Chronicles of Summer Startup Accelerator Experience, Insights, and Projects

Today we met two amazing people. I had the pleasure of meeting Elena Silonek and William Reinisch. Both elite people in every aspect.

Elena taught us, at a rudimentary level, how the “internet” works, which is different from the “world wide web”.  I was really more interested in learning about Clothia and how she got to where she is today. From reading her short, but dense bio, she’s an amazingly intelligent, creative, and awesome person. I love entrepreneurs who embody the lifestyle that pushes the boundaries. Something else that intrigued me was her background in data science and mathematics. If I could have another meeting just to pick her brain, I’d be honored.

That last statement also goes for Mr. William Reinisch who manages the New York office of Paladin Capital. His talk on “Entrepreneurial Thinking” reminded me of some of the other talks I’ve heard from Lean Startup speakers and others who talk about “innovation”. It was well received by the entire class, and I was glad to get these things drilled into my head. He covered things like ideation methods and cognitive tools to begin putting our ideas into buckets.

Where I thought the guest lecture really shined was in Q & A. I finally got to speak with someone who has worked alongside startups with hardcore IP. I mean come one, his first startup IPO’d because they invented the radio component in a cell phone that

1) was low power 2) had low radiation 3) allowed phones to efficiently connect to cell towers.

I asked him about his time at Motorola and the path to technology commercialization. He gave me powerful insights that will be kept private.

Additionally I asked him about university spinouts and commercializing university research. His theory is that there will be a bimodal distribution in the next 10 years. You will have the top universities who got it right and those who fall into the chasm. Some who are models of success are obvious: MIT & Stanford.

From hearing Mr. William speak, I was relieved to finally here some validation on my theory. If you’re an aching entrepreneur and a serious dreamer, then the problem you have is choosing the idea, not trying to come up with one. In my experience, execution is difficult, but no where near impossible, and many times you at least know the general direction or path you’re suppose to be on. Beforehand, you’re staring at the edge of the abyss chewing on glass. I think once you can decide on an idea that resonates with you the rest will come easy. Your eyes begin to focus on the prize more than the obstacles. Persistence and focus keeps you moving forward and obstacles begin to melt away when you disregard them.

Steve Blank recently wrote an article on Tenacity and includes his statement at the Congressional Hearing regarding Startups

All in all a great day.

Note to self: Re-connect to both Silenok & Reinisch

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