That was the closing rap of Michael Morgan at DreamIt Demo Day New York 2011.
Morgan is the CEO of Re-Vinyl, an interactive mobile app that contextualizes the music experience. His target market includes music lovers who want to kick it like back in the day when album covers were art and fans rocked to the music while reading liner notes.
Morgan was one of 14 founders who made their pitch for “dollar, dollar bills y’all” before a large audience of venture capitalists and angel investors. While some pitches were more convincing than others, they were all impressive.
That said, it was a bittersweet experience. But complaining about the lack of diversity is so Web 1.0.
Roosevelt advised folks to get in the arena and brush off those who criticize from the sidelines:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
To get in the arena, minority founders must apply to DreamIt and other incubators.
Indeed, Bookspan talked about the “power of collaboration.” He said entrepreneurs should “iterate, launch, learn.” Then repeat. It’s about people, market and ideas.
Sure, ideas without finance don’t stand a chance. But to get some “dollar, dollar bills,” founders should focus on assembling their team and identifying their market.
Bookspan said DreamIt’s bottom line is whether they can make a meaningful difference with the companies they accept into the program.
There’s little doubt DreamIt will make a meaningful difference for the five minority-led startups selected to participate in the Comcast Minority Entrepreneur Accelerator Program. They will get their turn on the mic on December 7 during Demo Day Philadelphia 2011.
But right now, it’s about an Empire State of Mind.