Startup Bootkamp – Phil Castro

Phil Castro

On Friday, February 8th, The LAB Miami hosted a workshop called the Startup Bootkamp, which was a 10 hour crash course in startups entrepreneurship and venture capital. Phil Castro, the guest speaker of Startup Bootkamp is a young startup entrepreneur from Chicago that travels to different states to devote his time to carry out this workshop to help aspiring young entrepreneurs manage their startup and understand their market.

This was more than just a workshop especially for entrepreneurs who aspire to begin a startup or who have an existing business that are looking to expand their experience in certain parts of their business-like marketing, sales, management, financing, branding, and other parts of the business branch.

The workshop covers 50+ subjects in the business field for startups from ideas and innovation to strategy, growth and success in one’s startup business. Castro started the workshop by letting everyone introduce themselves and what they do and what is the purpose of them attending the workshop. The first step Castro explained to the attendees is the difference between a startup and small business and he explained the growth, financial investment, business model, and cash flow for each of them.

A lot of the attendees were business owners and some were young startup entrepreneurs that recently started their business and are struggling to understand some keys aspects for the business to succeed especially in sales and marketing and are looking to expand their business in the future. Castro covered a lot of strategies in different fields especially in sales, marketing, management and finance and how to execute the best strategy for each field.

One of the most intriguing explanations was about how and why startups fail. He claimed that 75% of startups fail and that is why if you are a startup you should never take loans from the bank because if the startup fail and you can’t pay the loan you borrowed you will face a big financial crises. The reality of startups is that 90-95% of them fail. Castro agreed as well with that because markets change from time to time leading startup to change courses in what they are doing that could lead them to fail for not knowing or having the specific skills of strategies to execute. Castro then passed the workshop to Samuel Morhaim who presented the process to create TECH for startups.


Samuel Morhaim

There was also another guest speaker after Phil Castro called Samuel Morhaim who is the CEO of a software developing company called Vantegio. Morhaim gave a presentation about the process to create TECH for startups such as in UX/UI and the market of mobile apps and how to market an app based on its user-experience and interface.

The attendees enjoyed understanding UX/UI and how it works and how it should be done. UX/UI is more about sketches and wireframes of how a mobile app works and explains its functionality with how the user should use it.

Apps are highly utilized these days and most businesses and corporations use apps as a form of strategy by investing in apps to reach their target market. Apps need to be simple, effective, and user-friendly, especially simple and effective at the same time. If an app is effective in terms of offering a great service that can save people time and provide solutions to their problems then it will have a great user-experience for the user. But at the same time apps need to be simple to use and not over designed and complicated for the user or would that lead to a bad user-experience.

The marketing aspect of UX/UI is interesting because Morhaim covered the process by starting an app by wire framing it then bringing together a focus group that sees and tries out the app and saying what they think of it. If the target group find the app compelling, simple, and effective then you reach to a potential investor to fully invest in your app. Most Apps fail because developers and designers focus too much on the design aspect rather than the marketing aspect of it.

Happy Hour – Brick Bar

For happy hour, Castro took the opportunity to try out his app called “Barpass” and took the attendees to a close by bar to see how it works. BarPass is aimed at the after-work bar crowd, and provides members with weekly events and drink specials at trendy Chicago bars. The app is about saving time, money, and avoiding the hassle of planning. BarPass drives in business for bars too. So It finds the trendiest places nearby that also allows you to invite guests, meet people and discover bars. Your first complementary drink at every event is on BarPass with RSVP via the app. Through sponsorships and bar promotions they have 12,000 users (non paid for) with %200 increase in referral invites.

By: Ahmed Adel