In order to grasp my elatement when I got off a Skype call with Helen and Karien you need to first read about our road to fundraising.
It was just a week prior when I got an email from Karien that I wouldn’t receive a fellowship from the Shuttleworth Foundation.
With a limited number of spots available, unfortunately we will not be offering you a Fellowship this round.
I was more than disappointed; the Shuttleworth Foundation was our hail mary. By this point I was running out of money and options. It had been over a year since I received a paycheck. Patrick and I still believed in OpenPhoto but we had failed to find a way to bring it to fruition.
That weekend I went to Austin, TX for my cousin’s bachelor party. One of the worst parts of doing a start-up is when others ask how it’s going and you’re having a particularly bad day.
I returned home from the bachelor party on Sunday and received an email from Karien on Monday, July 31.
Upon reflection we would like to have another conversation about a possible fellowship.
Talk about a roller coaster. I quickly replied that I could chat on Tuesday.
It was a 20 minute call with Helen and Karien that changed everything. For the first time in 15 months I was looking at a personal credit card bill that was larger than the balance of our bank account. Rachel and I were literally out of money after surviving off our savings and liquidating everything except our retirement accounts. And just like that we saw a flicker at the end of the tunnel.
We had received funding. Nothing else mattered.
I called Patrick immediately after getting this news and we were speachless.
What followed were 2 years of being a Shuttleworth fellow and finishing what we started in June, 2011.