You probably already know Dale Partridge, founder and former CEO of Sevenly, from EDCO’s PubTalk, TedXBend, or even a recent appearance on MSNBC. He moved to Oregon a year ago and launched StartupCamp.com, an educational membership program for aspiring entrepreneurs to benefit from his experience, start successful companies, and live a balanced life. Partridge aspires to be the Dave Ramsey of startup coaching, all from the StartupCamp.com studio here in Bend. BendTech recently sat down with Dale to learn more.
Started: January 2015
Founder: Dale Partridge
# of staff: 5 part-time
Headquarters and Studio: Bend
Why did you decide to launch startup camp?
Launching a company can be very difficult. It takes fanatic discipline, consistency, and a learner’s heart. At Sevenly, I had everything an entrepreneur wants, a huge paycheck, a slick HQ, people calling you to invest. I also made tons of mistakes that cost jobs, millions of dollars, sanity, and sleep. When I left Sevenly, I stepped back for a year and processed my experiences by writing 227 articles and my book, People Over Profit. I want to teach people how to build the right business that allows them to work to live, instead of being the wealthiest lonely person clocking 80 hours a week. So many startups today fail because they are not disciplined. Entrepreneurship is for finishers, it’s a character driven process requiring discipline and consistency. Additionally, StartupCamp is designed to show students the right shortcuts and possible blind spots to save years of guessing and mistakes.
What’s the offer to your students?
We provide 12 modules, which each include a 30-minute coaching video, PDF curriculum pack, study guide, checklist, recommended reading, supplemental content, freebies, podcasts, and shows. The plan is to get your idea to launch at month five, and thriving by the end of the year. There’s also a private Facebook group where I answer 10-15 questions per day, and Q&A conference calls. For people who successfully get through the course, there’s a certificate and graduation. The program costs $99 a month or $949 upfront for the year.
How is it going so far? How do you measure success?
I think we are almost going to be known as an incubator. We already have over 300 students. With so many people jumping into e-learning, quality and design are core to our business, with solid outcomes. Good design tells people you care about them, and it takes a serious entrepreneur to know that. Dave Ramsey has results, that’s why he grows year after year. I am fanatically focused on results and students are already starting businesses and making money. It’s really cool to see.
Bend has got a bright future. It’s a micro economy like Hawaii, a unique island in the middle of Oregon. You can make an impact here. You can know every startup in Bend. I hope to be a voice and leader for startups here for the foreseeable future and help people not just chase their dreams, but actually build companies. I’m going to have the StartupCamp Summit every year in Bend at a campground I’m planning to buy and event/office space downtown.
I’m figuring out what happens for alumni, including extended courses, getting more people in the doors and keeping them there. Eventually, I want to keep this company the right size and have five to seven full time employees with a one million per employee annual revenue target. It’s not huge like Sevenly, but people forget how much a million dollars is. I plan to keep things at the right level so I can be the best dad and husband possible. I want to own my business, not the business to own me, and I want StartupCamp students to achieve the same thing.
Tierney O’Dea is a writer and media consultant. She started her career at NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw and worked in various forms of media for national organizations including Scholastic, Yahoo, and NASA. She also served as an executive for two startups, Slooh.com and Medic Mobile, and as a mentor for entrepreneurs in Austin, TX. In her free time, she enjoys downhill skiing, hiking, photography, and astronomy.
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