On Wednesday, March 22, ETC held our second Entrepreneurship Day at the Haven Campus. This intimate event gave attendees the opportunity to get to know each speaker and their founder stories.
Speakers included Lida Zlatic of ClassTracks, Phil DiMuro and Dave Phelan of Loople Mobile, and Shelly Blake-Plock of Yet Analytics. Presenting on a range of topics from tips about networking to emerging trends in technology, the speakers shared their advice with attendees who had various goals and ideas.
Here are five things we took away from the event:
1. If there’s a question that doesn’t have an answer or a problem that needs to be solved, you should be the one to find a solution.
Lida Zlatic, CEO of ClassTracks, taught middle schoolers Spanish for 3 years. She kept noticing problems in language learning, and she knew that the problem of finding the best way to help students learn a new language hadn’t been solved. Solving that problem is what brought ClassTracks into existence, and learning how to better solve it is what propels Zlatic and her team to innovate in the world of language learning.
2. All startups are willing to help each other grow.
Loople Mobile cofounders Phil DiMuro and Dave Phelan explained that in their experience, local startups are typically willing to work together. They discussed how important word of mouth marketing is, and how startups in your area can help connect you to potential investors and people with similar ideas to yours that could potentially help you.
3. Co-founders: Find someone who is the other side of your brain.
The question was raised from an attendee about co-founders: how do you find them, and are they important? DiMuro started off by expressing how crucial having a co-founder is, saying that if he hadn’t found Phelan, he likely wouldn’t have continued with his idea.
Some tips he gave for finding the right cofounder include making sure your vision for the company aligns with theirs, becoming close to them to make sure you mesh well, and finding someone whose strong suit is different than yours. This means that if you’re a marketer, don’t find another marketer; find someone who can add something to your company.
4. Don’t quit your job right away to work on your startup.
DiMuro and Phelan admitted that they’ve worked on Loople Mobile every day for a year and a half, but to them, it doesn’t feel like work. It’s clear that you must have a strong work ethic in order to get your startup off the ground.
Do you feel a need to quit your job so you can work on your startup? Well, DiMuro said to ask yourself this: Do you work on your idea after you come home from your job? If not, don’t quit your job just yet. First, work those extra hours after your job until you have a strong plan for the direction your startup will head in. Then, when you feel that you’re truly ready, take that risk and quit your job if you think it’s necessary.
5. Expect the way your mind works to change.
An idea that came up in the discussion with Shelly Blake-Plock, co-founder of Yet Analytics, was that as an entrepreneur, your thought process will change drastically. After meeting new people and familiarizing yourself with the different ideas in your field of interest, you will start to see the world in a new light. This means that the original idea for your startup may change as well, and the question that you once felt important to answer may evolve into something deeper.