Andrew Parker CEO of Papa talks entrepreneurship at Idea Center
On August 28th, 2022, The Idea Center at Miami Dade College treated us to an intimate event, the Mike B. Fernandez Global Business Leadership Series with Papa CEO, Andrew Parker. Papa is one of Miami’s Unicorns, so of course, the house was PACKED!
Papa is a platform where seniors can request to spend time with a “Pal” (the name they use for the caregivers at Papa). It allows seniors to be mobile, have someone check in on them, and not be lonely.
🎯 Because Ok Yes is all about finding inspiration for your entrepreneurial journey, Here are my top takeaways from this fireside chat between Andrew and Alejandro:
🔹On Being a Passionate Leader: As soon as he started speaking, it was clear how committed Andrew Parker is to his mission. It’s inspiring to see that Papa’s core value is “To Be a Pal.” We need more of his in the world!
🔹On Problem Discovery: The idea of Papa came to be because Andrew’s aging grandpa needed attention and companionship. So, Andrew set out to create a solution to provide his Papa with someone to help him run basic errands and keep him company. In other words, use your own life experience to innovate.
🔹On Prototyping: The team at Papa started with a (costly) app but quickly realized they had to pivot. Lucky for them, they recognized that capturing feedback and implementing changes fast was critical to reaching product-market fit.
🔹On his Startup Journey: Andrew Parker told us his background is in finance, not tech. What a refreshing surprise! He had no friends with startups and knew very little about Y Combinator or incubators. But he took it one day at a time and figured out his new business.
🔹On Building a Team: “As a leader, you must understand you won’t have all the skills.” That was my most critical takeaway. So, to make a good team, seek people with diverse viewpoints and skills, and trust them to do their thing.
🔹On Gaining Early Traction: For Andrew, sales is a big part of his identity. He knew success would come if he could sell a simple idea anyone could understand. Bottom line, storytelling is key to early success!
🔹On Lessons Learned from Failures: This one is a no-brainer; building a startup is a serious rollercoaster. But Andrew Parker’s advice is to take everything with a grain of salt. He said, “Who cares if it doesn’t work; you can always pivot!”
Congrats to the entire Idea Center team, Chief Program Officer Sissi Rodriguez, and Executive Director Alejandro D. González for organizing an amazing event.
It’s loaded with guides to creatively empower entrepreneurs to tackle things like: