By Wes Crouch
My team and I have spent years building our startup Studytable — in the pursuit of transforming college classrooms — and unfortunately that journey has come to an end.
We turned this idea, from experiences we had in college, into a fast-growing venture competing in global accelerators, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars in investments, adding new jobs into the economy and working with renowned advisors across the world. One of the most memorable parts was getting into the inaugural cohort for Purdue University’s growth accelerator — a program that surrounded us with incredibly smart and passionate people that loved seeing startups in Indiana win.
This startup was my life and walking away has been the hardest decision I’ve ever made….but it had to be done.
We were amateurs, newbie entrepreneurs, and made a lot of mistakes over the years — and those mistakes, compounded together, crippled us as we faced the pandemic and economic downturn the world saw this year.
To put it simply: we ran out of money and steam.
But I won’t allow a virus to be the scapegoat for us not making it. Entrepreneurship is an intense and exciting game — a true honor to get to even play — but it demands that you tackle any hurdle it throws at you, even if it is a surprise pandemic that shuts down colleges and universities and kills the plan you had worked years to create.
I’m an ambitious young man, stubborn, too, and walking away wasn’t even in my thought process. However, one morning my parents called and advocated for me to be done with Studytable. It was in one ear and out the other until my mom said, “Wesley — your best card players know when to fold their hand, and we think it’s your time to do the same.”
It…hit me. It was time, and they were right.
I’ll never forget this team, this startup, this mission, and the journey we set out on nearly four years ago. And if there were any lessons learned during my time, it’s these:
- Respect yourself — know when to start, and know when to fold.
- Fix mistakes at the core of them, and as early as possible.
- When you win — pass your wisdom on to the next founder. And when you lose — pass that wisdom onto them, too.
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