Right after I graduated with my degree in Masters in Management at UBC, I decided to embark on the journey of entrepreneurship. I had zero experience in doing a startup, but I really wanted to bring my idea to life. Realizing that there is an undeniable crisis in the nonprofit sector, I came up with the idea of raising money and awareness for nonprofits via crowdfunding while rewarding donors for doing social good. Thus, Weeve was born.
Creating something out of thin air is incredibly difficult. I was banging my head against the wall for several months trying to validate Weeve. My co-founder and I decided to outsource the project to Russians through oDesk. We paid them at $22/hr and spent $9000 of our own money, but they came back to us with a prototype that was extremely buggy and unusable for our clients. It was a critical and costly mistake.
Had we known about Launch Academy, we would not have made these critical mistakes. As first-time entrepreneurs, we believed that if we could build a prototype, investors would pour their money into our unvalidated concept. We were wrong. We were very wrong.
With an incredible amount of hard work and a little luck, we scored the opportunity to work in the co-working space that Launch Academy and GrowLab provide. I fell in love with the space immediately as I met more entrepreneurs who were in my shoes. I realized that I was not alone.
Launch Academy and GrowLab had open so many doors for Weeve. We pitched in front of Alliance of Angels in Seattle, showcased our startup at DemoDay to 150 investors from the Valley, and gained press coverage on TechCrunch and Venture Beat.
After hearing about all the hype that was built around the startup community in San Francisco, I decided to visit SF and see it for myself. Everyone in SF is an entrepreneur and everyone is doing a startup. I can throw a rock and I would hit an entrepreneur. However, I felt like in order to be a part of the SF startup community, I need to first have experience in the Vancouver startup community. Launch Academy is a perfect place to get started. When I go down to SF in the future, I want to go down as somebody, instead of a nobody.
If you are an entrepreneur and you are reading this, I highly recommend you to look at Launch Academy!
Get Shit Done! #GSD
Best, Alex Founder and CEO of Weeve @alexchuang72