Improving lives through invention

Seven Lessons from a First-time Inventor-Entrepreneur

By Tricia Compas-Markman, Senior Program Officer, VentureWell*

Tricia Compas-Markman’s journey from engineering to founding a startup for safe drinking water brings valuable takeaways for innovators.

Compas-Markman and Dr. Tryg Lundquist tested the DayOne Waterbag with the US Navy and Thai Marines in a field test in Pattaya, Thailand (2010). Photo credit: DayOne Response

1. Seek out and maintain key relationships.

2. Know your technology.

DayOne Response responded to the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal in collaboration with the Nepal Department of Water Supply and Sewerage Agency, World Vision, and Americares. Photo credit: DayOne Response

3. Know your customer.

4. Expect the unexpected.

5. Be open to opportunities.

6. Support can be more than just financial.

Compas-Markman pictured with former US President Bill Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting in New York City in 2008. CGI University was launched by President Clinton to engage students on college campuses across the world who have made “Commitments to Action” to address the world’s most pressing challenges. Photo credit: Clinton Foundation

7. Building a company is a remarkable life experience, no matter the outcome.

DayOne Response worked with the LDS-Charities Philippines Team to field test and deploy the Waterbags in disaster-prone areas in the Philippines (2016). Photo credit: DayOne Response

Take a deeper dive and learn more about Tricia Compas-Markman’s entrepreneurship journey by reading a case study from VentureWell on her invention-based enterprise, DayOne Response.

Tricia Compas-Markman is a senior program officer at VentureWell. She implements and supports VentureWell’s early-stage entrepreneur programs, providing training for innovators on topics ranging from customer discovery to investment-readiness. Previously, Tricia founded and led DayOne Response, a science and technology startup providing clean drinking water solutions to vulnerable communities. During her tenure, she built a company with international reach, developed key partnerships, invented and scaled water technologies, and secured financing, which resulted in reaching 35+ countries and saving lives. Tricia received her BS in Civil Engineering and MS in Civil/Environmental Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Learn how to register here for Compas-Markman’s virtual OPEN session on March 15, “Lessons Learned from the Complex Journey of a Science and Technology Innovator.”

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