The founders had already known each other before striking out on their own. The idea for Lumenera sprouted when two of the founders did a road trip together and discussed the idea on the trip. They then approached the other three founders with the idea. Lumenera started out as an idea and quickly gained traction with the founders who dreamed about starting their own business. . The team offered some advice with respect to leaping from being an employee to startup founder. Be forthright and honest with your employer. Carefully consider potential IP (Intellectual Property) challenges. Line up your ducks and make the break very clean.
The team carefully considered the risks in going solo before they leapt and felt the risk was worth it. One thing everyone agreed on was that an important success factor was having multiple founders. The topic of a healthy dose of optimism and pessimism came up a couple of times. This balance was an important factor in making decisions and mitigating risk while at the same time embracing opportunities. Another common thread was that the founders “knew what they didn't know” and worked at shoring up their blind spots. They added external resources as needed with one of the first being a virtual CFO since no one really had a great deal of finance experience. All agreed that this was a good move.
Next Post we'll hear from the four founders individually.
- Ian Graham