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How Black Founders boot camp pays off: The Bandwagon story

Google Exchange

Oct, 4 2017, 7:57 AM

Returning to Durham starting this weekend is the second Black Founders boot camp, a program designed to help black entrepreneurs learn how to grow their startups and learn the ins-and-outs of securing investors. Harold Hughes of Bandwagon shares his experience for cohort one.

The Google for Entrepreneurs: Black Founders event is put on by the American Underground, Google for Entrepreneurs, TechSquare Labs, COCO (the Google startup hub in Minneapolis), Nashville Entrepreneur Center and Lincoln Financial Group.

Bandwagon, which is based in Greenville, S.C., is a "Secondary Ticket Marketplace" that Hughes says was "created by sports fans, for sports fans.... As I completed my MBA in the Spring of 2014, I developed the business model and brought on a contract developer to create a marketplace that allows fans to buy, sell, AND trade tickets to live sporting events in a safe, simple, and secure platform. Our unique fee structure allows sports fans utilizing our platform to truly maximize their profit on the Secondary Ticket Market."

Our Q&A:

The Google for Entrepreneurs Exchange program was extremely beneficial to me as a Black Founder and especially one that isn't based in one of the traditional startup hubs.

This program gave us visibility and credibility which highlighted the work that we were already doing but simply didn't have the resources to get our name out there. Durham and the American Underground team treated us like family and that's why we're happy to call Durham a second home.

Yes. We secured our first investor earlier that summer but during the Google for Entrepreneurs Exchange, we secured investments from Black Angel Tech Fund and Backstage Capital.

Shortly after the Exchange, our round was oversubscribed and we ended up raising $310,000.

I definitely would and have already. I think the most important thing that I gained from the program was the network of fellow entrepreneurs who looked like me and were also in the trenches doing the work.

Starting a company is hard and it can also be lonely so getting to meet all of these exceptional founders from various industries really motivated me to keep pushing and climbing.

I did recommended that there be more mechanisms in place to keep the founders connected and also some resources to help make the week in Durham as impactful as possible. I'm excited to see the changes that are put in place and I'm looking forward to attending this year as a speaker to talk about my experience in my time since finishing the program.