This past week as been a busy one for cavnessHR and for myself. At my place of employment Highline College, I was blindsided and informed that my contract as the HR Director would not be renewed. At Highline College if you are an exempt employee you serve on an annual contract. I had no idea this would happen and I was not given a reason. I believe I was adding value and helping people out and helping to make Highline College an even greater place. I believe a lot of people at Highline College would say the same.
But I look at everything as an opportunity. So I am looking at this as an opportunity to go all in with cavnessHR. As many of you know, having a full time job and building a startup is difficult. With the commute to work and time at work. I was spending an average of 60 hours a week at Highline College. I can now invest those hours in cavnessHR.
Now on to more positive news. I learned this week that cavnessHR was selected for the second round of the Business Impact NW Pitch www.businesimpactnw.org competition. To go from the first to second round, you had to submit your executive summary, a business model canvas and form 641. cavnessHR was chosen along with 49 other small businesses.
To make it to round 3, you have to provide the following:
Why your business is feasible in 1,500 words or less
One - Two page market research
The judges will use this to take the competition from 50 to 16.
BusinessImpactNW provides you a business coach to assist you with the above. I had a great call with mine and she had some great suggestions. This past week I have completed the draft financials and feasiblity report. I still need to verify some items on both. My business coach suggested I talk to a person she knows at the Seattle Public Library to help me with the market research. I plan on doing this next week.
This past week I attended the Small Business Expo at the Seattle Center along with Don Wesley of Papyrux www.papyrux.com and Arron Barnes of Life Butta www.lifebutta.com I went with high expectations. Thinking this would be a place where other startups would be presenting their ideas and place where I could learn from others.
It ended being an event with numerous corporate companies attempting to sell their services to startups. The informational sessions were a place for people to sell their services at what I thought was a high price. To me it felt like going to a snake oil convention with a bunch of used car salesman just trying to sell you stuff. Without asking what you need. The benefit of going was the time spent with Don and Arron bouncing ideas of each other.
cavnessHR has begun to validate its MVP. Or least what I consider to be the MVP. At first, I wanted to include HR Laws, Employee Handbooks, and HR Policies all at once as the MVP. But my team of developers convinced me to conduct the MVP in three phases. 1 being the HR Laws. 2 being the Employee Hand book. 3 being the HR policies. cavnesHR currently has 10 companies helping to validate the MVP. As they provide feedback, I will provide that feedback in future blogs.
This past week we identified 34 businesses in the Seattle/Tacoma area that might be possible customers for us. We plan on doing our research on these companies and if we think they might be a possible fit for us, we real reach out to them. After the MVP validation with the first 10 companies. I see cavnessHR doing the beta with companies from the list of 34 busineses.
We reached out to 28 investors to ask to connect with them on LinkedIn. For each of these investors, we had some common connections. So far 9 have accepted our request. We are also following them on Twitter and asking to connect on Angellist. www.angellist.com We also identified 103 people at the various Venture Capital firms in Seattle that we will reach out to in the future.
The plan is to send everyone an email asking if we can provide them weekly updates on the startup journey of cavnessHR. I am sure some will say no and some will not respond. But I am sure a few will agree. Right now cavnessHR is a LLC and I don't know if the future will bring the opportunity to change to a corporate structure and then fundraising. But in case it does, I want to make an attempt at building those relationships now. When I am not not looking at going that route with cavnessHR.
Although, I am not searching for a CTO to join cavnessHR right at this minute. I am continuing to go through my connections to see who else is out there that might fill that role in the future. I have identified 12 people to reach out to and build a relationship with and to tell about cavnessHR.
I have added the below video for your viewing pleasure.