Monday, December 14, 2009

Jeffrey Fry Talks about His Startup Experience

Jeffrey Fry of Manegain Talks about His Startup Experience

Where are you from originally?

Alexandria Virginia, but was born in San Juan, PR. Grew up pretty much up
and down the East Coast from VA to MA. Moved to Midland, Texas in 81 from
CT, then to Maine, then Massachusetts, then Florida, then California, then
back to Austin, Texas in 96.

What university did you go to?

Lafayette College in Easton PA, got my BSEE. Also, St. Edwards in their MBA
program but did not finish.

What brought you to Austin?

I was working for Philips in Sunnyvale and hired away by AMD to help with
their embedded processor strategy

What is the idea behind your startup?

To help people regain their confidence by naturally regrowing their hair.

What need does it fulfill?

Offers an all natural, non-toxic, drug free treatment for baldness and
thinning hair.

What exactly does your product do?

Restores scalp to a condition when hair grew naturally

Who is it for?

Men and women who are experiencing hair loss. Free placements of units in
high end hair salons, and day/med spas

What was the most challenging aspect of starting up a business?

Funding and making sure you can make a profit. Oh yeah, having great

What is the next step for you and your startup?

Securing the next round of funding and expanding to 150 locations in 6

What advice do you have for entrepreneurs?

Watch out for wedgies: those people who want to take a piece of your company
and NOT offer any substantial help in moving you to a profitable endeavor.
Also, NEVER pay for someone to find money for you!

What Austin-based resource have you found to be the most helpful and why?

Bootstrap Austin, Tech Ranch, Door64, Austin Top Guns. Great resources for
networking and meeting people for ideas and help. Also, the Hills Fitness
has incredibly been a great place to meet talented people.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

AEN—Our First Year in Review

As we come to the end of the first year for the Austin Entrepreneur Network, we look back. We launched at the beginning of the year to bring networking, mentoring, and funding to startups in Austin. I’m proud to say we made great strides in all three areas.

We launched our new website in June, 2009, and recently went through another update this month. The website hosts over 30 blogs from experts in Austin. Entrepreneurs can benefit from the knowledge of experts in the area of finance, web, sales, marketing and more. The AEN Resource page has a list of over 130 groups in Austin related to entrepreneurship.

AEN also launched the First Look Forum which seeks to generate mentorship for startups. In a First Look Forum, ten entrepreneurs give their Fastpitch followed by ten mentors also giving a Fastpitch. We then go through a 5-minute “speed date” between each mentor and each entrepreneur. On average, each entrepreneur finds three mentors to followup with.

In the area of mentoring, AEN kicked off a Shortcourse series on social media and web with over 160 attendees in the Fall series. We also ran three Startup Business Classes providing mentorship to over 40 companies.

For funding, AEN ran the Central Texas Funding Forum 2009 in May with David Rose of the New York Angels providing the keynote address. With over 140 in attendance the event hosted 20+ breakout sessions providing mentorship as well as 15 entrepreneurs giving their Fastpitch to potential investors. The Baylor Angel Network launched bringing more investors to the Austin entrepreneur community.

Finally, AEN launched the Austin Fastpitch Show highlighting 6 entrepreneurs giving their Fastpitch on video which will soon launch on the AEN site. This gives more exposure to Austin entrepreneurs through the web to find networking, mentorship and funding.

We want to say thanks to the many bloggers, investors, providers, and entrepreneurs who participated in the first year of AEN and look forward to serving the Austin community for years to come.

Best regards,
Hall T.