Some of you have asked how we got so much press coverage with 757 Launch. Well, we didn’t do it on our own. It was a combined effort from all the event’s co-organizers—StartWheel, ODU, 757 Angels, 757 Accelerate, and Pilot Media, among others—and it would not have happened if we didn’t find ways to align our initiatives toward a common goal.
Similarly, startups need to align their value propositions with their customer segments. In the case of 757 Launch, we provided value (i.e., something worth reporting on) to the press (i.e., our “customers”), and in return they provided a means of broadcasting our collective message. Of course, we made our customers’ jobs easier by sending them a couple of well-crafted press releases (see links below). And, without a doubt, it certainly helped that we had a great keynote speaker, US Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.), for whom we were pretty sure the press would respond.
In any case, StartWheel could have gone rogue and orchestrated a launch party independently. In accordance with our mission, however, it made a lot more sense to join forces with other regional supporters of the startup ecosystem. We knew 757 Accelerate and 757 Seed were gearing up and ready to make some announcements. And we knew that ODU was going to be running its annual Lion’s Lair Innovation Competition around the same time.
When presented with the idea of collaborating, it was kind of a no-brainer for us all to come together, combine our resources, and host a much bigger, more impactful event. That’s really the point of StartWheel—to make it easier for entrepreneurs and resources in Hampton Roads to connect.
If you’re interested, here’s a list of coverage earned by 757 Launch. Yes, somehow the LA Times picked the story up. We’re not quite sure how or why, but we’ll take it!
WVEC 13News Now: Sen. Warner speaks at 757 launch event
ODU (Student Announcements): 757 LAUNCH – Join Senator Mark Warner To Celebrate Entrepreneurship
City of Newport News: 757 Launch Introduces New Entrepreneurial Programs in Hampton Roads