“I don’t invest anymore in entrepreneurs who don’t have charisma.”
“The problem we’re trying to solve ultimately is that we want to get more locally grown food in restaurants,” says Jolijt Tamanaha. “It’s not only farmers that struggle to get products sold, but it’s also restaurant chefs who want the best ingredients but struggle to find them.”
Wouldn’t it be great if buying locally farmed food were as easy as clicking “buy now” on Amazon? The creators of Farmplicity think so, too. Farmplicity is a Web-based marketplace that would connect St. Louis chefs with farmers in a 150-mile radius.
“If there’s a road that leads to perfect, the road that travels in the opposite direction leads to launching. Nothing will ever be perfect—not your product, service, messaging, etc. But the only real way to test it is by getting your work in front of people. Flaws can be adjusted, but the only way to find them is to get your work out there.”
“Great entrepreneurs aren’t fearless. Instead, they acknowledge their fear (even if they feel scared of everything) and try new ideas anyway. It’s the best way to succeed on your own terms.”
“I think tackling my fear is important, because it makes me present and accountable to myself, and keeps me living a meaningful life by testing my limits and my potential. We have no idea what we’re capable of achieving unless we try things and stretch the limits in our minds.”
“Entrepreneurs were more likely to engage in what the authors dubbed “illicit activities” in the days of their wild youth, with teenage pastimes like shoplifting, playing hooky, assault, drug dealing, and smoking marijuana.”
"33% of venture-backed companies that went public between 2006 and 2012 had at least one immigrant founder at the helm.”
“Define one or two simple high-level goals that (a) everyone can understand and (b) allow for your team to adjust tactics to achieve them.”
"It is in America where, time and again, new leaders, authors, entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, journalists rise up from nowhere to inspire millions and move us forward. It is the "entrepreneurial soul" of this country that never stops me from being optimistic about our nation’s future." —Entrepreneur Faisal Hoque in how to find America’s entrepreneurial soul.
If Sarah Kauss turned back the pages of her journal to August 2010, she’d likely find an entry about a scorching day in the Sonoran Desert. With the sun beating down on her, all she wanted was a cold drink—but the water she carried was lukewarm from the heat. The experience gave her an idea that would change her life.
Two months later, a stylish, reusable bottle with the ability to keep liquid cold for up to 24 hours, otherwise known as the S’well bottle, was born.
Kauss still uses her journal every day, which serves as a reminder of the progress that she’s made over the years. With just a flip of a page, she can reflect on the highlights and learn from the hangups of her past, something that provides “a sense of positive momentum” as she moves forward.
Two years ago, Paypal founder and libertarian futuristPeter Thiel declared higher education “a bubble” and decided to give 22 bright young things $100,000 each to quit college. Today, he announced the third class of Thiel Fellows.
Northeastern University has a student-run venture accelerator with $250k cash. Is this what it takes to keep kids on campus?
College is crazy expensive—and it’s getting more expensive all the time. Entrepreneurs like Peter Thiel are fond of saying it’s not worth it. But 23-year-old Chris Wolfel, who is getting his bachelor’s from Northeastern University this spring, found college to be not only a good investment, but the perfect launching pad for his entrepreneurial dreams.
For the last two years, Wolfel has been the CEO of IDEA, the only student-run venture accelerator in the country. Founded in 2009, IDEA offers workshops, meetups, coaching, mentoring, and most importantly, funding, all from alumni donors, for student startups. Wolfel and his team were able to raise $250,000 to help launch almost 300 businesses by students from every school across the university.
"Northeastern right now is one of the biggest hotbeds of entrepreneurship I’ve seen," says Wolfel. He points to the longstanding co-op model to explain why—Northeastern’s five-year bachelor’s degree program includes three six-month-long full-time internships, so "people come here knowing they’re going to work no matter what." For the last few years there’s even been a self-co-op model for student entrepreneurs to take time off to work on their own projects.
It could be said that IDEA is challenging the very idea of university education.
Is the major purpose of convening a university and charging tuition to allow students to ponder the good life or expand the boundaries of human knowledge—or to turn collegians into entrepreneurs?
[Image: Flickr user Steve Jurvetson]
Here’s what the founder of the famous Babycakes vegan/gluten free bakery has to say about entrepreneurship.
"If you are an entrepreneur at heart you are surely getting a ton of ideas, the key is to not be afraid of those ideas…"
"All we can expect is the unexpected. Everything is going to go to hell and we’re gonna be fine. As long as the donuts still taste right."
From our section THE TAKEAWAY:
How Jack Dorsey’s Lifelong Obsessions Became World Changing Companies
Jack Dorsey wasn’t your average kid in St. Louis. He had a speech impediment. He loved maps. He studied trains. He listened to the emergency dispatch center. And he noticed something interesting: Everybody was talking with short bursts of sound.
"They’re always talking about where they’re going, what they’re doing, and where they currently are," Dorsey recently told Lara Logan on 60 Minutes, “and that’s where the idea for Twitter came.”
The Takeaway: The dots will connect. Like Dorsey’s fascinations brought him from St. Louis to New York to Silicon Valley, entrepreneurial energy has a way of taking you into unexpected—and fitting—places.