2018 in Review: Top Lessons Learned

With 2018 coming to an end, it's a perfect time to look back on the past 12 months. We've had a very exciting year, with releasing our first app being the top highlight. We wanted to step back and look at some of the lessons we've learned throughout the year. 2018 taught us a lot, but these four experiences, and the knowledge that came from them, are helping us prepare for an even more exciting 2019.

#1--Great Projects Require a Strong Foundation

This past March, I represented AssureTech in the Ben Franklin Technology Partners' Altoona TechCelerator. What's a TechCelerator? It's an 8-week CEO-training program for startups in a tech-related industry. AssureTech was one of only six businesses from our region admitted into the program, Each week, we learned from local business experts and got one-on-one training on everything from prototyping new products to maintaining investor relations. The overall theme of the program? Attention to detail and careful planning are critical if you want to create something great and long-lasting. Our team has worked to make sure these principals are part of our foundation from the beginning.

The TechCelerator "graduation" included a business pitch competition to earn additional funding for our projects

#2--Presenting Your Vision is an Art Form

During my senior year of college (Fall 2017-Spring 2018), my team and I had dozens of formal and informal opportunities to present AssureTech to peers, faculty, alumni, and organizations that offer funding to qualified startups.

Like the Roman proverb states, "Experience is the best teacher." We worked with different professors on campus and business experts from the area to hone the way we present AssureTech to potential investors, partners, or collaborators. With each experience, my team and I get better at helping people understand our mission more clearly. This helped us make incredible connections in 2018, and is something we can't wait to build on in 2019.

A first-place finish in Juniata College's Startup Showcase helped us continue to develop our mobile applicatoin

#3--Stay Resilient; Get Creative

Following a first-place finish in Juniata's Startup Showcase, we launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funding needed to complete the development of our ultimate vision--a medical device that protects an EpiPen, reminds users to bring it with them while providing several emergency services as well. Unfortunately, we fell short of our goal and had to rethink our strategy.

Facing this momentary setback, our team had an opportunity to find a better, more creative solution for moving AssureTech forward. This need for a new approach (mixed with some scary-yet-eye-opening experiences living abroad) led us to create a different mobile app to help people with food allergies while continuing to develop our original vision. The lesson was simple: setbacks present chances to evolve.

#4--Seek Out Support from a Dedicated Community

Our team loved 2018, and can't forget all of the great relationships we formed throughout the year to help us grow as much as we did. We've teamed up with different members of the food allergy community with the shared mission of supporting allergy sufferers everywhere. It's been amazing to work with bloggers (like AllergyBites and The Land of Can), companies that provide allergy-friendly products (like Mediband, Allerware, and TealMates), supportive communities (like Allergy Cloud), and allergy-related foundations (like Top 10 Challenge). Through these team-ups, people affected by allergies that use our app can access this amazing variety of resources in one mobile location.

Looking Ahead

Did you like our 2018 recap? Just wait until you see what we've got planned for 2019. Stay tuned, because over the next couple days, you'll be able to read a new blog about our goals for the New Year!

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