May 9, 2019 7:00 am

At #PTW19, encouragement for communities of color to consider lean startups

Entrepreneur Greg Sampson: "We should be able to come up with and have access to the opportunities that lead to the exponential growth that something like a driverless truck would create."

"Ideas to Action: Lean startups for communities of color" session, part of #PTW19.

(Photo from tweet by @elevategcg)

If the journey into tech entrepreneurship starts with a single step, then Greg Sampson served as an experienced tour-guide for over 30 participants during “Ideas to Action: Lean Startups for Communities of Color” at Venture Café Philly yesterday, part of the 100+ events of Philly Tech Week.

During the 90-minute session targeted to minorities and women, the self-described repeat entrepreneur — founder of sports entertainment startup FanCheer Interactive — explained why now is the time for creators and makers to launch their business ventures.

In discussing the technology shift, Sampson warned that the low-wage, service-related jobs that employ many Blacks, Latinos and Asians will soon be rendered obsolete by automation.

“That is the real reason this is important is that we need to be able to play in these same kinds of places,” said Sampson. “We should be able to come up with and have access to the opportunities that lead to the exponential growth that something like a driverless truck would create.”

“I believe everybody in this room has the potential,” he said, “and should have those same opportunities.”

The seminar stressed how the “Lean Startup” model combined with skill-sets members of the minority community already possess can lead to a successful business ventures.

Sampson added: “Resourcefulness is a really key factor in being able to bring your concept to market. These are all the all the traits that a successful entrepreneur really must possess. That resiliency is the thing that’s going to give you the upper hand and the edge, or at least going to balance the plane.”

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All in all, Sampson advised the participants to have fun while tackling the unique journey of accessing the the startup community.

“Build, measure, learn. And that’s an iterative cycle you’re going to do over and over and over again until you get the product that customers are clamoring for,” he said. “And once you’re finished, not only do you have a product that customers want but are also ready to buy.”


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