Lessons Learned Archives:

The Lessons Learned series featuring NYU entrepreneurs’ first-hand accounts of challenges faced in starting a business and the lessons learned along the way.


Lessons Learned: Pitching to Investors

Hannah Salwen and Lauren Graham are the founders of Mootch and both attended NYU. Mootch is a platform for peer-to-peer renting of everyday goods. We make it possible for people to rent items they don’t want to buy and rent out the items they already own. As a young entrepreneur, it can be daunting to even think about pitching in front of investors. You may wonder: Am I prepared? Are we too early stage? What do they want to hear? It can be overwhelming. Pitching in…

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Lessons Learned: Take the Risk

Taher Hassonjee is an NYU alumni, Venture for America Fellow, and Associate at Jumpstart Inc. Jumpstart is a nonprofit in Cleveland dedicated to the aiding entrepreneurship in the Northeast Ohio region. Jumpstart also serves as a venture fund that makes early-stage investments in start-ups.  If you’re interested in entrepreneurship (and since you’re visiting NYU’s entrepreneurship website, that’s a safe bet), I’m sure that you’ve read your fair share about taking risks. It is perhaps the most obvious aspect of starting a company. I’d like to share my…

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Lessons Learned: Just Pitch

Rohit Mittal is a junior undergraduate in the Stern School of Business. Rohit is CEO and co-founder of Mitley, which is an online platform for musicians to rent their equipment to other musicians. He is also a Residential Assistant in Founders Residence Hall and is a Sales Operations and Strategy Intern at a startup called PublicStuff Inc.  Unfortunately, companies typically don’t get off the ground with their original idea intact. Instead, the idea ends up changing based on what other people say. In order to actually get your company…

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Lessons Learned: Startups are Hard

Abhi Ashutosh is a Junior at NYU CAS studying Computer Science, Business, and Math. He is the co-founder of Kipin Hall, President of TEDxNYU, and on the E-Board of Tech@NYU and HashtagNYU. His love of tech, design, and building has led him down the path of entrepreneurship. Startups are hard. Starting a company today is like starting a band was 20 years ago: Everyone does it, but few really do it. Due to media frenzy over yet another startup with a multi-billion-dollar valuation, we often…

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Lessons Learned: Scientific Thinking to Entrepreneurial Spirit

Jing Deng is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Skirball Institute and the AIDS Research Center at NYU Langone Medical Center. Inspired by her aunt, who is a successful entrepreneur in China, Jing merges her love of science and entrepreneurship, and develops a strong desire to help scientists streamline the research process, to eventually accelerate the pace of scientific discovery. Steve Blank’s 5-Day Lean Launchpad Course helped me define the difference between scientific thinking and entrepreneurial spirit. During the course, my partner Fang-Ke Huang and I spent quality time with Steve Blank and the teaching…

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Lessons Learned: Transitioning from School Competition to Full-time Startup

Kevin George and Scott Holand are the co-founders of HireCanvas and recipients of the $75,000 Rennert Prize, awarded by the judges’ in the New Venture category of NYU’s $200K Entrepreneurship Challenge. HireCanvas is a mobile career fair management tool improving the career fair experience. After competing in the New Venture category of NYU’s $200K Entrepreneurship Challenge, our worlds changed. With or without the win, my co-founder, Scott Holand and I had already committed fulltime to our startup, HireCanvas. As we set out to build a meaningful…

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Lessons Learned: A Startup’s Secret Weapon—Customers!

Fang-Ke Huang is a postdoctoral fellow in NYU Langone Medical Center, applying the proteomic approach to understand the brain’s functionalities such as learning and memory. Fang-Ke got his PhD from Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences. He is interested in the intersection of science and business. When I was in graduate school, two fellow students and I participated in a venture challenge in which we had to submit an executive summary of a technology. We worked tirelessly, ruthlessly Google searching and brainstorming, and we came up with the…

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Lessons Learned: Passion Holds Out

Paul Dariye is a first year graduate student in the Management of Technology program at NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering. Before NYU, Paul was in Northern Cyprus. Paul has had an eventful journey since leaving Nigeria in 2009 to further his studies.  The 5-Day Lean Launchpad with Steve Blank remains the most challenging and engaging class I’ve taken to date at NYU. It was a very electrifying experience. From a road trip to New Jersey to a party organized by Google, those five days felt like much more than just a…

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Lessons Learned: Do It Your Way

Chase Denison is a freshman undergraduate in the Stern School of Business. Chase is the founder and owner of Vybe Sunglasses. He is also a captain of NYU’s Baseball Team. As entrepreneurs, we seem to fall into a habitual cycle trying to mirror other successful entrepreneurs we know and revere. We follow their footsteps to accomplish our own goals. Most people think in terms of a set of “rules” scribed in stone on how to be a successful entrepreneur. Well to that, I say— no. Rather than…

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Lessons Learned: Rethinking Programs in the Social Sector

{{unknown}}Angela is a 2nd year Masters of Public Administration student at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service, specializing in International Development and Policy. Steve Blank’s Lean Launchpad course is a 5-day intensive course that allows teams of students gain real world experience in how to turn an idea into a business.  When I was in middle school, my mother had an entire backyard devoted to gardening. Having read somewhere that plants grew faster and benefited when coffee was added to the soil, I…

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