The Upstarts are an interesting group, and one that I feel warrants further attention. In the future history of the human species, we have seen many different groups of people born into very prominent positions; often, in spite of their birthplaces. Some were born into wealthy families, others born into very poor families. And in both cases, they became leaders of their respective classes and later helped their fellow humans by sacrificing their lives in battle, or otherwise earned the rank of warrior in their society. Through the ages, however, we have seen that some groups always rise to the top, and these groups eventually become the Upstarts. Although this concept is rather new to me (I am a recent college graduate), I believe it makes a lot of sense and also sheds light on a possible potential problem with modern society: the lack of vision and direction.
The Upstarts are a unique group, and their rise to power was unexpected to me. For me, what happened is that members of the Upstarts developed specific social skills that allowed them to rise quickly through the ranks of the organization. However, when I read the book, The Upstarts, it seemed to indicate that these same social skills also allowed the members to fall back into poverty once they lost their position. In other words, what I’ve been trying to get across here is that although members of the Upstarts developed certain social skills during their recruitment into the military, those skills also allowed them to fall back into a lower economic status and eventually back into poverty once they left the military.
Because of this, I decided to investigate the upstart phenomenon further. Although I am not a technology or business professional, I have a background in education. Thus, when I began investigating what led upstarts to success, I naturally began to look at educational systems as a possible causal factor behind the success of these groups. I did, however, find that the common thread running through all of the successful upstart businesses in the world of education is the role of the upstart student-led startup accelerator program that was providing the seed money for their business development.
All of the upstarts I followed-the Rocket Schools, the South Coast Start Up Capitalists, and the Excelle Students’ Team formed an organization, The Entrepreneur’s Edge, dedicated to connecting businesses and entrepreneurs with each other and facilitating introductions between startups. This was one of the first times I had seen something like this, and it gave me hope that there were other accelerators and Seed Funds available to provide seed capital to upstart startups. I began to search for additional resources, and eventually discovered that The Entrepreneur’s Edge was providing an accelerator program in Silicon Valley.
Since then, I have been trying to understand what makes an upstart company unique when compared to more established companies that have been around for years. The reason I think this unique is because of the startup incubator or accelerator program that is provided to upstarts. In essence, an accelerator provides seed money and business advice so that the company can develop a streamlined growth plan, market itself, and determine future directions. For example, instead of starting from scratch and developing their business from there, the accelerator will provide a team of executives who will be in place in six months to one year to help guide the company along. While they are there, the company can use their consulting services to determine which markets to enter, determine business strategy, select key personnel, and expand into areas they may not have considered before.
While traditional banks and private investors will typically not provide funding to upstarts unless they have a proven track record, the current regulatory environment has made this somewhat easier. In short, most private investors are now more willing to provide small loans to companies that are not currently public, and the Federal Reserve is even lowering down the rate it will pay for loans that are secured by collateral. In some cases, companies that obtain these loans can pay them back within one year. Even for larger companies, these loans may be enough to tide them through the lean patches in their growth cycle until they can return to traditional financing.