October will be a very significant month for me for many reasons and two in particular rise to the top.
First, New Wave Foods celebrates its one year anniversary! One year may not seem like much but with stats going around like 90% of startups fail (Forbes) and 50% of all new businesses die within the first five years (Inc), making it through the first year feels like a victory. Year one of running a startup is thrilling and terrifying. I like to think it is similar to the American Frontier in the Wild West. The first year is a journey of conquest, survival, and persistence. There is no set trail especially when you're making something new like algae-based shrimp. Most days you're creating your path, searching for new lands, and defending your company against unpredictable threats. However, I've heard that companies that survive past the first two years are less likely to die in subsequent years. So I take comfort knowing that each day we're in business is one more step closer to sustainable longevity.
Second, I am expecting my first child on October 1st! Being a pregnant startup co-founder and CEO during the journey is also like being in the Wild West. At first, I thought pregnancy would make this first year nearly impossible. Some days I didn't know how I was going to pitch to investors with a baby bump -- let alone fit into my suit. But honestly, having a child has brought a bigger fire to my passion for New Wave Foods. Having a child makes it infinitely more important we protect our oceans. I must take action now to defend our oceans from threats like overfishing, pollution, and destruction, so my son and future generations have the opportunity to fall in love with the wonders of the sea.
I know I am not a lone cowboy (woman) in this adventure, and I would not have endured the past year without an incredible team -- both professionally and personally. My co-founder Michelle has been here every step of the way trailblazing with me. We wouldn't be here without her brilliant mind that was able to transform the idea of algae-based seafood into a reality. Our advisors and mentors have given us valuable advice, guidance, and resources, and hearing stories from fellow entrepreneurs help keep it all in perspective. I know I really couldn't have survived this year if I didn't have an amazing husband at home. Every day he reminds me of my strength and encourages me to keep fighting when I feel like giving up. And once my son is here, I want to show him how to be strong and to fight for what you believe is right even when it's scary.
Thank you to all of you who've supported us on this frontier! I can't wait to see what the next year holds.
Dominique, Co-Founder and CEO