TroyLabs Weekly: Semester Recap
“We provide Trojan founders with an all-in-one framework to get their startups off the ground.” 🚀
Week of May 16th: Spicy Founder Takes, Semester Recap, & Summer Hiring Opportunities
It's been a wild semester. We hope you are all in solid spirits going into Summer '21❗
We wanted to take a second to acknowledge and celebrate all of the amazing things ✨ that our founders have accomplished and created in this strange virtual environment.
Semester Recap ⏪
The first major event that TroyLabs hosted was LAUNCH - the capstone to our BUILD accelerator program.
During this event, our 6 participating startups had the chance to pitch their hearts out for a chance to win $2000! 💰
Click here to learn more about this semester's LAUNCH winner, Elysian, a startup that acts as a planning tool and marketplace for sustainable death care products and services.
The final event that the TroyLabs team put together was DEMO Day!
DEMO Day is our annual startup exhibition that brings together founders, investors, and members of the Los Angeles community 🧑🏽🤝🧑🏽 to host the LARGEST startup showcase on campus.
We knew we had to create a virtual platform that would allow us to resume our legacy 🧨.
And we did just that.
Using the Hoppin platform, we were able to feature 50+ of the best Trojan startups, panelists, and our keynote speaker, Palmer Luckey- founder of Oculus VR & Anduril Industries.
To end off the night, we hosted our annual pitch competition 🎤 that had a grand prize of $2500!
We would like to congratulate the winner of our DEMO Day Pitch Competition: SoundMind! Through music therapy 🎵 and brain exercises, SoundMind is designed to lower your concentration of stress hormones, increase memory resilience and mitigate emotional and auditory triggers. Check them out on the App Store or scroll through their Instagram to learn more.
You're in LUCK 🚨Our data team also put together a database that shows you all of the amazing startups involved, as well as a job board that makes it easy for you to land an internship or snatch a position at your favorite USC company.
🔥Spicy Take of The Week
We're still posting founders' Spicy Takes™ ! Wanna submit your own? Scroll on ⬇️
This week's take is from [redacted]:
@ Early Stage Founders: Unless your startup has some insane technical intricacies that you need to patent, don't hide your idea or make people sign NDA's.
99% of people are too busy to pursue your idea, and the 1% who aren't probably don't care enough. Ideas are worth nothing until someone executes on them.
Also, it makes you look like an a$$h*&#.
Spiciness Rating: 🌶🌶🌶🌶🌶
Keep 'em coming! 🙃
💡Weekly Insight: Tips for Building Over the Summer
After months of grinding, finals are finally over! You know what that means: it’s time to build! For student founders or those of us simply looking to explore, summer break is the best time to start something awesome. Here are some tips to help you do that as effectively as possible, while staying sane!
⏰ Take the time to validate your market! You know what sucks? Spending months building something, and then finding out people don’t want it. The old adage, “build it and people will come,” simply doesn’t apply anymore. You’re competing for people’s limited attention in a world full of distractions, so take the time to interview your target market, and solve sh*t that actually needs to be solved!
🗓️ Block out your time. Time blocking is the ultimate life hack: it lets you focus on what’s important, and not let your work time creep into your life / tinkering / sleep time! A tried and true strategy is blocking out specific times of the day you want to work on your idea, and vigorously executing in that span of time. Giving yourself a deadline works!
🥽 Don’t be afraid to be scrappy. The go-to marketing strategies these days seem to be Instagram and TikTok, or cold email. While these are all definitely great sources for users, summer is the perfect time to go our and experiment with some crazier ideas: go spill some ping pong balls with your website URL in a crowded area, hand out flyers, or walk into stores and start selling- do things that don’t scale early on!
🗣️ Release the sh*ttiest version of your product, ASAP. It’s called a Minimum Viable Product for a reason. The purpose of your first iteration is to validate consumer demand, not create that phenomenal experience on the first try! Whether your product is literally an excel spreadsheet or just a prototype, get it in the hands of users, because that is the easiest way to get real feedback! This is the hardest thing to do, but trust us, it’s worth it.
🧘 Please, take the time to take care of yourself. This may be the most important tip of all. Self-care may seem like a waste of an hour or two each day, but the benefit compounds: feeling your best lets you work at your best!
Startup and News Radar: Tech Craziness 📰
👀 News Headline of the Day: Elon Sparks Mania
In an unexpected turn, Tesla announced this week that they will no longer accept Bitcoin (BTC) as a form of payment due to high energy usage required for mining. This sparked an outcry in the crypto community, with many influencers in the space like Anthony Pompliano aka “Pomp” and Michael Saylor clapping back immediately.
Gucci is selling $12 sneakers you don't ever wear? You can now visit art galleries from the comfort of your couch? What is this madness? Many competitive brands are now working with tech companies to develop the future of product ideation and design. Campfire is one of the companies making it happen.
OpenSpace, a platform that helps construction companies track building projects through AI-powered analytics and 360-degree photo documentation, has raised $55 million in a series C round of funding led by Alkeon Capital Management.
Blockchain developer platform Alchemy announced today it has raised $80 million in a Series B round of funding led by Coatue and Addition, Lee Fixel’s new fund. The company previously raised a total of $15.5 million, so the latest financing brings its total raised to $95.5 million since it launched in 2017.
If you want to get hired by some Trojans, you're in the right place! If you don't have a couple minutes to look through our full job board, here are a few we've highlighted for you 😉.
Discz - Social Media Intern: High impact role working directly with executives to develop social media strategy for launch of new music discovery app on the iOS app store
Inked Sports - Marketing Coordinator Intern: Responsible for creating original content, managing and designing company image in a cohesive way to achieve marketing goals
Overlooked - Sales & Marketing Intern: Focus on revenue generation for partners across domestic and global regions
QR Clothes - Web Developer Intern: Create a modern and interactive website for QR Clothes, create and test applications for websites. Apply by emailing your resume to email@example.com.
Quote of the Week 💭
"Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don't wish it were easier; wish you were better."
- Jim Rohn (American Entrepreneur, Author and Motivational Speaker 5