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Tue
15
Jul '14

What’s Next?

What's next? sign

This evening, Aaron and the rest of the Growing Capital Team will return from Nicaragua. I hope that you have been able to follow the adventure on our Facebook page , but, in any case, it has been an amazing trip, filled with great connections and loads of learning.

farmer meeting

Don Pedro discussing the challenges of market access

A few highlights:

  • Meetings with Farmers: Throughout the weeks in Nicaragua, the team spent time with more than 10 farmers, hearing their concerns, discussing the current situation and brainstorming solutions. We were thoroughly impressed how knowledgeable the farmers’ were and appreciated their honesty whenever we discussed our ideas. We know it’s cliche, but there is no substitute to talking to people!
  • Meetings with Organizations: We also had the opportunity to meet with many organizations doing absolutely incredible things. One that was very encouraging to me was iDEal, a social enterprise working to sell drip irrigation systems throughout Nicaragua. They identified that one of their big challenges was finding financing for the farmers who could not afford the systems outright.
  • Business school presentation: We were also lucky enough to get to present the Growing Capital idea to a group of about 80 students at INCAE, one of the leading business schools in Latin America. The feedback and encouragement we received has been helping us to further refine our model and it was awesome to hear from students who were familiar with the cultural context of Latin America.

While I am beyond excited to have Aaron back home, we have been struggling a bit with the “What now?” piece of the puzzle. This trip has provided us with so much information and so many new ideas that we need to look into. However, it can be really difficult to see the path forward from here. What do we do next? How do we pilot the program? Are we ready to pilot the program? How do we need to modify the model?

These questions have been gnawing at the back our minds and I was afraid that as soon as Aaron returned home, we would be struggling to know what to do and we would risk stagnation in our venture.  However, as has been the case lately, God just keeps opening up the doors for us, helping us to know not only that we should keep moving forward, but showing us how. To that end, last week, Aaron and I found out that we have been accepted into the Venture Accelerator Program at CSU!

This program is sponsored by the Institute for Entrepreneurship and is a 16 week course focused on developing your venture and getting it ready for a successful launch. The timing could not be more perfect for us, and we are very excited to have the support, network and, when needed, swift kick in the rear that the program will provide us.

Below is the video we submitted as part of our application to this program. We think it does a pretty good job explaining what our vision is, but we’d love to hear from you about our idea!

Growing Capital Venture Accelerator Video

2 comments »

2 comments to “What’s Next?”

  1. Ava Arsaga Says:

    Awesome!! Congrats! I look forward to hearing about the accelerator!

  2. Elaine & Wayne Says:

    Hi Abby and Aaron,
    Thank you for this message and keeping us up-to-date with your wonderful project. CONGRATULATIONS on getting the opportunity to move to the next step of implementing your project! We really enjoyed the video and can see why it was well received by the organization. Good Luck as you move into the next stage and do keep us posted!
    Yours, Aunt Elaine and Uncle Wayne

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