Tag Archives: entrepreneurship

Student entrepreneurship is ‘not a science’: Weiss Tech House panel

*This was first posted in my Technical.ly Philly Column 

Group photo of the student panelAs part of the Penn Innovation Week, the Weiss Tech House brought together a student entrepreneurship panel composed of Dan Fine, Aaron Goldstein, Christopher Gray, Roopa Shankar and Alina Wong — the founders of Glass-U, Fever Smart, Scholly and NOMsense Bakery, respectively.

Here are the lessons they hoped to impart.

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YCombinator at Penn: Do things that make you uncomfortable

Last Tuesday, October 7, 2014, YCombinator partners Dalton Caldwell, Qasar Younis and Kat Manalac and YC Alumni Reham Fagiri visited Penn today to talk to students about their startup experiences and answer questions in the fire-side chat.

YC Partners with Nilesh during the fire-side chat

YC Partners with Nilesh during the fire-side chat

YC Alumni Reham Fagiri kicked things off by talking about her experience building her startup AptDeco, and what her stint at YC taught her. The inspiration for AptDeco came from her own experience of having a hard time selling her furniture after she graduated from college. She then did some market research and talked to different people. Before she knew it, she had developed a prototype and beta-tested it. After the private and public beta, the idea of applying for YC came about.

It was through YC that they realized how important there customers truly are. Fagiri candidly admitted, “We thought just because we ran an online marketplace, we didn’t need to be where our market was. We were completely wrong.” Having said that, Fagiri and her team needed to fly back and forth from NYC to San Francisco during the duration of YC. Continue reading

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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Notes, Insights and Takeaways of an aspiring college entrepreneur from CS 183: How to start a Startup by Sam Altman

Everything that you’ll be reading in this document are notes taken down from CS183 which is a Stanford course being taught by the President of YCombinator Sam Altman. Moreover, I will be injecting a few of my own insights and insights of other people from my discussion group.

The first UPenn class session was held at the First Round Capital

The first UPenn class session was held at the First Round Capital

As an aspiring entrepreneur and avid journalist, I’ve decided to take notes, write about the experience and the different discussions points from this class and publish it to the public. I hope that people can find these notes and insights as a way to either learn more about the class and entrepreneurship (some people might not have enough time to watch the lecture) or as a way to start discussions about this growing startup culture.

I will be starting out all my posts with 4-6 key takeaways, the overall experience and then the full notes along with discussion points raised in my group.

The lectures for this course are being recorded and are posted on Youtube. You can find the lectures here: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxIJaCMEptJjxmmQgGFsnCg

You can read more about the reason behind the class here: http://www.newsweek.com/y-combinator-teach-stanford-class-available-online-271275

Interestingly, a lot of Universities from all over the world (even all the way back in the Philippines! Shout-out to Jaime Young who is leading the ASES Philippines discussion group for this class!) have decided to start discussion groups and turn it into an actual class where students discuss the content of what is taught afterwards. The University of Pennsylvania recently had its first class lecture video showing on September 25, 2014.

6 Key takeaways:

  1. “You should never start a startup for the sake of doing so.”
  2. “The best companies are always mission oriented.”
  3. “Build something that a few users really really love.”
  4. “Recruit your first set of users by hand/manually and ask for feedback.”
  5. “The life of an entrepreneur isn’t as easy and glamorous as what media portrays it to be.”
  6. “The best reason to start a startup is because YOU CAN’T NOT DO IT.

The Overall Experience

More than the lecture, which I could’ve just watched online in my dorm room, what I really enjoyed from the first session was the community participating in this class. Everyone was just so passionate about startups and entrepreneurship and was eager to learn more. Everyone was really looking deep into the ideas discussed and questioning whether one practice is better than the other. It was honestly really refreshing being in this environment, bouncing off ideas and opinions with one another and simply meeting new people with similar interests and new insights. Definitely can’t wait for the next session! 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

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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Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm – Starting Them Young – DUCK DELIGHTS!

As you step into Gawad Kalinga (GK) Enchanted Farm you will be blown away for you can’t help but feel amazed as you see the vast farmlands with unique built centers of entrepreneurship in between. This awe-inspired feeling was the feeling Xavier students felt as we walked into the Hyundai Center for Green Innovation, a social entrepreneurship center made with bamboo for natural cooling and glass to maximize the sunlight, a powerful example in itself of what the Enchanted Farm is all about, sustainable innovation.

The Hyundai Center for Green Innovation!

The Hyundai Center for Green Innovation!

Just from the area itself, you can see that there is so much potential for growth and development. And once you hear the social entrepreneurs speak, you suddenly realize that this potential growth isn’t just potential, it is a possible reality. With a mission to not only educate villagers but to also enable them to start their own social enterprises, Gawad Kalinga (GK) has become a hub for social entrepreneurs. Continue reading