Category Archives: Business

Paul Graham’s Best Advice to Aspiring Entrepreneurs: JUST LEARN! (Notes from CS183B: How to Start a Startup Lecture 3)

Paul Graham was the guest speaker for this week's lecture

Paul Graham was the guest speaker for this week’s lecture

Not as many people showed up for this week’s viewing lecture for “CS183B: How to Start a Startup” but nonetheless, the discussion group proved to be really interesting and insightful as we not only discussed key points in the lecture but we also talked about problems we faced and how we could solve them. It was really interesting how we ended up talking about very diverse fields from machine learning to education to media and journalism to weather, wearables and smart fabric to networking and starting a startup in college. (You can jump straight to our discussion group’s points by scrolling down to the last part).

You can view resources for the class here: http://startupclass.samaltman.com/

My overall takeaway from today though was that there’s no set-way or formula to starting a startup. There are certain things that worked for some entrepreneurs that didn’t work for other entrepreneurs. At the end of the day, starting a startup is really just about having an idea, getting cofounders, building a product users love, getting feedback from users, committing your time to your startup then just LEARNING every step of the way.

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Re-engineering Journalism at Stanford

Repost from my Philippine Daily Inquirer Article: http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/162227/reengineering-journalism-at-stanford

“What I think people should take away from Silicon Valley is a great sense of openness, optimism, a sense of possibility, a willingness to try and to learn by doing and a willingness to experiment. Don’t be afraid to fail and I think that’s a really important lesson to take away from Silicon Valley.” – John Temple, former managing editor of the Washington Post

With the JSK Director

With the JSK Director

Each year, around 20 journalists are chosen to become John S. Knight Fellows. The Knight Fellows take on the challenge of pushing boundaries and creating products that will help improve the quality of information reaching the public!

By taking advantage of the different classes and opportunities in both Stanford and Silicon Valley, the Knight fellows are able to explore a variety of fields and be exposed to new ways of approaching journalism.

When I found out that these fellows would be presenting their yearlong projects in an event called, “Re-engineering Journalism”, I knew I couldn’t miss this chance to attend an evening of innovation!

Re-engineering Journalism

In the past few years, technology has changed the way we consume information. A lot of people now get their news from social media platforms on their smartphones and on a go. As a result, journalism has continued to evolve. Continue reading

What I Learned From the Wharton Business Plan Competition

What I Learned From the Wharton Business Plan Competition

When I found out that I would be visiting UPenn a month ago, I immediately went straight to Google and searched for possible events I could attend. And there it was the Wharton Business Plan Competition was being held on May 1 in the Huntsman Hall at the University of Pennsylvania. After sorting out a few scheduling details with my dad, it was set; I would be able to attend the event.

I'll be back in the Huntsman Hall next year!!

I’ll be back in the Huntsman Hall next year!!

And so when the day finally arrived, I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect. Going through the website of the Wharton Business Plan Competition, the finalists seemed to have some really promising ideas. Moments later, there I was sitting in the auditorium listening to the speakers.

At first, it didn’t feel quite right. The auditorium was packed with graduate students and people who looked like they had a backpack full of experience with them already. But I quickly realized that this is it. This is what the business world looks like. This is what I’ve been dreaming of in the past year. This is where I want to be.

When the presentations started, I was honestly a bit overwhelmed by all the data, credentials and what the businesses have done already. But this is the beauty in these events; as an incoming college freshman, it was an invaluable learning experience for me and a preview of the world I’ll hopefully be able to enter one day.

Building a well-rounded team

When the team leaders started introducing their team members and the people who have helped them in the process, you could really see that every member had a unique skillset that really contributed to the team. The winning team Slidejoy boasted students who have gotten multiple degrees from both Wharton and Stanford. But more importantly, they all had a set of important tasks.

The winning team of the Wharton Business Plan Competition, SlideJoy

The winning team of the Wharton Business Plan Competition, SlideJoy

Importance of Networking

During the breaks and networking sessions, you could really see people go at it, discuss ideas, share thoughts and exchange business cards. And true enough, when the presentations resumed, I suddenly started seeing how important this aspect was as the teams presented their current client bases and how they were able to get them to jump in their start-up ventures.

I even got to sit beside this founder and CEO who told me why he was there, and it was quite simple, “I’m here to build connections, network and at the same time, scout for talent.” Continue reading

Businesses That Caught My Eye in the Wharton Business Plan Competition Venture Finals

Businesses that caught my eye in the Wharton Business Plan Competition Venture Finals

Just recently, I attended the Wharton Business Plan Competition Venture Finals. Every one of the finalists’ business ideas was all really amazing but there were three businesses in particular that really caught my eye. These were SlideJoy, Identified Technologies and AdmitSee – all for very different reasons.

SlideJoy giving their elevator pitch to the audience! ---"Knowledge is the muscle of Business" ---

SlideJoy giving their elevator pitch to the audience! —“Knowledge is the muscle of Business” —

SlideJoy — “You get paid to view ads”

Whenever we see ads popping out in websites or our smartphones, we never really click them. And during the times we do, it’s probably by accident. This is the problem alot of companies face in trying to promote their products. Enter SlideJoy and their very creative solution to this problem — pay people to view these ads.

This is what SlideJoy was pushing for, and it was probably one of the reasons why they ended up winning the entire competition. I mean, they just basically went against all odds and created an application that pays you to click on ads?? Talk about innovation! If I had an Android phone, I’d make sure to get this app!

SlideJoy - "You get paid to view ads!"

SlideJoy – “You get paid to view ads!”

Find out more on how you can get paid for swiping on the advertisments on your lock-screen by checking out their website at: https://www.getslidejoy.com/about and don’t forget to start downloading SlideJoy!! Continue reading

Khan Academy: A Free World Class Education – Salman Khan@Stanford

It was always a dream of mine to visit Stanford University and after visiting Stanford today, I now have much bigger dreams when it comes to education – Thanks to Mr. Salman Khan.

I could’ve visited Stanford University on another day but I decided to visit today because there was a speaker I didn’t want to miss. Through the Stanford events page, I found out that, you guessed it right, Mr. Salman Khan, the founder of Khan Academy would be speaking on campus for the Stanford’s DFJ Entrepreneurial Thought Leader Series. I knew I couldn’t miss this opportunity, and I’m glad I didn’t because his talk was worth every minute!

“For the next 10, 15 years, this thing called education, we can make it much more equal, we can make it more like water, a fundamental human right.”

Khan Academy has changed the lives of students from all over the world

Khan Academy has changed the lives of students from all over the world


Mr. Salman Khan didn’t only keep the talk entertaining by dropping jokes and puns here and there, but he also kept the audience on board by using powerful stories, anecdotes, lessons and real-life experiences that left us all inspired.

(The video will be soon uploaded at the Stanford website: http://events.stanford.edu/events/433/43305/ and http://etl.stanford.edu/)

How it started

Mr. Salman Khan started his speech by talking about the journey of Khan Academy and how it all started. He went way back to the moment where he encountered a simple problem that he wanted to solve. This problem was his cousin having a hard time in math. Continue reading

What I Learned from Rappler CEO and Co-Founder Maria Ressa

Last wedenesday, February 18, 2014, I atteneded the 3rd Filipino Technopreneurship Summit and I got to hear Maria Ressa, the CEO of Rappler give a talk about technopreneurship.

Focusing on using crowd sourced data, real time reporting and real time responses, Rappler.com is one of the up and coming news sites in the Philippines right now, and no doubt, CEO and co-founder Maria Ressa has played a big role in its success.

Being highly interested in the intersection of journalism, media, technology and entrepreneurship, I made sure to take down the different insights and lessons Maria Ressa shared about technopreneurship during her talk, and also during my short interview and conversation with her afterwards.

With Maria Ressa, the CEO and founder of Rappler.com and more importantly, one of the greatest Filipino journalists turned entrepreneur!

With Maria Ressa, the CEO and founder of Rappler.com and more importantly, one of the greatest Filipino journalists turned entrepreneur!

Our Generation

It today’s workplace and society, the generation gap is very evident. Throughout her talk, Maria emphasized how a lot of times, we might even know more than our bosses when it comes to technology. We’re the ones who have been exposed to all these technology and social networking sites like Facebook our entire life.

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No regrets, Lessons Learned: A Sunday well spent with Duck Delights

When I heard that a group of third year Xavier students were going to hold a Bazaar at Rockwell Tent with the National Children’s Hospital Patients as their beneficiaries, I knew that I wanted to support them and so when offered to have a booth in their bazaar, I took the chance.

I honestly didn’t know what to expect especially since I never really went to the Rockwell tent area nor did I frequent the Rockwell area on Sundays. Yet, my desire to continue our entrap product and business pushed me to take this opportunity to relive the Duck Delights experience and make our customers go quack, quack, quack.

Reliving the Duck Delights experience!

Reliving the Duck Delights experience!

After going through the Entrep weekend around two months ago, I thought I learned everything I needed to learn already. I thought that with my previous experience, everything would go smoothly this time around. Well, guess again, I thought I learned a lot during the Entrep weekend yet I learned even more yesterday during our stint at the Cupid’s Bazaar in Rockwell Tent.

Going into the bazaar, we were confident that we’d be able to easily sell all our duck wraps given that we got good feedback from the Entrep fair last time around. Because of this, we were very lax and didn’t really advertise that much anymore. We assumed that since it was a bazaar organized by 3rd year Xavier students, there would be a lot of other Xaverians as well as students from other schools who would be visiting the bazaar.

However, we were wrong not only on that point but on a lot of other things. But the beauty in these experiences is that you don’t really have much to lose. We’re still young and these types of events are invaluable learning experiences for us aspiring entrepreneurs.

It truly was a growing and learning experience like no other for us three aspiring foodpreneurs

It truly was a growing and learning experience like no other for us three aspiring foodpreneurs

1. Start with your family and friends

As a business starting out, it’s really important to spread your product and get the word out. Don’t be embarrassed to ask your family and friends to try out your product. Eventually, more and more people will want to taste your product, but you have to start somewhere and sometimes, it’s your family and friends who you can bank on the most. You have to utilize the resource you have and really network and get your product out there! Continue reading