Tag Archives: entrepreneurs

Employer Insight: Five keys to entrepreneurial success

By:  Blake McCammon 

Blake McCammon is the COO of ProtoHack, the only code-free hackathon. ProtoHack exists to show non-coders that they too can create something amazing from nothing. ProtoHack aims to empower the non-technical entrepreneur with the tools, knowledge and community to help you bring your idea to life and communicate it visually through prototyping.

Forming your first startup is not a task for the faint at heart. You think you have every piece of information and every problem solved, but once you decide to make the jump into entrepreneurship and things go awry, your true drive and ambition will either shine or fade into the background. The decision to step into entrepreneurship should be well calculated. According to The U.S. Small Business Administration, approximately 543,000 new businesses get started each month, with a third of those failing in the first two years and 60% finding they’re doomed by their fourth year in business.

Being an entrepreneur has high risks and high rewards. Stepping out into the world of entrepreneurship is something that can be extremely daunting and risky, so understanding how to be successful is imperative. Whether you’re a founder or co-founder, these five keys to entrepreneurial success will help you launch and grow your new venture. 

Mistakes happen, embrace them.
Almost every entrepreneur has had their fair share of mistakes when it comes to being at the helm of a company. Whether they drop clients because they’re frustrating, only to later regret it, or try to perfect the process early on within their own organization when they should be focusing on the bigger picture, it’s nearly impossible to get it right every single time. What’s important is that you’re able to learn from mistakes and use them to your advantage when you can. When you embrace missteps, you put yourself in the position to be able to grow and move forward.

Work with those who will challenge you.
This is one of the most important mantras an entrepreneur should have, not only in business but also in their personal lives. When you first start your own company, it’s important to surround yourself with people who really push and drive you to step up your game. If you work with those who don’t, it’ll eventually rub off on you. Working with people who are equally as passionate and driven as you will do nothing but set you up for success.

When choosing business partners and mentors, don’t just pick your best friend, pick someone who is going to push you, challenge you, and make you a better entrepreneur. With a partner like that, you’re less likely to lose the drive and ambition you started with.

Be smart about where you invest.
If you gained experience in the corporate world before you took the entrepreneurial leap, you know what it’s like to have access to tools and budgets that you don’t necessarily have when it comes to starting your own company. It can be a big culture shock when you can no longer afford the pricey but effective software programs or outrageous advertising budget you became accustomed to. Instead, you’ll have to get creative, such as using free or budget-friendly software before you’re at a point where you can start scaling your business. Find the tools you simply cannot live without and prioritize them. Invest when you’re financially ready and not a moment sooner.

Get out of your comfort zone and network
Getting out of your comfort zone is one of the most important things you can do as an entrepreneur. In fact, when starting your first business, referrals will go a long way. Networking is one of the most important aspects of an entrepreneurship because the connections you make will determine the strength of your network and ultimately could determine the success of your company. Going to events where the only goal in mind is to be pushing cards, shaking hands and making meaningful contacts is now part of your job. Understanding the value behind networking and doing a good job of it will take you far. Think about possible connections you have that need to be fostered and use them to your advantage.

Have fun, find what you’re passionate about, and don’t settle!
We’ve probably all seen others who settle because they’re not brave enough to take the leap of faith into entrepreneurship. We say they’re playing it safe but really what’s happening is that they are denying their own happiness and giving up the opportunity to have fun and live their passion. In short, they’re settling.

The amount of fun you have following your passion will be a determining factor in how much you excel at your new venture. Suddenly, working sixty to eighty hours a week isn’t so difficult when you’re doing it while exploring your passion.

Steve Jobs said it best during a conversation with Pixar CEO John Lassete: “In your life you only get to do so many things and right now we’ve chosen to do this, so let’s make it great.”

Settling isn’t something that should even be in your vocabulary as an entrepreneur. We only get one life, so use it, follow your passion and whatever your passion is, go for it.

Learn more about ProtoHack by visiting their website, then sign up for their free event coming to New York City on November 15. 

What’s Next? Entrepreneurship

Ever thought about starting your own business or getting involved in an exciting new venture? Come on out to the Wasserman Center for What’s Next? Entrepreneurship on Wednesday, October 30th at 5:30pm. Here, entrepreneurs will share tips for making an impact on and off campus. Hear their stories and gain helpful tips for your career exploration.  Click on the links below the panelists’ names for more information and we hope to see you there!

Jasmin Hume
Co-founder
BenchPals, Inc.

Sonia Kapadia
Founder & CEO
Taste Savant

Joe Landolina
CEO and Co-Founder
Suneris

Brian Shimmerlik
Co-Founder & CEO
Vengo / TaxiTreats

Sam Slover
Co-Founder – VP Technology
Learn It Live

The Path to Entrepreneurship: Taking risks, Going with your gut (literally), and Doing what you love

Diana Truong works in Operations at Foodtoeat.com, a restaurant and food truck company based here in New York City. Here, she offers advice and insight into finding your career path and digging into your entrepreneurial spirit.


There are those rare people (you may be friends with some) who know with utmost certainty what they’ve wanted to do career-wise their entire lives and they follow the path that society has dictated to get them there. For most of us, the path isn’t known, structured, or even predictable; we find ourselves searching, fumbling, and after a series of experiences and sometimes full-blown careers, we eventually discover what our calling is. This is absolutely OK. Sometimes, what we end up discovering is that we were meant to pave our own path as trailblazing entrepreneurs.

It all starts with an idea, a solution to a problem that can make our lives happier and easier. For Deepti Sharma Kapur, the Founder of FoodtoEat.com, that idea came to her while studying for the LSATs. She was hungry and saw an incredibly long line at the food truck parked at the corner of the street and thought: wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to reduce the size of that line so that people could get their food faster? It was at that moment that FoodtoEat.com, a new and exciting food delivery service, was born. She believed in the idea, took a risk, listened to her gut and started the company in 2012. Since then, FoodtoEat has been working with hundreds of restaurants and food trucks to help feed thousands of hungry New Yorkers.

Make sure you are doing what you love. As with everything, there are ups and downs to entrepreneurship but in the end, being passionate about your idea and knowing that what you’re working towards is ultimately helping people – that is incredibly motivational and keeps the entrepreneurial drive strong. We are passionate about food so at FoodtoEat, we make sure restaurants continue thriving so that busy city folks, can continue running, studying, laughing, and enjoying good food. We also offer great deals and promotions for our customers, including students. We’re the happiest when people are getting great food, the way they want it and WHEN they want it.

If you’ve been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, and would like the chance to be involved in something new and exciting, apply to our Campus Marketing Internship. It’s a unique opportunity for students to be part of a growing start-up that is positioned to make a huge difference in the food world.

Exceptional students will be selected to work as part of a Campus Marketing Team and will also work closely with us on projects aimed to increase our brand awareness and social media engagement. Interns will gain experience in marketing, business development and social media and also be encouraged to flex their creativity muscles. If want to gain working experience, work with a young and dynamic team, be part of a food start-up, and get other awesome perks, the FoodtoEat’s Campus Marketing Internship is probably what you’ve been waiting for.

Learn more by talking with FoodToEat Managers at a Recruiter in Residence on Friday October 25th.  Space is limited, so RSVP on NYUCareerNet, and check out opportunities in Catering and Events, Job ID 908726, Marketing & Social Media Intern, Job ID 898586, and Business Plan Intern, Job ID 906031.

Align Passion with Profession: Join a Start-up

What is Startup Institute?
An 8 week immersive boot camp to gain the skills, network, and mindset for landing your dream job at a startup.

Startup Institute is unlike any form of education you have received. Our aim is to catapult you further and faster into a new career at a startup that aligns your passion with your profession. Through a hyperfocus on you as an individual we will elevate you to the next level. The program launches with a week long experience designed to inject you into the startup ecosystem, developing the relevant skills that will get you hired as a high impact employee at an early stage company. Some see these as ‘soft’ skills, but we and our hiring partners see these as the differentiating factor that makes you a major contributor to their company’s success.

94% of our grads are hired
140+ Founders, CEOs, and startup professionals as instructors
100s of hiring startups in our network
185 graduates in our alumni network

Does this sound like something you would be interested in? Join the information session on May 2nd at Phebe’s Bar and Tavern from 8 PM to 10 PM to learn more!

NYU Entrepreneurs Festival

How often are you inspired, pushed to your limits, and feel included in a supportive community bigger than yourself (simultaneously) for 48 hours?

Last weekend, Alex Meis attended the 2nd Annual NYU Entrepreneurs Festival (NYUEF).

For two full days, he celebrated entrepreneurship with the leaders in this field. He was joined by 750 NYU students, entrepreneurs, friends, strangers, venture capitalists, and more.

To read about this inspiring event, click here.