2 Days before I got my Y-Combinator Interview. An 18 day play by play of how I saved my startup, and moved it from Houston, Texas to San Francisco.
Every day is a roller coaster.
Even if you're not a traditional founder, you can make it work. I did, and I'm here building a dream.
I'm Emmie, CEO and founder of Camperoo
We help parents discover, plan, and book summer camps and help help camp providers reach more kids to make a bigger impact
We had atypical founder profiles
Neither of us fit the typical startup founder profile. We were both in our 30's, married, living in Houston. We were living the American dream (house, family)
Early November: Days 1-3 First Investment In!
6 months after launch, an SF based investor agreed to fund Camperoo after going dark for 3 months. We agreed to conditions and we needed cash fast
I call my co-founder. He's nowhere to be found
I wanted to share with him the good news!
Day 4: Happiness Never Lasts Too Long
I leave another round of texts and voicemails for my co-founder. He's still unresponsive. Before heading to bed I see an email.
The subject was: "Parting Ways"
Who sends an email to end a co-founder relationship? Apparently this one. I'm shocked. I felt like my heart stopped
This could be the end of Camperoo, and my dreams
Days 4-5: Snap Out Of It and Keep on Moving
"Well you just got $100k right? You can find someone better! Get up and stop being ridiculous", my husband said. He was right. Tomorrow is a new day.
Day 6-8: Life can change instantly
The next morning, we got an email. Y-Combinator wants to talk to us!! But there was no us. YC doesn't like funding solo founders. What do I do now?
The only thing to do is change your mindset
When all odds are stacked against you
Day 9-17: You're Never Going to Get In, Well, Maybe....
I got connected to 2 YC founders. They told me to throw in the towel. I ignored them. I was on a mission.
I had a spot to claim. I knew I had a chance
A day before I flew in, one of the YC alums sent me an article with a quick notes: "Maybe you'll surprise them." It gave me confidence. The validation it could happen
Day 18: The Beginning of the Rest of my Life
I arrived at YC the in the afternoon. "Don't you have a co-founder? Yeah....let's talk about that." That's how the interview started. It was nerve wracking.
There it was. "Hello, (in a normal voice)." "This is Paul Bucheit, is this Emmie?" "Hi, How are you?" "We've decided to fund you."
As soon as I hung up, I screamed
This was my saving grace. 2 weeks ago, my life was ending. This was my ticket to play in the world I've watched from afar. I was finally invited in and given a chance to
All great stories have great beginnings
Here was mine. What's crazy is tat my life has gotten even more 'crazy', but in a great way. Camperoo has evolved and we have come a long way.