I am aware that this may be seem like an unusual topic for somebody who works for a business incubator, but it actually fits very much in line with our philosophy at CEI of trying to elevate our industry in any way that we can. The fact is incubators and accelerators must evolve as fast as the entrepreneurs they serve in order to maintain relevance, and it is something that many fail to do. And I won’t be repeating the 87% stat - the number of companies still in operation after 5 years removed from an incubation program - from a study that was conducted nearly two decades ago but continues to be cited as a leading indicator of success. Indeed, the real value of these startup support organizations has yet to be definitively proven.
CEI client companies had the privilege this week to hear from #yesphx legend, successful entrepreneur and investor Pat Sullivan. During the hour long conversation - part of our business incubator’s monthly client-only meeting - Pat shared some of his biggest lessons (usually learned the "hard" way) to help the next generation of Phoenix entrepreneurs. Here is what he taught us.
Not surprisingly, traditional software-as-a-service (SaaS) or app development companies are dramatically different when compared to a biotech or medical device startup. From goals to challenges to funding, the development and commercialization of bio and medical technologies requires a unique support structure in order to be successful, and these are the six ingredients that repeat across top-notch bio companies.
Great food, more specifically great BBQ, is special. It is hard to find, it brings people together from all walks of life, and it can teach valuable lessons in the fine art of running a successful business. Recently, the CEI staff visited an unknown gem of a BBQ restaurant in Phoenix, Little Miss BBQ. With moist brisket, incredible short ribs (Fridays only!) and the perfect sweet finisher in smoked pecan pie, it rivals some of the best food in the state of Arizona and compares favorably with some of the best BBQ west of Texas. Our bellies painfully full, we began pondering how something so simple could become a beacon of BBQ with lines around the corner and people willing to wait an hour-and-a-half just for a taste.