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Straight Shot’s current class reflects on the process

A few weeks ago I made a trip down to Omaha to visit Straight Shot’s new digs in the Wareham Building.

Nestled next to Creighton’s campus and within throwing distance of TD Ameritrade Park, the Wareham houses Straight Shot’s second class of businesses.

Straight Shot provides entrepreneurs in e-commerce and software as a service models (“SaaS”) with a path to rapidly develop their business. Its founders and expert mentors have first-hand experience in creating successful businesses in the industry, and offer useful perspective and knowledge about how others can do the same.

The 90-day program was founded by Mark Hasebroock in July 2013. Hasebroock also co-founded of Hayneedle, which is now the world’s 18th-largest online retailer.

In its first year, Straight Shot attracted mentors from across the Midwest, including leaders from Berkshire Hathaway and the nation’s largest private bank, First National Bank, as well as mentors from both coasts. The curriculum includes classes taught by other entrepreneurs who can help others develop solutions that generate revenue.

While I visited Straight Shot I had each entrepreneur pitch me his or her business idea and followed it up with a few questions. I also asked the current class of businesses about their first few weeks at Straight Shot.

Here are a few thoughts they’ve had about the process and some of their individual take-aways:

“I’ve tried to be patient with the whole situation — there’s so much coming at me,” said Josh Davis of Viirt. “It’s learning patience while you’re trying to go fast.”

“The importance of focusing has really hit home,” said Jill Liliedahl of SitStay. “We have a lot of options but we can’t do everything all at once … we’re doing a lot but it can’t be everything.”

“It’s an opportunity for (mentors) to poke holes in this and find our blind spots and make us better,” said Randy Ellis of LocalLux.

“I’ve learned more in the last two weeks than I ever thought possible — and I ran a business for 10 years!” said David Potach of Quest. “I’m amazed at how much I didn’t know.”

“We have so many resources here, it’s been really great and a little overwhelming,” said Krystal Stubbendeck of Borrow For Your Bump. “If you have a problem there are probably three people to help you.”

“(I’ve learned) to always be willing to pivot and change and always listen to your customer,” said Corey Anand of Kitchin. “And never fall in love with your idea because breakups are hard.”