Starting From Scratch

11/04/2014 | By swspokane

This post originally appeared on

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Next IT is only 13 years old – and startup days, with their nerves, sweat and satisfaction, are a not-too-distant memory.

The nearness of the experience is a big part of why Next IT is 100% on-board with Startup Weekend Spokane. We know firsthand what it feels like to venture out into an unfamiliar landscape, unsure of what the road ahead holds.

For anyone making a bet that their big idea is worth building a business on, the opportunity to present ideas in front of a roomful of highly experienced entrepreneurs and investors – and not only get a reality check on the viability of a startup idea, but also an intense burst of assistance to help get it off the ground – is invaluable.

Next IT is now an industry-leading creator of intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs) that solve problems for some of the world’s leading organizations. But in 2002, we were a startup with a vision that few people at the time could understand.

Our founder and CEO Fred Brown gained many of the principles he applied during Next IT’s startup phase while he was riding on the rodeo circuit. They were the subject of a recent article in, and it’s worth reading in the context of Next IT’s growth as a company.

So best of luck to everyone pitching their ideas at Startup Weekend Spokane. If it wasn’t for people having the courage to move forward with their ideas – rising to challenges as they come along – we’d be living in a much different world today.

 Jared Brown, Project Manager, Next IT