Studies show that the odds are stacked against entrepreneurial efforts. With nearly 90% of businesses projected to fail during the first few years of operations, the entrepreneurial journey is less glamorous than it seems. Raven Josiah set out to change this statistic by founding WAYWO, a company which brings diverse perspectives together to solve pain points in businesses.
WAYWO is a Kansas City-based company whose mission is to aid business owners, creators, and project pursuers in completing their goals by implementing productive collaboration techniques.
Meet Raven Josiah
Growing up in a Dominican household in Union City, New Jersey, Raven attributes everything he is today to his family. “My mom came to the United States when she was 13 years old, had my brother at 15 years old and me at 17. And there is no harder working woman I have come across in my life compared to my mother and grandmother for giving us an amazing life. Failure wasn’t an option for them, and it opened my eyes to absolutely anything is possible”.
Raven’s family pushed him to have high standards for himself. “I remember growing up, my mom always told me you can be a doctor, lawyer, president, or NFL player, but you have to choose one. In retrospect, I realize she wasn’t serious about the job positions themselves but wanted to remind me that I could be whatever I wanted, which has stuck with me ever since.”
In his Hispanic community, attending a university was a massive milestone for any family. In 2016, Raven moved to Kansas City to attend Avila University and pursue a degree in psychology. “I chose psychology because I always had an obsession with understanding why people do what they do.” With an advanced mathematical background, he continued his education and pursued a Master’s Degree in experimental psychology with a concentration in research/data analytics. During this time, Raven’s inquisitive nature drove him to take on many multisectoral side projects. His thesis was written on people’s attitudes and concerns towards automated vehicles and what factors influence the rate of adoption; he collaborated on a variety of Web3 projects to educate and onboard people into the emerging space; and he led a drone videography company where he traveled internationally and domestically to capture stories of talented people. He understood that collaboration was key to innovation and getting ahead. When he met his co-founder Jonathyn Lopez, their visions aligned, and WAYWO was conceptualized. Together, they developed a structure that streamlined networking and collaboration to get things done. And with the rate at which businesses are forming at an all-time high, they made it their mission to scale the WAYWO Project to help entrepreneurial efforts that statistically will fail within a few years of starting.
The Startup Boom?
Raven is a leading advocate and educator for the start-up boom. “As we continue to navigate the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to recognize that while it has posed challenges for many businesses, it has also presented opportunities for entrepreneurship. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Business Formation Statistics, there has been an exponential surge in applications for new businesses since the summer of 2020. This trend looks set to continue in the coming years. But it’s also worth noting that starting a business involves risks and challenges. Upon some of my research, when I paired the number of business formations in the last five years with the failure rates based on years of operation, I found that an estimated total of 7.4 million businesses will fail in 2023.
While these numbers may be staggering, it’s important to remember that these statistics include various businesses across various industries and sectors. The success or failure of any individual company will depend on multiple factors. Nonetheless, to increase your chances of success as an aspiring business owner, it’s essential to do thorough research, create a plan, and be prepared for potential challenges through careful planning and hard work.
When asked what the most challenging and rewarding parts of being a business owner is, Raven says “For me, collaborating with other companies and industry partners like PublifyPress, Keystone Innovation, and AI Hub has helped to identify new opportunities and find creative solutions to challenges. Building solid relationships and a supportive network can also provide valuable support and resources as you navigate the ups and downs of running a business. WAYWO intends on being the hub where productive collaborations are streamlined.”
What is WAYWO?
WAYWO stands for “what are you working on?” A phrase that sparks connectivity and transfer of ideas. Imagine this. A moderated session where a group of seven to ten business owners provides new perspectives and solutions based on real-life experiences. Along with the chance to address and resolve any identified pain points in real time. These are the types of environments that WAYWO is currently coordinating and developing. We strive to take a step past networking, skip the typical networking event pleasantries, and get things done: by utilizing the talent in the room.
Cross-Sector collaboration is a much-needed resource to combat the alarming projected number of business failures. Opportunities like this need to be easily accessible, not only for business owners but for anyone stuck on what to do next to complete their goals – communities like my hometown.
Simply put, for the last 365 days, I have seen our methods and strategies provide relief and growth for multiple businesses. WAYWO intentionally combines perspective and community, which speaks to one of their core ideologies: Together, we can do more.
Needs some kind of connecting piece let’s make this sound more free-flowing