Trying to execute a seamless startup launch is easier said than done. We regularly hear about disruptive technologies and startups that take off, but we rarely hear about the hurdles they had to overcome on their journeys.

A recent Fast Company article identified the eight most common mistakes that founders should avoid in 2017. Here are three of particular importance that made it to the list.

  1. Trying to network in-authentically
  2. Forging ahead with unrealistic expectations
  3. Getting too overwhelmed to keep learning

This is why place, people and programs matter to the entrepreneurial system. In the MaRS Intensive Program this trio of elements will intersect, helping you pave the way to entrepreneurial success. Here is how the Intensive Program helps entrepreneurs overcome these common mistakes.

Mistake #1: Trying to network in-authentically

Authentic networking begins with taking an interest in people. Similarities garner connectivity and when you place like-minded entrepreneurs with similar problems together in a room with a key expert then magic happens.

“There is nothing more valuable when starting a business than getting solid advice from mentors and testing your assumptions with peers,” says Mark Argo, the co-founder of Little Robot Friends. “Being at MaRS also provided great opportunities to make connections that help to move businesses forward.”

Mistake #2: Forging ahead with unrealistic expectations

In our Value Proposition, Business Model Canvas and Finance Fundamentals workshops we preach having realistic expectations based on valuations.

“Building the solution according to the [customer] interview answers, not the other way around, was really hard to drill into my brain and understand,” says Raed Tulefat, the founder of haveiseen.com and a graduate of our Fall Intensive Program. “We, as entrepreneurs, love our ideas and expect everybody else to love them too.”

Your idea will remain just an idea if you do not have adoption. Having realistic expectations means that you are ready for changes ahead.

Mistake #3: Getting too overwhelmed to keep learning

Every innovator will tell you that they’re always looking for “what’s next.” Remaining stagnant or becoming too overwhelmed to keep learning is simply not an option if you are committed to your venture.

Take it from Shervin Chua, the co-founder of SimpleBob, who has dedicated his startup to sharpening an organization’s innovation capabilities by developing a corporate innovation index.

“Given today’s economic climate, rapid changes in technology and increasing global competitiveness, I decided to take the plunge to pursue building a self-sustaining business,” says Shervin.

The Intensive Program was created by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs and it is the key to reducing your startup mistakes. We’ve taken the most common mistakes and problems that founders face and shaped hands-on workshops around them. Essentially, the Intensive Program sets the runway for your flight. With uncertainty ahead of you, what steps are you taking to make your runway ready for takeoff?


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Neda Tocheva

Neda Tocheva is the Associate, Entrepreneurship Programs at MaRS. See more…