• AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Innovation, Kansas City, Life Lessons, Sprint Accelerator


    I woke up unaided this morning at 6am (that’s unusual for me…I generally battle my alarm clock starting at 6:30 and it finally wins by around 7).  Today is Demo Day for the first ever Sprint Mobile Health Accelerator powered by Techstars class.  It has been a thrilling 90 days and I’ve learned so much, worked with amazing people and will dearly miss every single one of them…but that’s a topic for another day.

    What got me out of bed this morning was reflecting on what got us to this point.  It was fun for me to look back on this post from April 4th, recapping a 10 day journey that would forever change my career and my life.  On the flight home from Portland, I wrote two blog posts and put together a pitch deck that became the foundation for what would eventually become the Sprint Accelerator.  Kevin McGinnis (who is now my boss) was the first recipient of this presentation and eventually would refine this pitch and get it pushed through the executive ranks of Sprint, all the way up to our CEO Dan Hesse.

    It wasn’t just that…  A switch had been flipped on that trip.  I wasn’t interested in sitting at a desk any more and my day job that was truly amazing at one point in life seemed dull.  I did enough to not get fired during the week but nights and weekends were mine.  In that time I attended Startup Weekend and joined in on two other hack-a-thons.  I took a cross-country trip from San Francisco back home to KC with new friends, filming a documentary on technology along the way.  I was asked to speak multiple times with internal teams on innovation and I eventually launched HackFriday, bringing the magic of rapid prototyping/customer validation inside the walls of our corporation.

    I don’t know what’s to come but there’s one person who continues to stand by me through what I’ve referred to as my early life crisis.  My wife Stacey has been supportive through my ups and downs.  Working outside of the lines has moments of mania and depression….she’s dealt with me through both.  Milestones like this allow you to reflect on the things you’re truly grateful for…she’s #1 on the list.

    The last 14 months have been a hustle but today is a day to sit back and smile as the first batch of companies through this program will take the stage this evening at the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts.  I couldn’t be more proud of them.

    They will make a HUGE impact on the world but they’ve already made a bigger impact on me personally.  I grew up around entrepreneurs and I started my life as an entrepreneur…I’ve finally discovered in the last year what was missing from my career and I’m grateful to everyone who’s been a part of that.  For those of you sitting out there who also feel like something is missing…get out there and make something happen.  You won’t regret it.

    P.S.  If you haven’t signed up for tickets to Demo Day yet….make it quick!  We’re very close to selling out and I want to see a packed house tonight!!:  RSVP HERE


4 Responses to A lot can happen in 14 months…what will you do?

  • thetylerhayes wrote on June 12, 2014 at 8:17 // Reply

    One plane trip, that’s awesome. Totally makes sense though. You had the itch. It’s been a blast, thanks for being who you are and making it that way.

  • JessicaMerrill wrote on June 12, 2014 at 9:48 // Reply

    Congrats Erik! You are truly doing great work and living your dream which we all aspire to:)
    Also great to read that I’m not alone in the ups and downs that come with trying to determine what your true passion is and how to turn it into a career! People always say how important it is to find the right spouse and that this person can determine how successful you might be…it’s so true and it’s so great that you and Stacey found each other and are there to support and motivate one another.
    Wishing you continued success!

  • ErikWullschleger wrote on June 16, 2014 at 9:29 // Reply

    JessicaMerrill Thanks buddy!  She’s definitely been super understanding and I’m really lucky to have her.  Hope you’re doing well…would love to get together for a beer some day if you’re ever in the neighborhood!!

  • ErikWullschleger wrote on June 16, 2014 at 9:31 // Reply

    thetylerhayes Dude…the last 90 days were definitely life changing, in large part because of you and your team.  So glad you guys were able to come to KC and super proud to call you friends.

    I expect a lot out of you so don’t let me down!!


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