Events / Investing

Dear Philadelphia, “we deserve to be funded, we deserve to grow:” Bob Moul

The biggest tip for all of the aspiring Philly entrepreneurs out there: get out of your own way. At least according to Bob Moul.

Benjamin's Desk cofounder and local Startup Grind organizer Michael Maher introduces Bob Moul.

The biggest tip for all of the aspiring Philly entrepreneurs out there: get out of your own way. At least according to Bob Moul.

Speaking at a Startup Grind Philadelphia event held at Center City coworking space Benjamin’s Desk, the former CEO of Boomi and current CEO of mobile backend startup Artisan stressed the importance of Philadelphians shaking their inferiority complex.

Moul noted that in nearly all circumstances the first step in fixing a struggling startup is to generate more capital. However, Moul feels Philadelphia startups seem to be an exception. When it comes to Philly, he feels there is a problem larger than money.

“If I could fix anything for the city of Philadelphia it would be everybody feeling like we actually deserve to be here,” Moul says to the approximately 40 entrepreneurs in attendance. “We [Philadelphians] actually deserve to be on this playing field, we can create incredible businesses. We deserve to be funded, we deserve to grow.”

The Philadelphia region is among the country’s 11 largest investment markets, which is the more optimistic view of a big city that is lagging behind in other tech startup metrics.

bob-moul-startupgrindIt is that type of positive culture that Benjamin’s Desk cofounder Mike Maher, also director of the local chapter of Startup Grind, is hoping to see develop in the city. By providing Philly entrepreneurs a means of networking as well as the opportunity to pick the brains of established veterans like Moul, Maher believes the tech industry here will only continue to flourish.

“Getting experienced entrepreneurs like Bob to come in and share their biggest failures and their biggest successes, we’re all going to win,” Maher says. “It’s like all boats rise when that happens.”

During a Q&A session, Moul offered some specific advice to the local entrepreneurs:

  • Be Respectful. If you treat your employees and colleagues with respect, running a successful business becomes that much easier.
  • As a startup entrepreneur, don’t worry about making money. Before you start thinking about your profits or gains, focus on your business plan. Make sure your plan gives you the opportunity to make money. When you pay attention to the customer and provide the best product you can, the money will work itself out.
  • Do what you say, and say what you do. This all comes back to respect. When you need to make some hard decisions about your business, make sure you’re honest with yourself and your employees. Although the outcome may not benefit everyone, people will respect you for sticking to your word.
Companies: Startup Grind / 76 Forward / Artisan Mobile
People: Bob Moul / Michael Maher
Projects: Philadelphia Neighborhoods

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