Check out Episode 3 of Unlocking Moves, the show that dives into the pivotal moments in an entrepreneur's journey that unlocked their true potential. Many business leaders only like to talk about their success stories - but host Kurt Wilkin is a firm believer that we learn more from the stumbles and mistakes. This episode of Unlocking Moves features a candid conversation between Kurt and Mike, covering everything from his failed first sales hire to advice for entrepreneurs seeking investment from venture capital, writing his book Mr. Monkey and Me, and stepping aside as CEO.
Mike Smerklo on the Unlocking Moves Podcast
It’s the time of year to panic and buy last minute gifts for all the important people in your life.
If you are in Austin, chances are one of those people you forgot is a current or aspiring entrepreneur/founder.
A founder is typically passionate, visionary, and...incredibly hard to shop for, especially this late in the game. Their brilliant brains probably have already created their own solutions to every want and need they have, making finding them the perfect gift very difficult.
Look. We spend all day every day with these people, so we wanted to help you out. That’s right....
This is our very first annual Founder Gift Guide.
Everything below is something you can add to your cart today and give to that crazy, but crazy inspiring person in your life who is on the journey of entrepreneurship.
Founders are busy...and founders forget. That includes the hot cup of coffee they just made. Instead of having to keep throwing in the microwave, get your favorite Founder an Ember that lets them control the temperature of their coffee from their phone.
For the hurried, but healthy breakfast eater, the trendy Nutribullet blender helps your Founder start their morning with something that will help keep energy up throughout the day. Break out the kale, people!
*Next Coast Portfolio Company*
Give the gift of fine wine on-tap for the Founder who is pulling those late nights in their home office. BOXT reimagines how to enjoy a single glass of wine at home after a long day, solving the nightly "to-open-or-not-to-open" debate. It stays fresh for up to six weeks once opened and allows you to pour exactly as much or as little as you like, whenever you like.
*Next Coast Portfolio Company*
Look, founders don’t have time to deal with digestive issues. They just want someone to tell them what to avoid so they can feel and operate at their best 24/7. This at-home test measures your body’s immune response to 96 foods to help guide you on what types of food may be the best to choose for an elimination diet.
Nothing to lose. Seriously. Founders can stick this AirTag on anything that goes missing frequently...keys, dog leash, cars, and Apple Users can track its location from Find My Friends at any time.
For the Founder breaking into the interview scene, don’t let them be the person with the bad quality audio. Get them this easy-to-use USB HQ microphone to quickly plug in before that next interview so they sound as fabulous as they are during their interviews and important conversations.
They can set this on their desk within reach so that their phone and/or AirPods never die again while in the midst of an important board meeting or sales call. Plus, it's stylish.
An Austin homegrown brand, these Outdoor Voices sweatpants are perfect for the bottom half of a Founder on those Zoom call marathon days. Truly, this fabric is like wearing air.
Founders need to move fast, but still want to look good. Throw these staple earrings on for any call, and you’ll be spruced up. Heck, you could sleep in them and wear them for a week straight.
If your Founder friend is more of a statement than a staple kind of person, Huichol Love is the perfect fit. Each piece of HUICHOL LOVE jewelry is hand-beaded by Huichol artisans in the remote mountains of Mexico and finished with sterling silver and gold elements in our studios in Austin, Texas and Sayulita, Mexico. 10% of proceeds from website sales are donated to the Huichol Center for Cultural Survival, an organization that empowers the Huichol people to maintain their spiritual, artistic, and cultural heritage by preparing them to coexist with the outside world on their own terms.
For the Founder that is back in the office, or even if they are still remote, buy them a subscription to Austin company, Sock Club, so that every month they receive a fun, new, high-quality pair of socks to show off.
For the weekend trips or mid-week work trips, this bag easily unfolds into essentially a handling closet, making life just one-step easier for a busy travelling founder.
Made by the Austin company, Erin Condren, this lap desk is perfect for the Founder spending late nights on the couch taking another pass at their pricing model while binge watching Survivor and sipping on the BOXT wine you bought them…(See above.)
Starting a company is hard work. Coffee helps make it just a bit easier. Especially good coffee that got it started in the great city of Austin. While you can’t buy their legendary Moon Milk, you can buy their incredible coffee beans. Some lucky Founder could get this from you, and be forever grateful.
This Austin local business sends a silly scented soy candle to you once a month. For a founder who is back to back on calls day and all night, the least you can do is make sure their office smells nice.
An Austin favorite, El Arroyo’s put all their hilarious marquis signage into one beautiful coffee table book so you never have to stop laughing at their hilariousness...or craving their tacos. The perfect gift for an Austin Founder, or even just an Austin Founder wannabe.
We’re not biased at all, but this book by our Managing Director and Co-Founder, Michael Smerklo, is an incredibly useful book for every entrepreneur growing through the grueling, yet rewarding journey of entrepreneurship. We think it is a must-read for every founder looking to scale a venture.
Give the gift of giving to an Austin founder this holiday season. This Austin non-profit is equipping students with both professional and technical skills to prepare them for a variety of in-demand, high paying technical careers. In their words, every “...gift will help us continue developing a pipeline of diverse, local technical talent for our region. Every dollar raised supports high school students' preparation, development, and placement into paid software engineering internships.” Thank you for what you are doing for the community of Austin, Code2College.
One kit purchase buys from 10 different Austin founders...aka, this is the perfect way to support our local startup community in Austin and give incredible treats and sweets. Oh, and maybe the best part...you can also donate a kit! Check it out on their website.
These are not commissionable links. We just really wanted to have the backs of the people in the startup community alongside us.
So, let us know what you think. What gifts did we miss that you are getting for that Founder in your life? We’d love to know. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Founder Gift Guide 2021