This past weekend I attended the NYU Entrepreneurs Festival in New York City. And contrary to what you may think I meant by the title of this post, I had no mixed emotions at all about the event; it was an absolutely amazing and well-planned conference. I titled this post as such because attending the festival made me feel many mixed emotions about my current status as an entrepreneur.
Some of the emotions I felt include:
I had no idea how many awesome entrepreneurs attended NYU, and I felt a great sense of pride to have attended the same university. Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Square fame, Herb Kelleher from Southwest Airlines, Founder and CEO of the Ladders Alex Douzet, NYC’s Chief Digital Officer Rachel Sterne Haot, and Dan Porter of OMGPOP / Zynga were amazing keynote speakers and all NYU alumni. In addition, I met and learned from so many other NYU alumni who are working on some great startups.
I also felt a strong sense of pride about the entrepreneurial community that is being built at NYU by Frank Rimalovski and his team. The collaboration between staff, faculty and students was amazing and is sure to continue to grow the NYU entrepreneurship community in the future.
As an entrepreneur, you’re doing something wrong if you speak with a founder about his or her company and don’t get motivated to start or continue to build your own. The passion that founders have for their companies is contagious, and trading ideas and opinions with them only got me more psyched up to figure out what my next startup adventure will be.
Yes, I was completely motivated by speaking to other entrepreneurs, but it also caused a level of anxiety for me, since I’m not currently working on a startup that I can call my own. I quit my full-time job eight months ago to work on Dokkit and basically have gotten nowhere in the startup world. I’ve really lacked a startup identity, which has been eating away at me for a while now, so hearing that other founders have launched products, raised money, and garnered revenue made me feel really anxious and doubt myself and my decisions.
But overall, I felt a real sense of excitement by attending the conference. I’m excited to get to work on my next startup (whatever that will be), excited to grow the new relationships that resulted from the festival, and excited to be a continuing part of the NYU entrepreneurship community (as much as I can from here in DC).
The NYU Entrepreneurs Festival was an amazing event and I’m so happy I attended. Props go to everyone involved in organizing the conference, and I’m really proud to be a part of the amazing things happening at my alma mater.