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Ringside Startup Launches! 60 days to raise $20,000

Ringside Startup

I’m excited to announce the launch of Ringside Startup! The gist of the website is that I’m raising $20,000 from readers/sponsors — to enlighten everyone’s entrepreneurship education. With the contributions, I’m going to launch a web start-up (one of the Techquila Shots ideas) and blog the entire journey.

I have a bunch of advisors on-board (and adding more) who will be commenting on my posts to help educate during the process. Thus, you (readers) will get to see the entire process of launching a web start-up — from idea selection (readers will be polled to select which idea I develop) to programming development to launch to marketing, etc.

Contributor participation entitles you to vote on some actual business decisions — the first of which will be which idea that I’ve exposed via Techquila Shots will be the web start-up I build from the ground up. I will blog about this entire journey as openly as I can — taking you through the entire start-up process (beginning with incorporation — whether to be LLC or S-Corp Inc; in Delaware or NY) and providing feedback from VCs to Entrepreneurs along the way. My hope is that we’ll all learn quite a lot about the start-up process from this experience.

The goal is for entrepreneurs to learn from all the processes and obstacles I go through — and gaining insight along the way from seasoned professionals.

I have commitments for advisor participation from:

Of course at any point, any of them can remove themselves from this project.

More details are available at the FAQ. Feel free to read up on the advisor profiles and make your own contribution to help this project move forward.

I have posted my favorite ideas for Ringside Startup to use.

More Advisors Sought: I’d really like to add some more seasoned entrepreneurs. If you’re a seasoned entrepreneur, VC, or Angel that has been down the road with many start-ups — and you’re interested in helping to educate other entrepreneurs on the start-up process, please drop me an email.

I’m looking for 15+ seasoned “advisors / educators” for this project — not seeking any money from you, just hoping you’ll comment on various topics through-out this openly blogged start-up process when you feel you may have good input. My hope is for 2-3 comments (short or long) from you per week — but one per week would be better than none. You can drop-off at any point — your participation as an advisor/educator/expert is that your comments will be highlighted / featured in my posts.

  • rulepark

    Hi, Mr. Poland. I would love to be part of the team. Being advisor as well as a contributor. Can I contribute USD10 for the project.

    I know is a bit little. But I hope to be part of the BOARD.

    Thanx. Wonder which Idea are we going to start up? The creativity of this blog/idea would have spawn another reality WEB TV 2.0 SHOW – U r fired !?? Probably not , U r hired?

  • Timothy Chen

    Congratulations Steve! This is the new “best idea of yours” I would select here. Look forward to learn much from this site.

  • Jimmy

    Hey Steve, best of luck to your venture. Your blog has been one of my favorites. I will be paying close attention to your “Ringside Startup” and share whatever I have learned from my own current startup venture that I am starting to chronicle on my blog

    Kudos to you for being so open with your success and failure for all to see, and learn from. Keep it up!

    Jimmy Huen

  • Tony Wright

    Clever idea. Congrats!

  • kwandom

    Interesting concept Steve. Looking forward to following your progress.

  • Eliot

    I’ve been reading Techquila Shots since it started as I enjoy the material and discussion but this has been my first comment (I think).

    I really like the Ringside Startup idea, though I find myself questioning a few things, I don’t want to be a party pooper, but I just want my sceptical thoughts cleared up, I hope Steve can answer these questions:

    – Why raise 20K now? Some if not all of the 5 ideas you’ve posted can be started for a lot less?

    – It kind of feels the Techquila Shots blog’s purpose might have always been to be a rainmaker for, i.e. a traffic driver – what do you think about this?

  • Geoff

    Having been down the road a time or two it’ll be fun to watch and comment.

  • Dimitry

    Great idea Steve! Looking forward to this :)

  • Colin Dowling

    Very cool idea. Contribution sent. I think some of the ideas are top-notch and I think the folks here will be a lot of help in the journey.

  • Lydon

    Excellent idea Steve, I think one of your best so far. I’m a college student that will be graduating in May and I have several ideas for startups. I’ll be closely following this project to learn everything I can.

    One of the things I will be most interested to see is the vast amount of hours it takes on a daily basis to really get behind a startup. I would say (guessing) the majority of your readers with dreams of their own startup are like me, they work 40 hours a week and dream of working on their project part-time until it’s successful enough to fully support them.

    I’ll be interested to see how this turns out. Thanks for the great blog, one of the few that I never skip a post.

  • John

    I doubt I would fit your qualifications for being an advisor, but I am an eentrepreneur who thinks this is a great idea and will definitely be following the progress closely. Good luck!

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  • Grant Bowskill

    Was this the secret announcement you mentioned awhile ago?

    Excellent idea, I’m really looking forward to following this and wish you ever success!

  • Steve Poland

    @Grant — yes 😉 Just had to get all my ducks in a row with it.

  • Steve Poland

    @Eliot — Thanks for the note. Definitely some of the ideas posted can be developed for less than the $20k, but in addition to programming, there’s design, legal fees, eventual marketing, etc.

    This idea was an after thought — came to me after I had created Techquila Shots. Thought it’d be a great opportunity for all of us to learn the start-up process and hear what the experienced entrepreneurs/VCs (the advisors/experts I’ve lined up) would be saying at various parts of the start-up process.

  • Adam Brucker

    Cool idea – good luck! -AB

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  • Chris

    Best of luck Steve. I will be watching your progress and learning along with you.

  • Rob

    Hi Steve,
    Don’t know if you ever heard of “The Business Experiment” from summer of 2005. It was different than what you are doing, but we did let everyone who signed up vote on decisions. We learned a lot from the experiment before it shut down. You can read the Fast Company article on us at

    I think you will find that groups don’t make good decisions, because no one knows your business as well as you. But I wish you the best of luck. Maybe you will fare much better than we did.

  • Steve Poland

    @Rob — I agree; I’ll be working out the details — but definitely not every decision will be going out to the community; but some active participation to keep readers involved.

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  • Patrick

    Sounds like a Steve poland scam is in full effect. We know what you are trying to do steve, getting other peeps to fund your fanatasy stuff. If your idea is that good and your advisors are that good, why dont you pitch a VC??
    Dont give us some altruistic bs answer

  • Eliot

    Thanks for answering those questions Steve – I hope its all going well.

    Some people may be more willing to donate time than money, a blog post on ringside startup asking people what services they would be willing to donate would be worthwhile – you have no obligation to take up their services and you might get something you never expected: a blog review here, some logo design there, some copywriter’s time, heck even a radio ad – who knows??

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