incredible things with brands to exchange photos, videos and writing.

Our first goal for the venture was to throw our hat in the ring for the countries premiere start-up incubator program Techstars. Applying for a program like this is great for any start-up because it helps give you a goal and deliverables to accomplish.

 MVP | Minimum Viable Product

One of the first things we did after sorting out the idea was to start putting together a minimum viable product. Coming from tech, creative and stategy backgrounds we’re fortunate enough to have the skills to hack something together that helps inform, guide and prove out our idea. Built on wordpress we created an initial site that allowed creators and brands to hear about our offering, create profiles and browse potential content creators.

Business Plan

We also took on the challenge of writing a business plan. Step one was getting a book on how to write a business plan. After some effort, competitive research, number crunching and projections we were able to see a clear vision for where StoryLyft might go.

The Application

A video submission is at the core of your Techstars application. With some design and motion graphics magic we put together a short video the more clearly displayed our vision for the site and represented the next step beyond our MVP.

Sometime you succeed, sometimes you fail just haven’t succeeded quite yet.

Long story short we weren’t among the 10 companies that made the program last session. Speaking with various founders who had been through Techstars, none had actually gotten in the first year they applied. It gives you time to continue shaping, rethinking and even tearing down to start from the ground up if need be.

StoryLyft is a great idea and may still see the light of day, but until then send any Venture Capitalist you see my way.

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