Our week 2 (May 26-30): Rise of a Global Entrepreneurial City.
During the week we acquired deeper understanding of how the City attracts entrepreneurs, and of how they act in order to grow and be successful in the long run. In NYC the equal opportunity to succeed has created an engine of entrepreneurship unlike any the world has ever seen, transforming the City into the entrepreneurial capital of the world—from finance, tech, fashion, and food to marketing and media. The benefits of the entrepreneurial ecosystem are available to all entrepreneurs. Existing businesses from small to big have the support they need to grow and expand. Leaders of the City work hard to assure that all New Yorkers can share the remarkable emergence of New York’s diverse, entrepreneurial economy growth, by investing in education, infrastructure, and incubators.
May 27th Tuesday
The key take always from the presentation of Ziv Navoth, founder and CEO of Paragraph were: He explained us very enthusiastically, that the main difference between entrepreneurs and other people is that entrepreneurs DO things. They don’t TALK about them or RESEARCH them or THINK about them. They DO them. Most of their ideas do fail, but in the long run they do achieve great things like Ziv. Everyone has an idea for a startup, but ideas aren’t worth anything, the job of every entrepreneur is to make things.
May 28th Wednesday.
After the company visit of General Assembly , a Co-working place, which was founded among the first three in NYC, we had a guest speaker/lecturer by David Hochman, Consultant in technology-based economic development and executive director, at Business Incubator Association of NYS. He explained us the theory and practice of techbased economic development and business incubation in the U.S. We learned that now there are 1,000 to 1,500 business incubators in the U.S., vast majority in non-profit or highered Sectors, which nurture the development of entrepreneurial companies, helping them survive and grow during the start-up period. Moreover several programs provide their client companies with business support services and resources tailored to young firms.
May 29th Thursday.
Antonio Evans, CEO and cofounder of Socialdraft and FriendsEAT.com showed us from his real life experience, that New York City has never come with a guarantee of wealth, but rather with something far more elementary and profound: an equal opportunity to succeed. As a son of emigrant parents he taught us, that in the U.S. if you have a great business idea and work more than your competitors do, you can build a startup from scratch that you can grow without essential connections. The key word for success is TENACITY.
He was very inspiring and gave us practical advises about what and how should we do to beat our competitors. Key takeaways:
• “Pay attention to details, be faster, as for contracts: read through and change it, get a lawyer, outsource outsource outsource! You can find talented Copyrighters, Sales experts….,
• “The partner is also important! Do not do anything alone, find a partner, two is great, three is better from different field, you can create well-rounded products together. If you try to do it alone you will fail.”
• “Hire creative employees, see what they have done, not the best schools count.”
• “Communication: talk to your clients. Sometimes clients ask too much, you just tell them humbly: I can do that. Respect them, if you do not want to lose them.”
• “Do not be greedy: Agency relationship matters; if they grow I grow.” “Greediness is good for money but it’s not good for the business.”
Later in the afternoon we visited Brooklyn Research a small growing company founded by three talented young men, one of them a Visual Art Graduate and one is a Computer Science Graduate. I found interesting their different co-workspace terminology. They have an application process which makes it easier for them to assemble a diverse group of people that may work along them on the company’s projects.
Key takeaways: Although they managed to grow without a business partner, their growth is definitely degenerated by that factor. To rely on outsourcing is key in the first stage of their start up since it is easier and more cost efficient; however, as Brooklyn Research mentioned: The next step in a company’s progress is to have its own dedicated team.