While the 1st week in NYC was totally unfocussed for me – no common topic of discussions and presentations and I tried just to get the overall understanding what the NYC is as a global city, the 2nd week was truly inspiring! This week was about entrepreneurship, the passion of my life. Started my career as an accountant and financial specialist and working for MNCs for years I realised that`s path is not mine. And even worked as employee I started to disrupt the bureaucratic system of the company changing the overall climate and culture of it, coming than to starting my own business. But it was just trials and errors, cause I never learned entrepreneurship as the subject, and even didn`t know from what I should start and what opportunities there were. I took entrepreneurship classes in Budapest but I couldn`t even imagine how versatile this world was before coming here. I heard a lot about entrepreneurial climate of NYC but unless you touch it you never know what it is. For me this week was not about skills and technique (which mostly you can find in a lot of books, blogs and articles strenuously publishing recent years) but more about inspiration of real NYC entrepreneurs. And during this week we could see and feel the variaty of tips they use, the ecosystem they work in, their behavior and how it helps them in achieving success in their business.
The first presentation was made by Ziv Navoth, the young entrepreneur who spent almost all his life in observing of the needs of potential customers and finding the exact solutions for them. On different stories of his life he showed how skillfully he could find an idea even in those areas or by such the ways of solving problems you would never even think about, starting from selling his advices to Indian people for a tiny price to finally coming to paragraph (http://www.paragraph.com/), disrupting the hidebound word of print press. He connected the authors and their readers to make them closer to each other and to inspire them to work together.
Then we came to Diego`s office (that appeared to be not his office but the very interesting incubator in the end) to listen to his story of success. He is an immigrant from Argentina who came to NYC without ever proper knowledge of english. He started to look around and tried to build a network around him, participating in different local entrepreneurial meetings and even organising them by himself. We read the book “Never eat alone” but it was just a theory how it worked, but Diego told us his own story how step by step he built up his own network starting from communication with the same immigrants as he was and then by word of mouth came to finding the right people in the right places to work with. His current business is WeHostels (https://wehostels.com/) – the travel agency working through the mobile app, and providing the opportunities to find the hostel in 50,000 places in 800 cities all over the world! He built this network in 3 years only!
But not less impressive was the place where he made his presentation – that was the incubator for start-ups (http://www.wework.com/), the idea of which was presented by Megan Dodds. And it was amazing to see how they made this inspiring microclimate for entrepreneurs that was not only made by design but also by small tips as these buzzwords in frames on the wall and “do what you love” slogan on the business card. They provide more than just a work space for start-ups, but the atmosphere of sharing the ideas, the opportunities to meet with other entrepreneurs to build a network, and the courage to make things done. And that`s all for only $550 per month!
The others angles of NYC entrepreneurial ecosystem we could see in the presentation made by David Hochman, Executive director of the Business Incubator Association of New York State, Inc (he showed us the positive effect of synergetic clusters and different types of incubators, and what entrepreneurs could expect from them and what not. He not only explained the theory how it worked but provided us the usefull resources in this area) and in General Assembly (https://generalassemb.ly/) – the organisation, providing training services for entrepreneurs.
But the most exciting presentation for me was made by Antonio Evans from Social Draft (http://socialdraft.com/). He also didn`t discover the new world talking about the rules of entrepreneurship, but his speach was so inspiring and almost all the advices he gave us were so familiar but still touching the heart – I felt that I did the same things and so I was on the right track!
This week was worth coming to NYC even if I not find something interesting from presentations and company visits here anymore till the end of the module!