TroyLabs Weekly: Summer Updates

“We provide Trojan founders with an all-in-one framework to get their startups off the ground.” 🚀

Week of June 28thSpicy Founder Takes, Summer Updates, & “The Fourth Turning”?

Summer Updates❗️

Hello TroyLabs Fam! 👋🏻

We hope you all are enjoying building away—while soaking up some 🌞 of course ;)

Although it's "tarps off for the boys" season (hehe), we at TL never rest! This edition is filled with the same amount of 🌶 as usual for all you readers to enjoy—maybe even a TAD bit more this time around for the heck of it :)

A little update on TroyLabs' internal team! Just know we are in the lab cooking up some GREAT stuff (with quite a bit of juicy changes) that will be shared over the next couple editions (we promise)! 🔬

In the mean time, we really hope you enjoy our Summer Edition Newsletter! From us at TroyLabs, do us a solid: enjoy the read 😉

🔥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]:

There's a reason pre-revenue startups can raise millions, and startups that actually make $$$ can't: numbers get in the way of a sexy story! If you're making 100k a year, it's hard to imagine 1M a year. If you're making $0 a year but have a grand story, investors are throwing bands at you. Do with this what you will.

Spiciness Rating: 🌶🌶🌶🌶🌶

Wanna Spill Some Tea?

💡Weekly Insights: What the h*ll is "The Fourth Turning"?

Hint 1: History does not repeat itself, it rhymes.

Why is this important? As young entrepreneurs with ambitious visions, it is essential to grasp an understanding of how past events have brought us to the future we live in today.

Hint 2: History repeats - or rhymes - every 80 years and can be broken into 20 year time periods.

Click the link to find out which time period we are in (; 1

Limited-Time Section: Building Over Summer 🧰

Awwwwwww, man. We are halfway through summer: the BEST time for students to grind out and turn their side projects into startups. Here are some best practices for those of you out there who are heads-down and building, but unsure whether to go all-in on your projects!

  1. User Interviews are the worst. But you HAVE TO DO THEM! Listen, we get it. Talking to potential customers isn't exactly the most invigorating thing, especially early on. But there's a reason people call it a necessary evil: Y Combinator's mantra is "build something people love."

The only way you find out if people love what you're putting out is by asking them! A great resource for this is The Mom Test, which explains who to ask for the right answers.

  1. Reach out to accelerators/fellowships/school orgs early! We've all heard the line: you miss 100% of the shots you don't take. As a student, you're in a great spot. No one gets mad at a student for reaching out, and building your network early as someone who wants to get involved with startups is key to creating your own luck down the line.

Even if accelerators and fellowships aren't actively in their application cycles, it's a great idea to simply reach out and get a relationship going, early on. HINT: If you want to be part of this coming semester's TroyLabs BUILD cohort, reaching out early on is a great way to get eyes on what you're building ;)

  1.  Hop on Twitter and start building in public. Twitter is THE place to be for key insights, gaining traction, and learning from successful people.

Showcasing your building journey, including the failures, can really help out with publicity and traction. In our humble opinion, @troylabsvc is a great follow on Twitter- we're spinning our account back up soon!

  1.  Learn to cold email. Cold emailing is probably one of the most slept-on skills in the startup industry. A solid cold email can create the most life-changing opportunities, and it's actually how we get a lot of top-tier speakers here at TroyLabs!

Honestly, the best way to learn how to cold email is just practice and rejection, but if you're looking for a resource, check out The Third Door!

  1. READ. Seriously, consume high-signal content. A lot of our personal favorite reading comes in the form of Twitter threads, but reading is the best way to absorb other people's experiences and learn from others successes/failures.

Here are some great reads to check out: Product-Led OnboardingZero to One, and Influence.

  1.  If you're working on a side project: build for yourself. If you haven't fully committed to working on a startup just yet and just want to dip your toes in the water with a side project, please do yourself a favor and build something that you would use.

If you're the target customer of your project, it's way easier to understand what a user wants, because you are the user. Startups, and even side projects, are tough, so building for yourself gives you that extra push to get through the rough patches.

And always remember, VC’s look at startups as bets, founders look at startups as a way of life. Big difference.

Overall, though, we've been seeing some awesome Trojan startups popping up- keep up the amazing work, and share this newsletter to any of your friends who might find it useful!


Startup and News Radar: 📰

AWS Has Acquired Encrypted Messaging Service Wickr

Just when you thought Amazon couldn’t go deeper…

Wickr is a messaging app that has geared itself towards providing services to government and military groups and enterprises. It claims to be the only “collaboration service” that meets security criteria set out by the NSA. 2

How Augmented Reality Will Transform the Fitness Industry

The gamification era is here. Are you ready, Player One? 3

Andreeseen Horowitz raises $2.2B for new Crypto fund

“We believe that the next wave of computing innovation will be driven by crypto.”

That will be all. 4

Former Zillow Execs Raise $70M Seed Round for Tomo

Launching today, Tomo says it will simplify the mortgage process by doing things like issue fully underwritten pre-approvals “within hours, not days” and guarantee on-time closing. This is particularly important in competitive markets with multiple buyers making offers on homes. 5

🧑‍💼Get Hired!

Verkada - Software Engineer Intern

  • Help rethink what it means to be safe

Outreach - Data Science Intern

  • Analyze terabytes' worth of data to help software companies hit their revenue goals

Nova Credit - Data Analyst Intern

  • Enable immigrants to access capital and realize their potential

CasaOne - Operations Intern

  • Home furniture rental company helping property managers access furniture on demand

Ranker - Publishing Ops Specialist/Content Creator

  • Help generate content for Ranker's various verticals!

Quote of the Week 💭

"You have to see failure as the beginning and the middle, but never entertain it as an end."

- Jessica Herrin, Founder and CEO of Stella & Dot 6

Man. If you're reading this, we appreciate you! 🥰 Stay tuned for some awesome TroyLabs events in person this coming semester- we can't wait to stop having to sign off like this after Zoom calls:

🔍 Sources


Youtube; Van Neistat


TechCrunch; Image Credit: Pedro Fiúza


TechCrunch; Image Credit: PhotonLens


The Daily Hodl; Image Credit: Marlene Yaworski


Tech Crunch; Image Credit: Greg Schwartz and Carey Armstrong