The event was animated by McGill alumnus, Gregory Larkin, Partner at Boundless Tech and best-selling author of This Might Get Me Fired, and featured special guests Charles Bonello, Founder of Vivvi and Grand Central Tech – the biggest incubator in NYC; Peter Crysdale, SVP of Minerva; Gary Hoberman, Founder and CEO of Unqork and former CIO of Metlife; JJ Kasper, one of the most respected VCs in NYC and former McKinsey partner; as well as Amanda Kirby, startup advisor and former SVP Tech Partnership Development at Bank of America.
We wish to extend a special thanks to Gregory Larkin for pulling together and moderating this panel and to all our guests for sharing their experiences with the Dobson Centre Community!
Here are three key takeaways from the discussion in case you missed it.
1. There is no straightforward path to entrepreneurship
“You learn the most when you are uncomfortable. Be uncomfortable as much as you can.” advised Gary Hoberman, Founder and CEO of Unqork and former CIO of Metlife.
As the five panelists highlighted with their unique stories, there is no one-size-fits-all path to becoming an entrepreneur or an investor. However, what became apparent was that their common mindset of continuous learning and curiosity contributed to their success.
“It’s okay not to know something.” said Amanda Kirby, startup advisor and former SVP Tech Partnership Development at Bank of America, as she related how learning from those around her has helped her build a career she loves.
2. NYC: a hub for entrepreneurs and investors
"If you make it here, you can make it anywhere” was the main consensus on launching a business in New York. The city is renowned for providing honest feedback and is a great proving ground for new business ideas.
While all agreed that NYC is the best city in the world, the panel highlighted that you can really practice entrepreneurship from anywhere in the world. The most important is to be where your talent is and to build strong relationships with your investors.
3. The Enormous Power of Community
Community remains the biggest ally of an entrepreneur. Invest time and energy in building strong relationships with a core group of people that can offer diverse perspectives. Surround yourself with reliable people that you trust and respect, for they will be your first call when you need to assess ideas or when things go off-track, and of course, to celebrate your achievements!
Want to hear more from our panel? Watch the entire event here.