You have a great idea for a business? Fantastic!
Good ideas are easy. Having a startup is hard. Really hard.

Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Sara Blakely are household names. For every unicorn founder there are thousands of people who had a big idea and failed or gave up. I am one of these people – an upstart.

My name is Kara Holm, a recovering founder and rehabilitated casino marketing consultant. Now I am a candidate in the MFA in creative non-fiction program at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Thanks for stopping by! This website is for startup groupies, disaster tourists, business enthusiasts, anyone who has had a startup (successful or otherwise), and aspiring founders who want to learn from the experiences of others.

I am working on a book inspired by my own experiences in the start-up ecosystem. Upstarts:  Founders, Failure, and the Startup Paradox (working title) is part memoir and part “how-not-to” book that explores conceptions of success and startup culture outside of the Silicon Valley bubble.

Share your story!

Let’s talk about success and failure. Let’s talk about what it means to be a founder. Contact Upstarts.

Your voice is important, whether you are just getting started as a founder, or coming to the end of your journey or somewhere in between.

Try our surveys and quizzes

Check out our surveys and quizzes, listed below.

  • Have you walked through the fire and lived to tell the tale? Take the Upstarts survey Life After Start-up if you are a founder who has wound up your business or is about to close. 
  • Are you at the start of your journey or thinking about taking the entrepreneurial plunge? Aspiring and new founders wondering if you have what it takes to survive can take the Upstarts Founders’ Readiness Quiz.

Want to talk about your experience? Please contact me.

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Notice to Readers:

The content on this site represents the opinions of the author based on my personal experiences as a founder. This site has been designed to provide readers with important questions to consider and inspiration. Always consult multiple sources for information. Remember, each founder and business is unique. Good luck!