I spend a lot of my time working with startups and entrepreneurs, and it is one of the most rewarding and exciting parts of my day that I get to do at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce. Seeing some of the fantastic ideas in development, and some even becoming realities, is thrilling.
Our culture believes creating something from nothing can be done overnight and that entrepreneurs and innovators catch “lightning in a bottle”. In actuality, that couldn’t be any further from the truth.
The average entrepreneur and innovator we work with will take almost five years to get his/her idea to a profitable stage, if it makes it that far. So, here are a few things I have noticed about our local entrepreneurs and innovators:
- They have lots of ideas – The innovators we work with have lots of ideas, and one approach leads to two or more ideas in the same category. Our biggest challenge is getting them to focus on the one idea that has the best chance to be successful first.
- They are patient – Almost all the successful launches we have worked with have another stream of income supporting themselves. This income allows them to reinvest any profit they make off their idea back into the product, development, and marketing. Their primary income gives them time and space to make their idea work.
- They eliminate or control the risks – Many people believe entrepreneurs and innovators are huge risk takers, which is the furthest thing from reality. The people we work with are working hard to eliminate the risks or reduce the risks and their impact.
- They are flexible – The innovators in the RGV are not locked in on just one particular way in which their idea can work. These smart innovators want to see what their potential customers want and think. Our successful local entrepreneurs are willing to make pivots, and if something is not working, they make the necessary adjustments.
- They fear regrets – Our local entrepreneurs fear not trying and pursuing an idea. They understand that if they see an opportunity, somebody else is likely seeing the same opportunity. Our local innovators don’t want to wake up one morning to see someone else has filed a patent for the same concept. They want to work their idea until the end.
- They are not flashy – Our local entrepreneurs are not going to stand up in front of a crowd in a black turtleneck and jeans and wow a crowd. They are low-key and, many times, are not the most elegant speakers; however, they are passionate about their ideas and can talk non-stop about how their ideas are going to make your life so much easier.
The McAllen Chamber of Commerce has funded and worked with local innovators and entrepreneurs on their ideas for the last 13 years, and the quality and the sophistication of ideas are getting better every year.
If you have an idea and want to explore its possibilities, join us at the McAllen Chamber’s I&E event every fourth Thursday of the month at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. It is a great way to connect with other innovators and entrepreneurs.