Starting a GIS Business: 2 Reasons to be the Boss & 4 Steps to Take Now

Last week, I gave a presentation to Texas State University students titled “Starting a GIS Business: 2 Reasons to be the Boss & 4 Steps to Take Now.” While my part of the presentation was just ok, I was thrilled with all of the questions that I got. The fact that the students asked me 30 minutes of questions after a 20 minute presentation meant that the presentation had done a good job in peaking the students’ interest in starting their own businesses.

The slides from the presentation are on ShareShare, and a video of the the first 20 minutes of the presentation is on YouTube (see below). Also, an outline of the presentation is in written format below just in case you can’t access either SlideShare or YouTube right now.

2 Reasons You Should be the Boss of a GIS Business are:

  1. The Job Market Sucks: http://cohort11.americanobserver.net/latoyaegwuekwe/multimediafinal.html
  2. Geolocation Start Ups are Hot

How We Built Cubit, our GIS Business

  1. Built a Minimum Viable Product
  2. Raised Money from Capital Factory
  3. Built version 1 with Maps
  4. Making Money

4 Steps to Take Right Now

(whether you are in College or currently working for someone else)

  1. Build a Network
  2. Take an Intro to Programming Class
  3. Look for Problems
  4. Plug into the Start Up Scene

Resources for Starting Your Business

The majority of the questions that I got were about starting a company. So below are links to resources for doing a start up in Austin, Texas.
Where to Find Funding

Where to Find Austin Entrepreneur Events and Groups
(note: I’m not necessarily recommending these events. But if you go to these events and ask people what groups and events they attend, you’ll be able to find a good group/event for you to join and get involved in).

What Questions do You have about Starting a GIS Business?

Leave me a comment if you have any questions, and I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction and share any resources that I know about.

Also, would you like to watch the rest of the Q/A session of last week’s presentation via YouTube? The presentation went for 50 minutes, but I only uploaded the first 20 minutes of it. Let me know.

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4 Responses to Starting a GIS Business: 2 Reasons to be the Boss & 4 Steps to Take Now

  1. Tam Frager September 28, 2010 at 12:19 pm #

    The Q&A would be great. Thanks for posting your presentation and your slides!

  2. Paul Burns May 18, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

    Great Presentation. I am hoping that you may be able to provide me with some figures on the cost of start up, necessary equip/software, and main areas to focus my advertisement efforts. Also, is it essential to include an engineer partnership in the process. Any help would be appreciated.

    Paul Burns

  3. Kristen Carney May 19, 2011 at 10:19 am #

    Hi Paul,
    It all depends. Are you looking to win contracts & do “traditional” GIS for a government agency? Or are you looking to build a GIS web app? I’m not qualified to give advice about starting a traditional firm, but I definitely have opinions about building businesses & GIS web apps. One of my favorite startup resources is Rework: http://37signals.com/rework/

    Let me know how I can help http://www.cubitplanning.com/data/contact
    Kristen