While a ruptured spleen is not something any person wants to experience, even the worst events in life have silver linings. Serial entrepreneur David Spiro suffered this devastating injury while playing college baseball at the University of Michigan. However, after a full recovery from surgery he decided to let his baseball career go and focus on his business endeavors.
As time passed he found himself having a problem that other entrepreneurs share. "I was at school and working on a startup with some friends," says Spiro. "But, no matter how hard I focused on building that idea into a business, I kept coming up with more and more startup ideas."
As the ideas flowed he would jot down his concepts in a free-form document with the intention of using the school's standard business model platforms to further advance his projects. However, these ideas rarely got off the ground because the tools were either outdated or did not incentivize him to create a real business plan. Many of Spiro's ideas eventually dissolved into his computer's hard drive as if they were stitches from his surgery.
After graduating in 2012, David never stopped thinking of business concepts. Actually, it seemed no one around him was ever shy about sharing his or her thoughts. "People studying entrepreneurship, people pursuing other degrees, my little sister, my mom. I just realized everybody was talking about ideas," Spiro said. That's when he came up with his best idea to date: Elevatr, a mobile note-taking app that organizes ideas into a business plan.
Spiro feels that entrepreneurship represents a fundamental change in the way people view their lifestyle. Rather than simply getting a job for the sake of having one, people are increasingly looking to become their own boss and help create value for others. Elevatr is a tool designed and developed in partnership with Fueled to enhance user ideas into structured plans that make execution more manageable.
While entrepreneurship has been a staple of business all over the world, the movement into the mainstream has become more evident in recent years. People see how the Facebooks and Twitters of the world gain popularity so quickly and think, “Hey, I can do that!” The fact of the matter is, due to a combination of poor planning, poor execution, not enough funding, and simply not gaining popularity, the majority of startups fail within the first five years.
Elevatr does not guarantee your business will be successful -- only you can do that. What it does is cater to the needs of those who are venturing out on their own, and especially those without business experience. The more information, research, and thought a user provides, the more clear their vision becomes. Elevatr takes “user-friendly” to a higher level with its integrated business model.
Creating a template is monotonous and the source of many procrastination hours for business school students. Having a visually striking and intuitive app changes the status quo. Users are guided through the process from beginning to end, filling in fifteen essential categories such as target market, brand identity and distribution. Simply adding content results in a concise, structured plan that did not require pulling an all-nighter.
Spiro founded Elevatr in September 2012 and has naturally settled into New York City’s entrepreneur-rich tech scene. His biggest piece of advice for fellow entrepreneurs:
Understand that your idea is a vision and your vision needs to be surgically sliced into manageable steps.
Had it not been for that ruptured spleen, Spiro would likely be playing minor league baseball and Elevatr would simply be another idea buried deep within a Google Doc. You might say he found his silver lining.