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GIST TechConnect: Bootstrapping Your Business – Tips and Tricks

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Program Description

Building your business cost effectively does not mean you must go it alone.  What are the latest trends in this pared down, lean and mean approach to advancing your startup? How do you protect yourself if you self-finance, and how can do more with less? Learn how to leverage your most important resource, your network. And gain insight into methods veteran entrepreneurs use to manage when funding is limited.

Join our interactive webchat on Tuesday, February 13 at 11:00 a.m. EST (16:00 UTC) to learn how to Bootstrap your business and move forward with less.

You can ask a live panel of experts your questions by using the chatbox to the right of the video player. You can also send your questions to the panel by using #GISTTechConnect on Twitter.


More on Bootstrapping


Speaker Biographies

Helder Sebastiao, PhD

Innovation Strategist and Lean Launch Specialist

Helder is currently a Principal Innovation Strategist with the IDEAS Team within Product Design & Development at Target, and is also a member of the national faculty for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) I-Corps program, which provides training and mentoring in the customer discovery process to scientists assessing the commercial potential of scientific discoveries. Helder has advised start-ups and corporations in successfully applying means-driven strategy and lean launch principles to new products / ventures via workshops, training, and mentoring. He developed a Lean Liftoff program which assisted very early stage innovators and entrepreneurs in the process of moving from idea / concept to developing a viable business model under limited time and financial constraints. The program provided tools, training, and mentoring and accelerated the preparation of innovators / entrepreneurs to take advantage of the resources and services provided by their local ecosystems. Helder also spent a decade in academia researching, teaching, and mentoring startups. He has a PhD from the University of Oregon, an MBA from San Francisco State University, and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University.


Lisa K. Garcia

Business Development for Tech Entrepreneurs

Lisa works with scientists, researchers, academics and entrepreneurs who are working on commercializing technology they have created or have already commercialized and are seeking to grow their startups into small businesses. She works with the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA to further develop and grow the I-Corps program as it relates to the innovation and entrepreneurial space in the academic community and the region as a whole. She has served as both a mentor and an adjunct instructor with the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) I-Corps program teaching lean startup methods. I-Corps is designed to teach the customer discovery process to scientists whose aim is to commercialize their creations. In addition to work in the United States, Lisa recently worked for South Korea and traveled there to teach lean startup to entrepreneurs and scientists and academics in partnership with the Korea Innovation Center (KICDC).


Moderator: Lauren Gibson

Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Department of State

Lauren Gibson is a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State. She joined the Department in 2011 and served in Lome, Togo, and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Lauren currently works as a South and Central Asia Regional Policy Officer in the Bureau of International Information Programs. Prior to joining the Department, Lauren worked in alternative marketing as an account manager for Nestle and Target. Lauren attended American University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in business administration and a master's degree in international affairs. She speaks Vietnamese and French.


Chat Expert: Christina Tamer

Program Officer, Venturewell

Christina works directly with VentureWell’s early stage innovators as they move to high-growth startups seeking their first round of investment capital. Christina’s role includes running VentureWell’s investment-readiness training, ASPIRE, as well as investment activity. Previously, she worked with a seed-stage impact investment fund. The experiences there now allow her to support VentureWell’s startups with real-world examples of what to do and what not to do on the path to commercialization. She holds a BS in Marketing and an MBA from the University of Massachusetts Boston.