By Mike Maher
Gabriel Weinberg Provides Instant Answers: Passion, Ambition & Perseverance

“PEOPLE WITH BIG VISIONS WHO BOOTSTRAP BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO AND THEN SLOWLY DRAW PEOPLE INTO THEIR VISION.”  ~ Gabe Weinberg, in response to what type of entrepreneurs he admires most.

Another 50+ Philly entrepreneurs left inspired after round two of Startup Grind PHL.  Gabriel Weinberg, Founder of anonymous and instant answer search engine DuckDuckGo, dished out his transparent lessons learned as a tech startup founder, angel investor, boot-strapper, and oh yeah, family man.  That’s right – Gabe spent his first two years launching DuckDuckGo while being a stay at home father with his son.  Mad respect!

On Wednesday June 5th, Startup Grind Philadelphia welcomed Gabriel Weinberg in front of another packed-house at Benjamin’s Desk.  Despite a massive building collapse in Center City earlier that day, entrepreneurs still showed up in droves to hear from a founder who’s failed, exited, bootstrapped, raised venture capital, angel invested, and still spends time with the family!

Gabriel described his first startup after dropping out of MIT.  He had some startup capital left over from his tuition money and went to work.  18 months later: no money and no traction.  Gabe talked about timing and how important it really is.  With technology changing at a rapid pace, it’s never been easier to launch a startup, but failing cheap and failing fast is critical to success too.  Failure will happen to everyone he said.  That’s why he really likes people who are passionate around ambitious ideas and have the perseverance to see them through.

To that end, Gabe also talked about what he looks for in founders as an angel investor.  At the top of the list were those same ideals : passion, ambition, and perseverance.  In a short period of time, Gabe has invested in a ton of Philly-based companies and successful companies at that, including an exit in ClassNotes acquired by NoteHall.  And he talked about being a single-founder and how teams are great, but they’re not a requirement.

The search engine world is taking notice: Google and Bing are paying serious attention to this platform.  Never tried DuckDuckGo?  Give it a shot.  Here’s the same call to action challenged that night: try DuckDuckGo for a week – we think you’ll find it really sticky.  Oh, and by the way, it won’t track you!

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