Why I started the 6 Month Startup Program

Why I started the 6 Month Startup Program

I started my first company in September 1998. Looking back, the Seattle Startup ecosystem was pretty immature. There weren’t the events or programs that we have today. I remember being part of a CEO group where we’d get together once a month just to support each other. Being a CEO is a isolating role, and in an immature startup ecosystem, it’s just plain lonely.

I started drafting posts on Startups a number of years ago after doing office hours for NW Entrepreneur Network (NWEN), mentoring for Founder Institute in 2009 then running that program in Seattle and helping to run the 1.0 version of Startup Next.

I was finding themes in those meetings and I started writing a blog on various startup topics in 2009 at DKParker.com the blog grew into 150 various posts and themes and that started to frame up the outline of the book.

Then I was derailed (in a great way) helping to scale UP Global and Startup Weekend for 2.5 years before we sold it to Techstars in June 2015. Then another role as CEO as Code Fellows, a Seattle based code training school.

The book had some on and off work over that time. However, meeting and coaching startups in that timeframe continued. I wrote a few small checks as an angel investor. Some are still around, some augered into the ground at landing. At Startup Weekend and Startup Next, the number of companies scaled from the dozens into the 100’s.

Social Ventures and Community

In early 2017 I took some time off to finish the majority of the book. I was asked to judge a business plan competition for youth and underrepresented entrepreneurs in the Central District of Seattle. The program was sponsored by Seattle Pacific University (Social Venture Plan) and Urban Impact, it was called sharks on the beach.

The problem was, I was judging the teams against a rubric they didn’t know. That’s discouraging to participants and selfishly it makes me look like a negative white guy vs. encouraging youth to pursue their dream of their own business.

So I started retooling the book content into six months of deliverables – the book finally had a name – “6 Month Startup – a Roadmap from Ideation to Revenue”.


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