The Olympic Games are a global opportunity to watch the world's greatest athletes compete on sport's greatest stage. For some, it's the only stage. While athletes like Kobe Bryant, Usain Bolt and Roger Federer are global brands, thousands more see the Olympics as a rare opportunity to shine some attention on sports like women’s wrestling, archery, badminton and BMX cycling. Wait...BMX? Yep. BMX was introduced as an official sport in the Beijing games. This is personally disappointing because I retired from the sport at age 13, unaware that I could have been an Olympian had I stuck with it another 20 years. But I digress. The point I’m trying to make is that every day, athletes are sacrificing, training and toiling in obscurity for this one chance to become the best in the world at what they do.
Every four years, I'm reminded of how hard these athletes work without the expectation of fame or recognition. They do it because they love it. They do it because they want to be the best. I spent the last week working closely with the founders of five area startups that you've never heard of and couldn't help but recognize the similarities between a startup CEO and the rhythmic gymnast. These are talented innovators, honing their craft and taking on the world. Each is hoping for that one shot to prove that all the training and hard work was worth it, whether it's through winning the gold medal or that first paying customer. For the entrepreneur, there is no podium to ascend. However, there might be some money in it if they win. And, while Mark Zuckerburg or may draw all the headlines, they too can be the best in the world at what they do.
This week’s new tech jobs are looking for mental athletes to fill the 62 open jobs at area startups. That doesn’t include those at other young companies in the region like Vox Mobile, Explorys, Mobile Defense and TOA Technologies.
Robert Hatta is Vice President of Entrepreneurial Talent and assists JumpStart client and portfolio companies in their efforts to recruit and retain entrepreneurial talent at all levels.