Tag Archives: UPenn

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.

Continue reading

4 College Students Share Their Big Ideas in TEDxPenn’s “What Lies Ahead” Screening Session

*This was first posted in my column in the Huffington Post

Hosting TEDx talks are a powerful way to share ideas and inspire people to take action. Yet there are an abundance of ideas out there that it’s hard to give everyone the opportunity to share their big idea. At an institution like the University of Pennsylvania, there are countless of students out there constantly working on their ideas, and chasing the dream.

With a desire to highlight these ideas and get students to learn more about the TED ethos, the TEDxPenn team has recently decided to hold “talent search” and screening sessions every month leading up to the actual TEDxPenn event in Spring 2015. In these mini-events, Penn students get the opportunity to share their big idea to the rest of the Penn community in talks that last between 5 to 7 minutes.

‘Ask what if questions’

The first speaker Rajat Bhageria, a freshman at the School of Engineering and founder of ThirdEye, started out by explaining the Google Glass application his team created that helps blind people be able to see again. This application was inspired by Rajat’s teammate Joe, who had a grandfather who was blind. With a desire to help his grandfather live a normal life again, the ThirdEye image recognition application was born.

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He then highlighted how this only just the start, and went on to talk about the importance of asking “what if” questions and exploring the possibilities of technology. Bhageria went on to challenge the crowd to take advantage of all the open platforms we have today. He said, “Google didn’t make this application. We did. Three college freshmen did. We saw things that others didn’t see. We were able to ask the “what if” questions that Google wasn’t able to ask.” Continue reading

Connecting the Dots I’ve Collected in My First 3 Months in College

*This was first posted in my column at the Huffington Post.

It was three months ago when I first step foot on my college campus, but it seems as though so many things have happened already. The amount of things I’ve experienced in such a short period of time is unbelievable. The ability of college to expose you to a variety of fields that cover almost every part of every spectrum is unparalleled.

In these first three months alone, I’ve learned something new every single day. I’ve had the opportunity to meet with people from every continent, and interact with people, one year ago, I could’ve only dreamt of meeting. I’ve gotten the opportunity to meet and learn from multi-talented students, serial entrepreneurs, best-selling authors, venture capitalists, non-profit leaders, award-winning journalists, renowned professors and unique individuals who inspire me to carve my own path.

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At the same time, my definition of college has constantly changed every waking moment I’ve spent here in college. One day, I’m so set that college is supposed to prepare me for the workforce by teaching me practical skills. Then the next day, I read an article talking about college being the place where you should be taking advantage of the opportunity to learn things that genuinely interest you like philosophy, acting, art and other things that most people call “useless.” I then ask myself, “why can’t I just major in life?” Continue reading

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

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

FINALLY!!! College Admissions Results!! The end of a journey…the start of a new one!

I’m still overwhelmed right now from graduation and then college results but I just have to write this note of thanks to everyone who has helped me in this journey! 

After a few rejections and wait-lists to some of my top choices for university, I wasn’t expecting anything anymore. Yet, just like how I tore my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) last May, life surprises you when you least expect it. I’m glad I ended up making it to UPenn, UC Berkeley, UMich, and UCLA. 

Thank you to my friends, classmates, parents, family, relatives, teachers, mentors, coaches and everyone who has helped me become who I am today.

When I was a high school freshman, I just wanted to go to La Salle since they are on a trimester system and I could quickly graduate. But I’ve come to realize our plan at 14, isn’t always our plan at 18 or 22 or 30. There are so many factors in life that all we can do is to cherish every moment

At the start of last year, I wasn’t even sure whether I would apply abroad but I decided to give it a shot. At the beginning, I was still skeptical about it but after I tore my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), I was really confused and unsure what would become of my senior year.

Yet I decided to trust the Man above and still make the most out of my senior year……and now that it’s all over, funny how things didn’t turn out how I expected it to be……because it turned out to be so much more than just a school year!

Who would’ve thought that as tiring as it was, this past school year would turn out to become the most memorable, amazing and surreal year in my life! I will miss Xavier but glad I was able to end my stay in Xavier with a bang!

So last but not the least, thank you God for everything that has happened, all the blessings I’ve received and of course all the family, friends, classmates, schoolmates, mentors, teachers and relatives who’ve made me who I am today. I questioned you when I tore my ACL yet you did have a plan! I may not have seen it then but it’s a bit clearer now.

To end I’d like to quote our graduation song “Thank you, Xavier” written by Lorenzo Arceo, “All the memories made, tomorrow’s already yesterday. Our roads will cross again, and we’ll be even better.” “Wherever we may go, whoever we may be, I’ll just let you know. I’ll let my light shine. I’ll be someone greater.”

Thank you again everyone for everything and all the shared experiences we’ve had. This one is for you guys  Wouldn’t have made it if it weren’t for all of you!!

This has been my dad's dream school for me :) super glad that I made it!!

This has been my dad’s dream school for me 🙂 super glad that I made it!!

 

UC BERKELEY!!! SILICON VALLEY BABY!!!

UC BERKELEY!!! SILICON VALLEY BABY!!!

 

BRUINS!!! John Wooden is the man!! HAHAHAHA

BRUINS!!! John Wooden is the man!! HAHAHAHA

 

WOLVERINES!!!

WOLVERINES!!!