Our Senior Seminar on entrepreneurship taught by Brandtly Jones and Warren Buford celebrates National Entrepreneurship Week by sharing 15 lessons learned from modern entrepreneurs.
Over the last few weeks the Entrepreneurship Senior Seminar has hosted a diverse and dynamic group of entrepreneurs, including Max Skinner ‘10 (Thropic); Rahul Keshap ‘91 (Shuru Law); Emily Morrison (The Front Porch); Zikki Munyao (Juza Africa); Tim Shields (Uball); Alex Goodman ‘04 (Clockwork); Yash Tekriwal (LifeSchool); and Laura Toscano (associate director of social entrepreneurship at the University of Virginia). Our 15 students have learned many things from these visits, including:
- The first idea, no matter how well thought out it is, is never the same as the final product.
- If you have passion for an idea, just go for it no matter how dumb it may seem.
- If you aren't happy with what you are doing, it’s okay to start from nothing and create a company on your own.
- A business idea does not need to be something that's going to save the world, it can just be something fun that you felt was missing.
- Being an entrepreneur means that you have to be able to think very quickly on your feet.
- Making sacrifices and following your passion can be okay at a young age. Nothing is ever certain so we shouldn't panic when things don't go as we planned.
- When gathering data from people, you should not ask them questions that are asking about the future because you are essentially gathering guesses from the people and that is not very helpful.
- The number one reason startups fail is because people start creating things that very few people will actually need.
- Meeting people similar to our ages who have started a business is a great way to boost our confidence and give us real and practical suggestions.
- Having a team is very important, knowing how to organize a team is also important.
- It’s important for us to find something that we really care about so we will be motivated to push through the harder and less rewarding parts of starting a business.
- You have to be super positive about the hardships one faces starting a new business. You have to be super patient with the long process before you start making head way.
- One main idea I took from UBall was that to get your name out there, you actually have to go OUT THERE and present your name. Otherwise, you will be stuck in phase one forever.
- When trying to see what a potential buyer would want, you want to try and steer away from pitching your idea. Rather, stick to seeing what interests the consumer.
- Always try to create. Passion can lead to a business.
More information on our Senior Seminars can be found at www.stab.org/seniorseminar.