Yesterday Anthony gave an overview of the Conference and some of the key points from the sessions he attended. In this post, I will provide some of the key learnings from a few of the sessions I attended.
I chose the Startup Leadership: Critical Skills & Resources and the session that focused on platforming Entrepreneurial Heroes as they focused on the role of founders and teams in developing products, business models, customers, securing and managing resources (including early-stage funding), taking products to market, and scaling in their businesses. The session structure was a panel discussion which consisted of startup entrepreneurs, early-stage investors, representatives of entrepreneurship support organisations and other relevant stakeholders within an entrepreneurial ecosystem.
This session in particular resonated with me in terms of the work we do at the Foundation which focuses on equipping future founders with the requisite mindset in order to be active participants within an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Additionally, the emphasis on teams/communities which work together to solve problems are all key areas of focus within the Fellowship as well as a recognition of being part of bigger entrepreneurial ecosystem.
One particular panelist, Jeff Hoffman of Colorjar and Priceline.com, provided an insightful summary of what a successful entrepreneur needs.
Jeff provided the following nuggets:
- Entrepreneurs need to take ownership of the problems they see and attack the solutions!
- They need to be inspired individuals – this is at their core – inspiration.
- Entrepreneurship is their career choice; they do not want to settle for less.
- They have a need for role models – brave mentors who have tried. They need mentors more than they need money.
- They need empathy; this will keep them in touch with the real world.
- They need storytelling skills.
- They need to be even better listeners.
- They need to fear apathy more than failure.
Another helpful tip from Jeff was as follows: “The answer is not in the office. The more we are engaged with the real world, the better our solutions will become. The only way to make the world a better place is to be in it”.
Further to this, Jeff mentioned that Entrepreneurs are the drivers that will “Shape the Future.” This, coincidentally emphasises the Fellowship’s 2014 campaign with the same tag- line that seeks to drive our current search for future responsible entrepreneurs
It is encouraging to hear stories from a seasoned high impact entrepreneur that remain focused on the areas that the Foundation holds dearly, a fixed emphasis on the individual, one’s purpose and a Spirit of Significance that holds empathy and a consistent attitude of learning and problem solving for the common good close to heart.
One of the final quotes from Jeff that resonate is “Perhaps the next person’s life you will touch may be the person who will change the world” – and in our case I am convinced of this truth!