Fresh out of college, Kevin Renois, Co-founder of Start Up Waco, noticed the need for an organization devoted solely to supporting entrepreneurs and connecting them to existing resources. While working alongside other Waco influencers, Kevin was able to plant the seed for the initiative in the community, and has continued watching it develop into the impactful nonprofit it is today. Continue reading to learn more about Kevin’s involvement with Start Up Waco.
What drove your decision to stay in Waco after graduation?
I was given the chance to make more of an impact with entrepreneurship than what I had planned otherwise. From the beginning, I wanted to know how to create opportunities for people to get involved in entrepreneurship and establish an environment that builds businesses and jobs for others.
What do you love about Waco?
It’s not a fully developed city yet. It’s under construction in a sense. There are tons of people who have an idea of what they think Waco could be, and it’s a realm of possibilities. I love that a kid like me, two minutes out of college, can make an impact on the city and help change it in a significant way that’s actually going to affect other people’s lives.
What are the most surprising things you’ve learned about startups and the entrepreneurial journey?
I didn’t expect how artistic starting a business is. I was shocked to learn that being an entrepreneur is like being an artist – you’re bringing your own creative passion to life. There is no uniform step-by-step process when it comes to being an entrepreneur – everybody’s journey is different. The creative process for people, going from identifying an opportunity to creating an idea and bringing it to life, is beautifully artistic and somewhat addicting for people.
What role do you think mentorship plays in an entrepreneur’s development?
I think it’s key. Research shows that entrepreneurs learn best from each other, not sitting in classrooms…we learn best from our peers. It’s important, but it isn’t the end-all be-all. It is huge for entrepreneurs to have mentors and relationships with other entrepreneurs. I think Hustle will be one of the most valuable things for entrepreneurs because it’s access to others. It will be a great connection point.
What’s the biggest goal you hope to see SUW achieve?
I want Start Up Waco to develop a culture in Waco that supports innovation, collaboration, connection between people and inclusivity specifically around startups and new business creation. I want it to be done in a way that is not only sustainable, but is measurable. It’s not just going to be a flash in the pan, it’s going to be something that pays dividends to the future of Waco for generations to come.
What one thing do you wish everyone knew about the SUW initiative? How can others get involved?
The only way the mission and dream of Start Up Waco is going to happen is through everyone in the city – through all the entrepreneurs, all the creatives and the go-getters. I want them to give us their input, ask questions and figure out a way to collaborate with us.
To learn more about Start Up Waco and Hustle, contact Kevin at firstname.lastname@example.org.