Week 1 – NYC – William Tinghitella

The first week of the NYC module has been an amazing, enlightening experience. The combination of the lectures and company visits have given me enormous insight in entrepreneurship and innovation. Each lecture provided a different viewpoint from experienced entrepreneurs that showcased how they succeeded and the sacrifices necessary to become successful.

I found the speaker on the first day, Zev Novath, provided an entertaining and informative session on the traits necessary to be a successful entrepreneur. What I found interesting were two things that were important: exercise and a supportive family. These two points are rarely, if ever, discussed as important for a successful entrepreneur, but in hindsight are seen as necessary.

The session on Tuesday with Alejandro, especially the first day, was helpful in understanding the different dynamics of each New York borough. Also, I found interesting that two of the largest accelerators reside within New York City. On the second day, the case study Rent the Runway showed how a startup goes from an idea, then starting small for the Harvard prom, and showing the viability in the business, then showing how the different rounds of funding to help grow the business. By using the CAPTURE model, Alejandro showed how the business successfully navigated the growth of the business.

The most interesting site visit occurred at the NYU Centre for Urban Science and Progress. The combination of data correlation and the utilization of incredible visuals to show how the city if functioning. The presentation was excellent in showing how the data is received and correlated. My only complaint was that there was a lack in showing how this data can or will be utilized by the city. It wasn’t discussed how the city departments who collect the data will be used to make the city more efficient as no examples were given.

The company visit at Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman was unique in that this was the first presentation that centered on the foreign corrupt practices act. A presentation by a former federal prosecutor was invaluable in the insight and specific examples she was able to provide.

The first week really provided a deep dive in how accelerators and incubators work and function. The site visits, along with the presentations, were useful in gaining a better understanding of how ideas can germinate and grow into a sustainable, successful business.

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