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Dr. Hallowell's Blog

Archive for January, 2019

Tuesday, January 8th, 2019

Leveling – and Financing – the Entrepreneurial Playing Field for People with Learning Differences

$100,000 investment

Over the years you have heard stories from me about how the positive traits of ADHD can provide entrepreneurial superpowers when managed correctly. Traits such as creativity, empathy, risk tolerance and the ability to hyper-focus on a task are all valuable in the entrepreneurial and business world.  David Neeleman, founder of Jet Blue, and Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, are clearly success stories demonstrating what can be accomplished through grit and determination despite – or because of – having learning differences.

I also have heard from many, many people with learning differences that they have numerous great ideas that could become great businesses. They truly aspire to become that next iconic success story but, they lack the know-how to get their business off the ground or to get it to the next level. In reality, the biggest issue is they do not have the funding to make a go of it. Many have been unable to accumulate enough assets in their career or are unable to tap family members for investment. Banks or traditional investors can be risk averse and may not relate well to the ADHD entrepreneur.  Consequently, there remains this dream business that is tantalizingly out of reach. This dream that won’t go away, and they can’t get anyone to listen, let alone write a check to fund it.

Well, that’s about to change. The folks over at InventiveLabs, Rick Fiery and Tom Bergeron, continue to plow forward with their vision of enabling and leveling the playing field for people with learning differences. They have been able to work with an amazing investment group that is focused on funding businesses that are associated with their program. This investment group’s mission is to create successful businesses and they want to give back to the learning differences community. The group is offering an astonishing $100,000 investment for InventiveLabs annual Pitch Competition this spring.  It is not all just about money, it is also knowledge – selected teams will be able to attend the InventiveLabs Accelerator at no cost to prepare their pitch deck for their presentation to investors.  At a minimum, you will learn how to get you business funded if it is not quite ready for prime time. And, you may just win that investment and get a team of mentors to help you grow your business to the next level.

Rick and Tom tell me this is not a charity, they are looking for real businesses with real potential. In fact, if you already have a business up and running with revenue, you will have a leg up on the competition. But, if you have that truly game changing idea, they would love to see those too. The purpose is to give people an avenue for funding that may not exist. To get venture capital these days, having an MBA from Wharton or Harvard is almost a requirement. This gives you an alternative path to success to where you can get your business to the next level. The folks at InventiveLabs want to show the world the hidden potential that exists in the community and this is their way of unlocking it!

Does this describe you: “I have so many ideas, but I don’t know where to start”? This may be your golden opportunity to make that dream happen. I always say people with ADHD have a unique understanding of time. It is either “Now!” or “Not Now”. The time for you to move on this opportunity is now! The application deadline is February 4th!

For more information go to the InventiveLabs website and click through to their Pitch Competition and fill out an application – what do you have to lose? www.inventivelabs.org/pitch-competition.


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