Entrepreneur Steve Heivly, who co-founded The Startup Factory accelerator in Durham, turned his experiences into a recently published book, “Build The Fort: Why 5 Simple Lessons You Learned as a 10 year-old Can Set You Up for Startup Success.” Now, he wants to share his experiences at a workshop for startup entrepreneurs. Plus, he talks about the book – why he wrote it, what he has to say.

First, the workshop.

“Whether you are a retired executive, a stay-at-home Mom, a 20-something software geek or a mid-career sales person . . . this workshop is for you,” he writes.

“I have worked 1-on-1 with hundreds of startup founders just like you. And now I have a startup workshop to provide YOU with the tools to live YOUR dream.”

Building on concepts in “Build the Fort,” Hevily says the workshop will focus meeting three key needs:

1. “Have an idea, but don’t know where to go next.
2. “Started a company, but are stuck and need to break out.
3. “Ready to “rocket”, but not sure where to focus your time and energy.”

The workshop is set for April 16 in Raleigh.

About the book

The Skinny caught up with the ever-busy Heivly recently to talk about his book. Here’s our Q&A:

  • Why did you decide to invest the time and effort needed to publish “Build the Fort”?

I had something to say that I knew others needed to hear. I also had recently downsized with kids out of the nest and found myself with more time. It was also on my bucket list (my Dad was an avid reader and short story writer).

  • What is the No. 1 message you are trying to deliver?

Fear gets in the way of us trying new things (like starting a company) and there are ways to minimize that fear and make the proverbial leap.

  • Has the effort you put into the book returned a worthy ROI? You define the ROI – money? Feedback? Message delivered? All?

The return goals are (and in this order); me, TSF (Startup Factory), Durham, Triangle, NC.

The me part is a move to help market myself and TSF outside of this region.

I have been averaging 8-12 speaking events a year and I wanted to increase the size, scope and reach of those.

A book is a great vehicle for supporting that goal.

  • Where do you find the time given your other responsibilities and blogging for Inc.?

TSF, Big Top, Moogfest, Inc/blogging – – call me insane but I love it and have the time to give to it now.

  • Might there be another book or two in the future?

It turns out I wrote too much for the first one, so a second book is already 1/2 done. I also have two other ideas that my agent and publisher and I are discussing that may come before the 1/2 written piece.  Right now I am concentrating on marketing the first book so that I can maximize my goals.  Then I will start writing again soon.

The agenda

Here’s the agenda for the workshop:

9 am Kickoff and Agenda
9:15 Build The Fort – Canvas Building
10:45 Break
11:00 Customer Discovery – Interview Techniques
11:30 Customer Role Play
Noon Lunch (provided)
12:30 Build The Fort – Canvas Workshop
1:30 Hot Seat – 1 on 1 Company Review
3:30 Build Your Elevator Pitch
4:00 Closing Remarks

Learn more at:


Learn more about the book at: