1. Please tell us a bit about yourself and your experience working with startups:
My name is Levi Rosol, and I have worked with startups for the last decade or more. I co-founded 3 different startups of varying successes, and have worked with dozens of others over the years.
2. What are the three (3) things you look for in a “winning” InnoVenture Challenge application?
One of the more important traits I look for in an application is, founders who have taken their “lumps”. My experience has found that founders who have experienced the harsh reality of startup life, tend to make more realistic founders in the future.
An additional aspect I look for in a winning application is attention to detail outside of the core idea. Are you thinking about marketing? Are you thinking about sales? What does the company look like a year from now? 3 years? 5 years? And finally, I look for applications that are in it for the long haul. What I mean by that is; I want to see the InnoVenture funds to go to a group who are clearly aiming for the long term, not just this fund. For me, the InnoVenture funds are intended to help companies get off the ground, fully knowing that additional funding will be likely.
3. What advice would you give to early-stage founders in Iowa?
Network, network, network! The people around you will be your support system, so the larger that group of people are, the better your chances of success are.
Ready to submit your application to this year’s InnoVenture Challenge for a chance to win $100,000 cash for your startup?
Applications remain open until 12p CST on September 25th.