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BNDWGN

Thoughts on Travel Blog

StartupBus - Hey Hans whats in the Stack?

It is the feel good story of the year. Lawrence and I "met" somewhere in Alabama late at night on Slack, while I was riding the StartupBus NYC. Once this startup realizes its potential it will be a testament to the power of serendipity.

At the onset of the StartupBus I pitched 3 ideas (including BNDWGN), I got no takers. The rules of the StartupBus dictate that you need at least two persons to make a team and to qualify. On day two I determined that I was here for my dream not someone else. Bus drama, the organizers said is normal. If you can find someone on another bus to partner — you can give it a go.

Megan from the Ohio bus became that partner, until she decided this was not her dream. Having no one, I was given the option of reaching out to the universe. I did so via Slack to "We Build Black and the "Village Collective" at 4:00 p.m. on July 26. All my efforts for the previous 4 years dwarfed his response. Lawrence answered. - Hey Hans, what's in the stack? and is working from home an option (I'm in NJ)

That single answer is why BNDWGN exists today.

Lawrence was able to deliver a fully working MVP based on our shared conversation remotely, (on firebase, fully working), so I could explain to the Startup judges at the first round of pitching.

Its early, we are a two man team. There are so many challenges ahead, but when I think back to that moment all I can do is smile… and say WOW.

No dev shop

No co-founder drama

No spaghetti code

No more rejection

We can actually build this thing.

VoyagerHQ Travel Innovator

The nicest time in May was at Voyager HQ Travel Innovators Conference. My biggest takeaway was that the airline industry needed some open source API's the entire industry could share that would make the entire travel experience better.

We were able to come to this conclusion because of Voyager HQ's table structure. It was fun chopping it up with key players in the industry. There are so many challenges (climate change, LLC failures, biometric hurdles, fuel price hikes, that this type of discourse relieves stress and helps to form partnership.

Just being at the Voyager HO Travel Innovators Conference, gave me the steel resolve to continue to push. Entrepreneurship is like eating glass some days. So hard, draining and unrewarding. Out of this meeting came my acceptance to Founder Institute and StartupBus.

Republic Academy

For those of you who don't know. Republic Academy makes a great alternative to venture for some people. The skinny is there is lots of reporting, and getting that first million is daunting, however, if you can secure it, it is a great way to grow your company and get some much needed exposure. We cannot wait to get our MVP rolling to apply.

FounderGym

Its all Sama Jashnani's fault. The NYC tech scene is filled with lots to do. I met Sama at Galvanize pitch event, she had attended Founder Gym and encouraged me to apply. I was out. Out of resources, out of drive out of solutions. So I applied.
Founder Gym was life changing! The love and support and drive of fellow entrepreneurs was an oasis in my personal desert. I learned so much in those six weeks. The community has continued to support me over the next year in the Slack channel, at various events and online. I cannot say enough good things about FG. If you are serious about a startup as a under represented founder (black, female, LGBTQiA) there is no better place to start your journey. Apply today.

University of Maryland

My greatest desire is to go back and finish my graduate program at University of Maryland. I absolutely loved the coursework. The professors are awesome. I took the "failure" of Planet of the Apps and made my first pitch deck applying to the MPTE Tech Entrepreneurship Program. I was accepted and completed a semester. University of Maryland provided a key insight. An extensible software container can replace the idea of a group and the related UI could be patented. My original idea was flawed, using video to attract people virally only supplied enough people for one side of the trip leaving and empty plane for the return leg. I came up with a crazy invention to fill the plane with Amazon boxes and tie into their inventory system. I say invention because the contraption would be wheeled in and placed into the empty seats, giving the plane balance….Sometimes I get ahead of myself. I also was able to use the deep resources IBIS and plan a blue ocean strategy for BNDWGN. Fond memories.
September 2019
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