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T.A. McCann, founder of RivalIQ and Gist.

Last month, I attended GeekWire’s Startup Day at the Showbox SODO in Seattle.

Surrounded by some of the brightest entrepreneurial minds, I decided to chat with as many people as possible in an effort to tap into their startup wisdom and advice.

In addition to interviewing Gov. Jay Inslee about the role of startups in the state, I also sat down with entrepreneurs such as AtomOrbit founder Seth Talbott, as well as investors like Geoff Entress and Enrique Godreau.

I learned a lot, and so this week’s Nextcast video is a compilation of some of the best nuggets of wisdom I pulled out of my personal interviews as well as the conference itself. Here’s the recap, with some additional written remarks below.

Gov. Jay Inslee speaking at Startup Day

Governor Jay Inslee: “Startups are really the foundation of our economic growth. Two thirds of all of the job creation in our state were startups in the last couple of years. And we need these leaders to share their vision and their experience and their challenges with public officials, so we can help.”

TA McCann, founder of Rival IQ and former CEO of Gist: “At each funding milestone…create effectively in your mind, what is your exit criteria? Is it $10 million? Is it 20? It helps you to have clarity.”

Former CEO Dawn Lepore on forming a functioning board: “When it works really well, it’s almost magic.”

Seth Talbott pitching AtomOrbit at Startup Day

AtomOrbit founder and CEO Seth Talbott, who won the Elevator Pitch competition, was full of optimistic advice for startups. “Spend time, work your connections, be visible, and be creative.”

Rand Fishkin, CEO at Moz, on company culture:. “It’s the values you choose to prioritize when things are really tough.”

Dave Cotter speaking at GeekWire Startup Day in Seattle.
Dave Cotter speaking at GeekWire Startup Day in Seattle.

SquareHub co-founder Dave Cotter on work-life balance:  “You have to do something…to manage your stress… Think about small investments for yourself, because you’re no good…if you’re dead.”

Booktrope co-founder Katherine Sears, one of the finalists in the Elevator Pitch competition on advice she would have given herself:  “I would have told myself to take more risks earlier on.”

Enrique Godreau III, a venture partner at 9Mile Labs, on the challenges facing entrepreneurs: “That process of converting an idea and a passion into something that’s real, is one of the loneliest tasks that anyone can undertake. Recognize that in the process of developing a company, you are likely going to need to develop yourself. You need to be prepared to fight.”

Marc Barros, founder and former CEO of Contour: “What’s a founder? I think it’s about what you really love to do.”

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Nextcast founder Jeff Dickey is passionate about technology, business and philosophy. He works as the chief cloud architect at Redapt, a Redmond-based cloud and big data infrastructure company. 

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