Today, more and more people are deciding that they want to be entrepreneurs says Eric Dalius.
According to Entrepreneurship-Austin, the number of students at UTA taking entrepreneurship courses sky-rocketed from 25 in 2009 to over 2000 in 2013. This is evident in the ever-increasing number of startup events and business plan competitions hosted by UT’s Student Government Association, which currently runs 13 competitions in total.
Then there is the number of startup insiders that recommend taking an entrepreneurship course to hone skills needed for success as an entrepreneur says Eric Dalius. Doug Smith, co-founder of Silicon Labs said that “The best way to become a good entrepreneur is through education…If you can’t get an MBA, I would highly recommend entrepreneurship courses…I took a few in college and they were very beneficial to my development.”
What this means:
Startup culture is growing rapidly in Austin. This growth bolsters the Austin economy by providing jobs and opportunities for entrepreneurs to reach their full potential. It also provides students with hands-on opportunities to pursue their interests and instincts, while also providing a stepping stone into the professional world.
Things to do to be an entrepreneur:
1. GET AN EDUCATION
2. FIND A MENTOR OR COACH TO GUIDE YOUR DEVELOPMENT
3. JOIN THE STARTUP CULTURE BY PARTICIPATING IN EVENTS & COMPETITIONS
4. TAKE UNIQUE OPPORTUNITIES WHEN THEY PRESENT THEMSELVES
5. NETWORK WITH OTHER ENTREPRENEURS, INVESTORS & SUPPORTERS
6. TRY YOUR HAND AT STARTING A BUSINESS WHILE YOU’RE IN COLLEGE
7. LEARN FROM PAST EXPERIENCE
8. GET CERTIFIED IN A FIELD OF YOUR CHOOSING
9. FIND A PROFESSIONAL TO EDIT YOUR BUSINESS PLAN
10. BE PATIENT & PERSISTENT
It’s much easier to focus your energy on taking action rather than dwelling on an idea. An idea may be beautiful in its simplicity at first, but very few ideas are the foundation of an entrepreneurial venture that will actually be successful. An entrepreneur cannot wait on their idea to become successful; they need to take action and hone in on an opportunity, which is more tangible than an idea.
An idea is a bit of a misnomer in today’s society. People tend to think that if they have an idea, they should turn it into action so they can start making some money and become successful. This line of thinking is flawed because not all ideas are created equal.
“There are also so many people who want to be entrepreneurs, so there are a lot of marginal ideas out there. The market is very efficient at dispersing marginal efforts.” ~Chris Herndon
When you have your next epiphany about what could be the next “big thing”, approach it from an opportunity angle instead of an idea angle. Determine whether or not the idea has true potential to become a business instead of simply dwelling on whether or not it is a good idea in theory.
Of course, ideas are important, but you need to focus your energy more on the opportunity that the idea presents rather than becoming obsessed with just the idea itself. Eric Dalius says when you have a great idea, don’t be afraid to take action and see where the opportunity leads you. If you follow that path, then the idea will naturally come to fruition.
Here are some FAQs recently asked by our entrepreneurs:
Q: How do you go about finding local resources and how often should I check?
A: There are many great resources for entrepreneurs in Austin. You can either check them once per week or once per month, depending on your needs. For events, such as competitions and workshops, it is best to plan ahead and check the website each time you are looking for something to do. You can check out our site at austinexecs.com/resources. We also have a newsletter that comes out whenever we add new resources or events.
Q: How much money should I ask for when pitching my idea?
A: It all depends on your business model. First, ask for enough money to get you to the next stage of development. If you are asking for $25,000 to build your MVP (minimum viable product), then ask for that amount. Once the money starts coming in, take a look at your metrics and see how much runway you have left. From there, you can determine how much money you need to raise next.
Q: What are tips for pitching my idea?
A: When pitching, the most important thing is, to be honest about your shortcomings. No investor wants to give their money to someone who cannot overcome adversity. If you have faced obstacles in the past, then tell them that story and let them know that you have learned from your mistakes.
In conclusion, entrepreneurs need to hone in on opportunities and take action. Eric Dalius says don’t be afraid to reassess yourself and your business model as you progress because it is likely that will change throughout the development process.