What was your Inspiration behind Technori
Well, 2009 was a rough year for me. In 2009 both with my business and my personal life fell apart. It was at that moment that I realized my need to be part of a community where I could meet people and make friends. I needed a community in general, as I was a recluse. When I looked at the community I noticed the entrepreneurial community in Chicago lacked events for the burgeoning tech industry. Technori was started with four other people. We threw up a website and started doing interviews with great entrepreneurs and the reaction was positive from day one. Readership was instantaneous and people wanted more. It was the right thing at the right time.
What challenges did you face changing gears when turning Technori into a business?
Technori wasn’t started as a business. Technori was started because Technori needed to exist. Technori has transformed into a business to cover it’s own costs and in a way it’s a win-win. Technori now employs people and pays for itself. The summer of 2012 was when we decided it would be a business.
When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I started young. Creating contraband others would buy in high school. I have always had the instinct where I needed to generate my own money and be in control in of my own destiny. I had authority issues. I barely graduated high school. I dropped out of college. I liked figuring things out. I liked never relying on someone for a paycheck.
It was either living in my parents’ basement as a bum or become an entrepreneur. I chose the latter. My professional career began with building websites around 18 -19 years old, these were mostly for small businesses and I was not charging real money.
What does it take to be considered for Technori pitch
We are trying to find companies that are as close to launching as possible. Giving them time to launch and then having them pitch is usually the best. We are looking for companies on the cutting edge. Doing something different. Either building a new business model or play on old. It has be something they can present quickly and concisely.
What advice would you give new entrepreneurs?
There are too many things that come to mind for me to narrow it down. Embrace your idea like your life depends on it. Be ready to risk everything, don’t be afraid, and remember that once you start down this path that paying your rent on time is going to be tough.
Pick a co-founder incredibly wisely. It’s as much like a marriage as they claim. You cannot pick your family but you can pick your business family. You will spend dramatically more time with these people than you think. Don’t just jump into a business relationship. Picking a bad partner happens so often that I think repeating this advice is always falling on deaf ears.
Getting to a point where you can test your concept is good before you spend a lot of time and money seeing if it’s viable. Walk the streets and try to get $5 out of someone’s pocket into yours before you lock yourself into a basement for 6 months to build something unproven.
If you could have one super power what would it be?
I don’t know. Being a geek I’ve thought about this for decades now and… I don’t know! Oh, how do you define super powers? Wouldn’t you want something like Magical Powers? I could then cast whatever I want. If there were spells you could use to gain super strength and speed then I would just choose Magic Powers. If not then I would choose flight. I would want to fly fast, like Superman fast! I would go on some unique vacations. I would leave work at 5p.m. and by 5:15p.m. I would be in Honolulu on a beach somewhere.
Whats next for Technori?
We are focused on being a National Publication. We are trying to build the best starter community in the world. That means everyone, including Non-profits and project-oriented folks. Those who don’t find the word entrepreneur fits them don’t seem to get the respect from traditional publications that they deserve. Technori wants to give them the articles and attention they deserve. We feel like we have the opportunity to do that. We feel like we can move beyond the online community and can publish books. Beyond that, Technori is going abroad and building an international presence. We want to find starters on every continent and get them involved in the brand Technori.
We want to create a movement that can last. One that is here in 20 years. That’s a giant challenge but I think we can do it. It all started 4-5 months ago when we changed direction from Chicago only to an international audience. You will see the changes shortly.
Thats what the new website is about?
We are stepping up to become more like a blog/digital magazine. Like starter network. You will see soon here. That will give you a taste of your long-term goals.