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Build The Fort

By Chris Heivly

In Build the Fort, Heivly breaks down his personal fort-building experiences and uses them as an analogy to his journey as co-founder of MapQuest as well as The Startup Factory (a seed-stage investor & mentorship program).
Build the Fort outlines five basic elements that are common to both fort-building and startups:
• Socializing Your Idea without fear or inhibition,
• Identifying and Marshaling the People You Trust, 
• Gathering the Minimal Resources Closest To You, 
• Acting on the Smallest and Simplest of the Idea, and
• Build the Fort.
Whether you are 16 or 60, Build The Fort will provide the reader a better understanding of the earliest micro-steps of starting your own business by overlaying Chris’s 30 years of experiences in startups, investments, big-company intrapreneurship and community development.

About the author

Chris Heivly

Serial entrepreneur (MapQuest co-founder) and early-stage investor with company-building experience from $0 to $25M. Interest in startups, venture-backed companies, and venture capital organizations in and around software technology.

Frequent blogger, contributing writer for, and author of Build The Fort. I am a public speaker (400+ events) about startups, corporate innovation, and startup communities specifically entrepreneurial ecosystem development.


If only Chris Heivly had written this little red book of startup advice years ago. How much time and money I might have saved. How much faster I might have gotten traction.

Denis Mcduff – CEO at eBroselow


Chris’s greatest accomplishment here is in demystifying the startup process giving the reader confidence to proceed.

David Gardner – Founder and Managing parnter at cofounders capital


Follow the advice in this book – you will increase your chances of success and hopefully avoid tons of common, and likely disastrous, mistakes along the way.

Peter robichau – Managing Consultant at category 3 partners

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