(Editor’s Note: James Enwright is one of the students attending the one-week immersion course, EntreTechNYC, where each day, the class visits a variety of startups and entrepreneurial ventures. James is completing his master’s degree in information management at the iSchool. He’s an IT leader with over 15 years of experience in information technology, information security, enterprise risk management, IT architecture, and project management focused on providing strategic direction and ensuring proper execution. He previously finished a certificate of advanced study there in Information Security Management at the iSchool. Here’s his take on what the EntreTechNYC experience is like.)
Woke up, fell out of bed,
Dragged a comb across my head (or not)
Found my way downstairs and drank a cup,
And looking up I noticed I was late.
This is the story of a day in the life of an EntreTech Student.
6:00AM – After 4 hours of sleep…and 20 minutes after hitting the snooze button….I woke up and started my day.
7:10AM – After a quick shower, and getting myself all dolled up, remembering not to forget my nametag or bottle of water, I headed down the 8 flights of stairs (the hell with that damn elevator) and into the dining room. After making sure I reserved four tables for the group, I got myself a bagel, some sausage, some coffee and a pastry…or two. Then I settled in to relax and enjoy my breakfast before the madness began.
8:00AM –THE MADNESS BEGINS
8:10AM – At this point everyone had arrived at breakfast and the students were speaking with the alumni.
The alumni were rotating through 3 different tables that the students were sitting and chatting with all of the students about their personal experiences and backgrounds. The story that stood out to me this morning was Cory Crosland. Cory started his own service based company in 2006 and ran it based on the revenue it generated as opposed to investments.
His story was great and the thing that stood out to me the most was that he stated how it was important to take risks so long as you are comfortable with the worst case scenario. In his case he said the worst case scenario was moving back in with his parents…which he was strangely comfortable with if it came to that…and since he was ok with that risk he decided to continue to take risks at his company and those risks have certainly paid off based on his success. NOTE TO SELF: Tell Mom to get the Star Wars sheets ready just in case I get inspired and it doesn’t pan out .
9:00 AM – Breakfast winds down and we head out to the park across the street for a quick class on how companies get started financially. We learned about bootstrapping, the different types of investors, venture capitalists and crowd funding. The specifics about each group were really interesting and certainly helped me better understand more about our speakers as we moved throughout the rest of the day and met with people at each company.
9:50 AM – OFF TO MASHABLE
10:00 AM – MASHABLE BEGINS.
10:10 AM – At Mashable we met with Meghan and Bryan who were SU alumni and both gave very interesting insight into how technology is utilized at Mashable. Specifically how their product Velocity is used to provide them with the most up to date information available on breaking news.
Then we spoke to Dylan, Chief of Strategy, and Michael their COO. Michael gave some great insight on how to use investment money. He said you basically need to develop a 3-5 year business plan, then lay out a plan on where the capital is going through use of funds. Overall, Mashable was very impressive. I feel they have some great ideas at the company and they are heading in the right direction.
12:00 PM – ARKADIUM BEGINS.
12:10 PM – Arkadium was great and Kenny, a Syracuse Alumni, was awesome!!! I mean really how can you not get excited about a guy who starts his own video game company? Honestly, Kenny the founder of the company has a great story. He built his business by busting his butt and relying on the revenue of the company to sustain itself. He firmly believes in the company and wants to see it grow even more.
I loved that he was interactive with the students and provided a challenge to them to help his company (which I think is something more companies should ask of the students on the trip). The fact that our group gave him 3 potential solutions to real problems his company was facing in my eyes was great. Lunch was also delicious.
2:00 PM – OFF TO THE PARK FOR ICE CREAM!!!!
3:10 PM – OFF TO BUZZFEED
3:30 PM – Buzzfeed was great. You could tell they knew what they were doing from an organizational standpoint. One speaker that really stood out was Ben Ronnie and the conversation around product management. It was interesting to see how each product had their own team and how that worked really well for the organization.
4:45 PM – OFF TO FOUR SQUARE….WERE RUNNING LATE!!!
5:00 PM – TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE…Yes Really.
5:20 PM – Foursquare was a lot of fun and had a laid back atmosphere. Dennis Crowley, a Syracuse Alum and the CEO, was very approachable and gave the group a tour of the building, he then made some time to meet with the group in a town hall setting.
He inspired many of us and I particularly asked why he doesn’t just sell his company again, to which he replied he had already done that and wanted to deliver good ideas. I thought this was a very telling answer.
6:00 PM – ALUMNI EVENT, THIS WAS AWESOME!!!! What a great event this was. I networked with more people than I can count. The food was excellent and the atmosphere at Foursquare was great.
8:20 PM – OFF TO THE HOTEL
9:15 PM – NIGHTLY DE-BRIEFING
10:30 PM – OFF TO GET GELATO!
11:20 PM – BACK TO THE HOTEL
12:00 AM – CHECK EMAIL
1:00 AM – START BLOG
3:30 AM – FINISH BLOG
What do you think of this EntreTech day? Have you ever had an immersion-learning experience? Share your thoughts and let us know about it in the comments below!