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Startup Velocity - Challenges of Student Entrepreneurship


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Challenges of Student Entrepreneurship. Advice on Startups while in college/university from a Unimelb Alum.

Published in: Business, Technology
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Startup Velocity - Challenges of Student Entrepreneurship

  1. 1. Challenges of Student Entrepreneurship Sam "Frenchie" Stewart Co­founder
  2. 2. or WARNING: Styles changed for printing. This will be ugly. Made with reveal.js
  3. 3. Who is this guy?BSc(Science Informatics) ­ French & Comp Sci. Nightfly @ 19y.o. Raised investment, went to SF & the valley. No idea what we were doing. Came home with extra drive & no money. Deferred Uni. YBF & AC. Now Sapient. Current driver: Student entrepreneurship.
  4. 4. Challenge 1: Time Management
  5. 5. ...boring. Most important things are thoroughly boring. As a result, most people don't listen. Goal of this talk: Hype + boring message.
  6. 6. Manage Distractions Militantly. Macro & micro. Social life at the pub & social life on facebook. We are the first generation to grow up with push notifications. I'm not saying become a hermit, your friends are an important support network. But consider the opportunity cost of your time. Time spent at the pub is time not working, doubly­so if you spend the next morning hungover. Choose your time according to what you KNOW you should be doing.
  7. 7. Startup vs Studies. Go to class vs should I go pitch for investment for my startup. Lack of time invested in studying => higher failure rate.
  8. 8. Guess when? Average marks/semester. Axes removed for my own self confidence. Guess when I started my first startup? The initial dip. Rebound: I learned how to effectively manage my time & had MY HIGHEST MARKS. The big dip is actually when I stopped managing my time effectively & let myself get completely consumed by my startup, YBF & Work. Moral of the story: Go hard, in moderation. Be smart about it.
  9. 9. Startup Studies AND vs False dichotomy. Do both. Go hard, in moderation.
  10. 10. Solution: Get Harvest
  11. 11. Challenge 1 ­ Time Management Summary Spend time on the right things. Constantly. This is something you need to constantly work on. Go hard, in moderation. Track your time.
  12. 12. Challenge 2: Lack of Experience
  13. 13. “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” ― Socrates Cheesy quote Uni has failed to prepare you. probably should say this at uni. You are not skilled­up by industry standards.
  14. 14. Self Doubt. Confidence is key. You need to protect your confidence. Your pyschological state is a key business metric. People want to believe in the "proigal child" meme. Help them out.
  15. 15. Incredibly steep learning curve getting dumped into the greater population. Not classmates ­ a free for all. 50 yrs + exp. THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS IS OUTPUT. no "Extenuating circumstances" and "supplementary exams".
  16. 16. Solution: Track Your Outputsaying "learn everything" isn't useful just­in­time learning
  17. 17. Challenge 2 ­ Lack of Experience Summary Confidence is key. Go hard, in moderation. Just­in­time learning. Track your output.
  18. 18. Challenge 3: Budgets
  19. 19. Disclaimer: If you have 50k in the bank & can seed fund yourself, this advice isn't for
  20. 20. Everyone sucks at budgets.Students Boring Warning. A proper budget is absolutely magical. Seriously.
  21. 21. You have no Δt. Most budgets advocate a saving of 10%­20% of your pay check. Even a small slice will add up to something over time. You don't have the 'over time' so you don't have that 'something'.
  22. 22. Solution: discount 25% Discount:
  23. 23. Challenge 3 ­ Budgets Summary Budgets are magical. Track your money. Go hard, in moderation.
  24. 24. Optimism, right.
  25. 25. The Pros: (Many) No­risk scenario. no mortage, no kids, no house. You have nothing to lose. even if you lose it all anyway, still good on the CV. Physical resilience. Long hours without it taking a toll. Grind through the tough parts. Sprint at speed during the good parts. Low financial requirements. No "golden handcuffs". Safety­net: worst case scenario. Your friends/family will forgive you. Prodigal child thing. People are impressed & want to help you. Looks awesome on your CV. Gives you full perspective on the business. Familiarity with new & trendy. Grown up with this, viscerally understand vs "I'll take three facebooks."
  26. 26. Cheesy Quotes “[Innovation] does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it” ­ Planck “Opportunity is missed by most people, because it is dressed up in overalls and looks like hard work.” ­ Edison
  27. 27. Thanks! Twitter: @nfFrenchie