Founder Firsts and Founder Shoutouts

Helping you grow your startup faster | In-person events | Resources and member shoutouts

​⭐️ Hi this is The Knowledge Shop - NYC's founder community. We run in person events, and continue the conversation online between times.

Quick Links: 

📅 Attend an event | 🏡 Join the community |  Book 1:1 mentorship 🗞️ Newsletter feature request | 💰 Sponsor an issue | 🙋‍♀️ Volunteer - (marketing and event support would be 🙏)

Hello there!

We’re back with our next edition - and as well as our usual content, we’re also talking the scary moment of doing things for the first time.

Coming up in this issue…

  1. 📊 Motivation survey results

  2. 💪 First-time founder thoughts

  3. First-time founder survey

  4. 💬 Community discussions

  5. 📆 Upcoming TKS Events

  6. 🙋‍♀️ Member Shout outs, asks and wins

  7. 🚀 Launches

  8. 🛠️ Resources

  9. 🗽 Events across NYC

Firstly - thank you to everyone for being vulnerable and sharing what was going on in your head, and secondly, thank you for reminding others (myself included), that we are not alone in feeling this way. 🙏

The survey results were unanimous in that we all struggle with motivation! And inconclusive on how we deal with that 🤷🏻‍♀️ We’ll keep sharing motivational tips and hope you find what works best for you. If you have more thoughts on motivation, reach out to Tori!

Fumbling through Firsts 🥇

🙋‍♀️ Hello, my name is Skylar Lewandowski and I’ll be helping out with the newsletter moving forward (thank you Tori for making incredible tutorials and encouraging others to build the community they want).

After going through some severe burnout, I quit my job and 3 months later decided I didn’t want to go back. I have since started a few of my own projects: 1) Kyyros, a group travel platform 2)Wanderlust Card, a backpacking membership club and 3) Foretold Inc, leadership development consulting. I’ve always considered myself a “multipotentialite” and more startups equals better chances of startup survival, right? I’ve learned so far that it takes TIME to build something, and that’s okay!

Dark humor aside, I wanted to talk about how entrepreneurship is basically doing things for the first time for a living. First times of anything usually start out with excitement, anxiety, and hesitation. If you’re constantly doing new things, it can be stimulating but exhausting. No wonder our motivation dips sometimes!


As a founder, I know that you do something for the first time every week! Share out in Slack/Whatsapp the new thing you tried out this week and how it went.

Mine: This newsletter will be my first one! Hopefully it goes well… I also finally picked a transactional email service after starting accounts with at least 5 different providers. I really wanted to pick the best one even though they are basically all the same and I know I’ll eventually change after learning more about how it works.

The Midwit Theory

There’s a theory that actually being a first-timer might be as good as being an expert! Why? The first-timer doesn’t know anything and tries to approach a problem with a common sense guess, and the expert will already know that simplicity is best. It’s the “midwit” or someone who has some knowledge that usually overthinks the situation and ends up overcomplicating a solution (^ see my picking a transactional email provider example).

Every time my brain starts to overthink, I try to go back to my beginner mindset.

Beginner Mindset Affirmations

  1. I have the courage to face the unknown and thrive.

  2. I trust myself to handle what comes tomorrow.

  3. I am open to learning from every experience, no matter the outcome.

  4. I am confident in my ability to adapt and thrive in new situations.

  5. I am open to the possibilities that come with trying new things.

What’s your take?

Are you a first-time founder? Are you a multi-time founder with advice?

Take our anonymous member survey on how you approach being a beginner and taking on things for the first time.

Thank you for being a part of this first time newsletter journey with me and can’t wait to connect with you all more!


💬 Slack / WhatsApp Group Chats this week on…💬

📆 TKS Events 📆

🍹 Happy Hours

🧑‍💻 Coworking days:

  • Sept 20th - Fundraising / Storytelling (includes office hours with startup experts)

  • Save the date: 

    • Mid October (will be part of Tech week, ping Tori with ideas)

    • Nov 15th - Brooklyn baby!! Theme TBD

☕️ Coffee Huddles

 🤗 Welcome to the 'hood 🤗

A big 👋 and hello to some of our newer members, including...

  • Sujay Suresh Kumar - Cofounder of Lilu, a women’s health company building tech-enabled products to make postpartum care more comfortable, efficient and pain-free

  • Scott Rosenblum - President/Founder of LEVEL PR, a tech focused, boutique public relations agency

  • Alina Braverman - Founder of Celfie, a social impact startup to protect images. She’s looking for help developing the app as well!

  • Jospeh Gallione - in startup space and can reach out if you need help building, selling, or building a team

  • Ally Bell - Systems Engineer at Olin College and currently at an early stage VC fund in New York

  • Alma - in the beauty industry and looking for community advice

🙋‍♀️ Member Shout Outs, Asks & Wins 🙋‍♀️

🙋‍♂️ Ax Ali: “Hey, I haven't been here for a couple of year (was in corporate land) so I thought I'd re-introduce myself to this group. My name is Ax, I am the CEO and co-founder of I am starting 3rd Brain with my wife Paige. We're both product people, she's still at The NY Times at a product leader and I am full time on 3rd Brain as of 2 weeks ago. Before that I wast at Bilt Rewards, Amazon, AWS, Apple, and Microsoft and I have a Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction Design. I'm looking forward to connecting with you all!”

🚀 Dan Aronov, founder of is looking for a Business Development Director to spearhead the build out of their motor coach charter network and user base.

💅 Aparna Avasarala of Deminrush Experience created an epic Barbie world that we all want to be living in!

🚀 Launches 🚀

Congratulations go to…

PickyPenguin, the ultimate media curation app for parents and guardians looking to provide a safe and enriching media experience for their children.


Founder - Sarah Walker

Now on all platforms (iOS, Android, and Fire Tablets)

Immigrants Beyond Immigration, aims to support immigrants in their acculturation process, foster inclusivity, provide resources, and advocate for the rights and success of immigrants.

Founder - Joa Tudela

🛠️ Resources 🛠️

​🏁 How to fundraise. Great beginners guide to the process, or read the book Fundraising by Ryan Breslow.

📖 Recommended Read: Lazy Girl Capital. A great newsletter full of tips and resources for everyone in the startup space, but especially useful for WOC

🤝 A great job board that the All Tech is human group runs. For anyone job hunting, to help them bootstrap their start up.

🎨 Project 1.6, a Design Agency, is providing pro-bono brand consultation to startup founders. Times are available in September!

🗽 NYC-wide Events 🗽

Aug 11

Free Masterclass on Investment Readiness 3:30pm, Online, She Raises Capital is bringing a masterclass to educate and empower founders to understand their business from the investor's POV. RSVP

Aug 14

Building Strong Professional Networks and Finding Community in NYC 7:00pm, Join Bridging ASEAN Connections for a panel discussion in Soho. RSVP

Aug 15

NYC Fashion Designers and Entrepreneurs Networking Join us for a fun social event to bring together local designers and creatives in our community. RSVP

Aug 19

UX Design Intro Day 9:30am, Experience being a UX Designer for a day with guidance from experts at TikTok, Spotify, Amazon, and more. RSVP

Aug 22

#notapitch: Unofficial Feedback on your Idea/Prototype from a VC 1:00pm, Get unofficial feedback from BBV's Charlie O'Donnell where he'll take "not pitches" in a virtual public forum on early prototypes and ideas. RSVP

Aug 24

Responsible Tech Mixer by All Tech is Human 6:00pm, Come meet others who are focused on building a better tech future, share resources and learn from each other, listen to a panel conversation, and find moments of collaboration.  RSVP

Sep 12

Marketing and PR Case Studies for Startups 4:00pm, Learn from the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute on how to identify and leverage successful marketing and PR strategies to achieve your goals. RSVP

Sep 13

Queens Tech Night 6:30pm, Join others in tech community at Culture Lab in Long Island. RSVP

Sep 20

Fundraising / Storytelling Coworking Day. 9.30am, Manhattan.Join the team from Power to Pitch, to hear how to focus your messaging, and receive 1:1 fundraising advice. RSVP

​See you for Coffee on Aug 18th....

RSVP: For the next Founder Coffee Huddle

We know you’re getting coffee anyways!

🙏 And a big thank you to The Yard for sponsoring.

Looking for coworking space across NYC, check them out. Their team is 🔥