Betty Bedregal entered the 2012 Silicon Valley StartUp Cup Business Model Competition with a dream. Within 7 months, Betty’s tenacity and fortitude enabled her to create Betty’s Butterflies Day Care. Betty’s Butterflies is a bilingual, multicultural day care center that employs the Healthy Roots program and Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” program to focus on raising healthy children. These programs teach children to apply activity and balanced nutrition to their home and school lives for an overall improvement in lifestyle and confidence.
Betty says that the greatest benefit she gained from StartUp Cup was the confidence she received, which has enabled her to feel more secure in reaching out to potential customers. She also learned FIVE invaluable lessons along the way:
1) Have Conviction | Know that your business is a good idea. It’s not all about money that matters at first.
2) Be Flexible | Don’t be afraid of change and embrace the unknown.
3) Be Alert | Always keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities to change.
4) Be Open | Allow your idea to grow from a small idea to a big idea.
5) Have Vision | What was at first only an idea is now a sustainable business, with a location, customers and a waiting list.
By the end of the competition, she had a business, which served 4 children. Today, her facility is at its full capacity, with an enrollment of 14. Based on this experience, in two to three years she is planning to expand her business into a commercial daycare with 60-100 children. It will be located in a place that will be convenient for working people to bring their children and for those looking for jobs. She is expecting to employ 15 people as she participates in the community to help build the economy.
The advice that Betty would give to future StartUp Cup participants, or aspiring entrepreneurs, is when you have a dream, chase it. Own your idea and care for it as you would care for a baby. Do what you like to do. Do what you need to do. Be happy.