Beginners’ Guide to ‘Tech-Preneurship’

An entrepreneur is an individual who, rather than working as an employee, founds and runs a business, assuming the risks and rewards of the venture. The entrepreneur is commonly seen as an innovator, a source of new ideas, goods, services and business/or procedures.
A Tech-Preneur is someone who does all these in the Tech space. Simply put, a ‘tech-preneur’ is an entrepreneur who makes use of technology to fabricate new or innovative products through the process of commercialization.
In recent times the rise of technology and ‘smartness’ being the criteria (smartphones, smart TVs and even smart toilets; who knew some toilets were dumb?). The world has been witnessing a steady rise in the number of entrepreneurs aiming at making a difference to society while leveraging technology.
The aiding technology aspects in this scenario are elements like the Internet-of-Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Deep Learning. If all these feel too technical, don’t worry, we have great news for you!

So, if you find yourself with a fantastic idea for a tech company or any new product in the tech space, don’t abandon your idea just because you lack the technical expertise. You can become a tech-preneur even if you know nothing about tech. Are you in doubt? Here is how:

1. An idea is the key…
Seems obvious right? It is an absolutely necessary first step. Most valuable ideas are born out of passion or specialist knowledge. Everyone is a specialist at something–use your expertise to your advantage. A wealth of industry knowledge can make up for a lack of technical know-how.

2. Shout out loud
Are you tempted to keep your idea “hush-hush” for fear that someone will steal it? Don’t! No one is going to take your idea for the same reason that people rarely pursue their own -fear of failure. Even if they do, it’s hard to stay passionate about something that does not belong to you (so, they’ll wear themselves out). Share your idea with anyone who will listen. You’ll meet people with the skills you need to help achieve your dream.

3. Funding is the lifeblood…
Ask your parents, friends and loved ones to back your big idea. Use your own money, too, so you have some skin in the game. When it’s personal, it’s harder to pack up and leave; or walk away midway. Personal funds serve as an extra motivator to do well.

4. Know your strengths, and use them!
Leverage your strengths to earn respect from partners and peers. Are you a sales guy with an encyclopaedia of industry knowledge? Great! Sell your big idea to investors, tech partners and the press (yep, publicity can put you on the radar of the right investors). First-hand knowledge and expertise will make your sales pitch all the more genuine.

5. Human Resources
You will need talented tech experts, and it’s critical that you find the right people–because you’re not a tech person (remember?). You need a smart, experienced and trustworthy team. Since tech pays top dollar, offer competitive salaries.
If you do not have top tech talent money yet, offer ownership. 30% of something, is a lot better than 100% of nothing. Not only is it an incentive to join the team, but it’s also an incentive to work hard, collaborate and move the company forward.

6. You may not be the smartest person in the room
I hate to break it to you, but – Tech people are really smart, and there will be times when you have no idea what they’re talking about. And, you know what? That’s okay. In the beginning, designate a “translator” to help you understand the tech talk. Over time, you’ll pick up on the lingo and learn by osmosis.

7. Be an expert leader
A good understanding of your business environment can help you lead your company without knowing the ins and outs of its technology. Know your marketplace, identify your vision, and listen to employees and customers. ‘You don’t have to be an expert to be a leader; you just have to be an expert leader. As CEO, recruiting and retaining top talent is my top job’ says Dan Hogan.

Do you know someone who wants to become a ‘tech-prenuer’ or if you have more tips for becoming a ‘tech-preneur’? Feel free to share in the comments section

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