Starting a business takes dedication; it takes time, structure, and money. But sometimes, a new entrepreneur lacks something rather critical – sometimes, they lack a support group willing and eager to provide resources and guidance. Tahir Hussain, CEO of Collide Village, certainly knows the ingredients essential for success, and he’s built a career out of helping others reach their goals.
Hussain graduated Cum Laude from the University of Texas at Dallas with a degree in Electrical Engineering. His first stop upon embarking on his professional career was at Ericsson. For eight years, Hussain put in hard work and commitment as both an engineer and product development manager. Armed with incredible potential, a substantial amount of experience and drive, Hussain left Ericsson and founded Fusion Solutions in 2002.
“I founded Fusion Solutions to serve the specialized technical consulting, mobile solution development and staffing needs of large telecom companies,” says Hussain. His hard work paid off when in 2007 Fusion Solutions was listed as one of INC. Magazine’s 500 fastest growing companies, not just in Texas, but in the United States.
“I ran my own business for over 10 years and successfully exited,” Hussain adds, and it was this particular experience as an entrepreneur that allows him to lead Collide Village, located here in Addison, today. “I founded Collide Village because I have a deep passion to change the local technology startup landscape by investing and coaching entrepreneurs on how to build a successful, repeatable and scalable business model through data-driven entrepreneurial.”
Collide Village is part of the Addison TreeHouse – “a resource-centered co-working space focused on providing aspiring entrepreneurs with education, programming/events, and mentorship that are vital for the growth and sustainability of businesses.”
The TreeHouse combines “the benefits of a vibrant co-working space” with the resources of the Addison Economic Development Department, and it’s certainly fitting for Collide to be part of such a giving and devoted community. In addition to all Collide Village has to offer, its entrepreneurs reap the benefits of the Addison TreeHouse’s regular events and speakers, access to mentors and advisers, and “clean energetic workspace.” Ultimately, this environment provides the exact nourishment necessary for a blossoming company.
Hussain’s intent is voiced on Collide Village’s website, which describes the company as “a milestone driven accelerator where [they] invest in startups, teach them about evidence based entrepreneurship, and help founders brand and commercialized their innovations.” Hussain achieves this company goal by bringing hands on knowledge to his approach in finding and grooming the next generation of successful entrepreneurs.
But Collide Village stands out from other companies with a similar goal, because of its approach. “I saw a gap in the growing startup community for an entrepreneur resource that gave instruction to entrepreneurs in a structured milestone driven way. Collide Village fills that gap with our accelerator program focused on lean startup principles.”
Their company motto, “Trust in God. Everyone else must bring Data,” sums it up. Collide Village asks their cohort companies to constantly base their business decisions upon data they collect. This idea of using scientific approaches to business is at the root of every aspect of Collide Village’s company. “We try to be systematic in our approach to building a business,” Hussain begins, “Ultimately, a business has to know its customers and build something they love. There are specific approaches to figuring that out. We try to teach those methods to our companies.”
But on top of a wealth of knowledge, each accepted company receives an initial seed fund of $25k in return for 8% of the company’s equity, to ensure they get up on their feet. This fall alone, according to the website, Collide Village Accelerator is mentoring eight incredible technology companies in a wide variety of industries; these eight companies include BareLabor, CommonEdits, Gopher, HomeBlis, JobNow, MassVenture, Rapidi2i, and Sigh.
But in addition to helping aspiring entrepreneurs succeed in this particular field, Hussain believes the company has taught him a great deal as well. “I have had to become incredibly creative on a daily basis. I have the privilege of being able to interact with so many companies that I am constantly forced to think about new things in new ways,” explains Hussain.
Investing in economic growth is vital to the North Dallas community. It allows us to expand, grow, and benefit from one another. Hussain just happens to be one of the mentors in our town enthused by the idea of creating access to resources for aspiring entrepreneurs.
If you feel that you’re an ideal candidate for the Collide Village Accelerator program, then check out their website. And don’t worry, while applications are currently closed, you can always attend Coffee with Collide Village in order to discuss fundamental questions facing your early company or idea.