This new series interviews New Orleans area entrepreneurs who are launching startups and have participated in one or more of the local accelerator programs.
If you’ve ever had a hard time managing your calendar–think personal, business, Facebook invites, and much more– FollowMyCal was created for you. The goal is to make the best social and shareable calendar by providing a product that is simple, seamless, and customizable.
Founder Richard Carthon has been working for more than five months with a development team to get FollowMyCal built. Carthon also recently completed the IDEAx accelerator program, run by The Idea Village, which provides mentorship and resources to New Orleans entrepreneurs.
FollowMyCal launched on Google Play at the beginning of January and will soon be out in the App Store.
Silicon Bayou News asked Carthon similar questions to what we will be asking many other entrepreneurs in the Big Easy. Find out what it’s like to go from idea stage to launch in just over a year:
How and when did you come up with the idea for the business?
I came up with the idea for the business on September 20, 2015 after attending one of my Business Fraternity (Alpha Kappa Psi) meetings. One of the members challenged us to come up with a new idea every day for a month and I decided to take on the challenge. At our next chapter meeting the following week, I came up with the idea for FollowMyCal.
How did you get connected to The Idea Village?
I was researching local accelerator programs that I thought would be of extreme value for my business. During this time I received an email from the Idea Village to apply to its IDEAx program. I filled out the application and was able to successfully enter the program. I am extremely greatly for that opportunity. I gained a tremendous amount of insight and made many great connections with people willing to help me along my journey.
What has been your biggest business challenge so far?
Acquiring investors. I learned how challenging it is to get someone to believe in your vision and what you are trying to accomplish without first having an actual product. It is about being able to convince your investors to invest in you, not your product. They have to believe that you are the one that can get your vision built and accomplished.
What is unique about your business?
FollowMyCal is creating a social calendar platform that is the first of its kind. There has not been an official “social calendar” platform in that way that there are other types of social platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and we aim to create that platform for calendars.
What is one piece of advice you would give an entrepreneur just starting out?
Take as much harsh criticism as possible and take it constructively. People are going to poke as many holes into your vision and product as possible and it is your job to fill them back up to make your stance stronger. The more you allow others to poke holes, the more confident you get about what you are doing because you have answers to all of those difficult questions.
What does success look like one year from now?
I want FollowMyCal to be a household name. I want to be able to hire employees to continue to grow this business because of how much it is thriving.