This November, the Entrepreneurship Centers at Drake University will be holding our third Startup Boot Camp for Women
. We started the Boot Camp in response to numerous requests for guidance and mentoring from women in the Drake community. We need more women starting more businesses, and we need more women starting more businesses that can grow big. So far, so good. Campers have started businesses and, more importantly, developed meaningful network connections with other participants and the many experts and entrepreneurs who have shared how-to tips and guidance.
We know it is hard to get started. The Boot Camp offers a secure place to share ideas and kick them off. Participants, entrepreneurs and experts collaborate in a congenial setting to launch new ventures. Our goal is to demystify and de-scarify the startup process. We help women assess their ideas and turn them into sustainable business models, and we commit to continue to help them.
And we know it works. Andrea Hansen launched VenueFox this summer; she first pitched the concept at our inaugural Boot Camp. Ini Augustine continues to grow her SocialWise Media, a new venture she brought to our Boot Camp, and Adrienne Baughman has been providing her unique export/import consulting services through her new venture FORBS, LLC. They all started at Boot Camp and continue to support one another and to check in with Tom Swartwood, founder of the Boot Camp, and others at Drake.
Undertaking a startup can be daunting but it can be done. Augustine says “The hardest part of starting a business is building the confidence to believe you can. The second most difficult thing is to finally do it. The Startup Boot Camp helped me with both of these challenges. Being a woman in business can be a lonely process, but through the Startup Boot Camp, I made friends and was inspired to be serious about starting a company."
Baughman found that the Boot Camp helped her focus on the practical aspects of starting a business. “My Drake Boot Camp experience literally gave me a path--a practical way--to actualize my sound business idea. Meeting other successful women business owners motivated me greatly. It was a safe space to go beyond dreaming by mapping out the Do-ing. The Boot Camp also gave me some lasting friendships which I cherish."
The cost of the Boot Camp is $125 with discounts for Drake Alumni and staff. The Boot Camp is scheduled over two consecutive weekends:
• Friday, November 8, 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
• Saturday, November 9, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
• Friday, November 15, 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., and
• Saturday, November 16, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Content contributed by Professor Tom Swartwood from Drake University, Assistant Professor of Practice – Entrepreneurship, and Assistant Director of the Buchanan Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership