Many young people have killer ideas for new products, disruptive services and helpful innovations, but can easily get discouraged as the realities of adulthood settle in. Sometimes, they can’t find the tech to support their project, or they struggle with investment, or they just don’t think all the trouble is worth it.
Jake Hurwitz didn’t have those problems. He co-founded a web design and marketing firm while he was still a sophomore at the University of Colorado-Boulder, taking on standard startup challenges with tips he learned talking to people he admired. But as he hired fellow college students, he noticed they weren’t very driven, often failing to maintain deadline even when their jobs were on the line.
“Other students at CU Boulder were way more talented than I was, but they didn't have any business skills,” Hurwitz said. “They didn't know how to write emails or get clients or even shake someone's hand and look them in the eye. But they were great at design and video and really good photographers.”
Now, he’s gathered advice from some of Colorado’s top entrepreneurs on how to persevere in the startup world, creating a video series for young founders that’s launching today. The series from the Eyesight Collective includes tips from VC Seth Levine, Pana CEO Devon Tivona and others.
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The advice focuses on turning points in these entrepreneurs’ careers, points where they considered leaving but pushed through to turn products around or strategically leave them behind to focus on better opportunities. For Hurwitz, it’s a way to show young entrepreneurs the road is never easy.
Lessons range from realizing that a company wasn’t solving a real problem to how to handle failure without losing the entrepreneur spirit.
“Seeing kids who are really talented and really smart just kind of go into that typical accounting job after school because it's safe — if I can just influence one person to not take that path and to do something truly incredible and really bring some change to their community, then I feel like I've succeeded,” Hurwitz said.
The series brought Hurwitz and his team around Colorado, but he hopes to expand the series with startup advice for young people with luminaries from around the country. The team already has plans for a trip to San Diego to hear from more entrepreneurs, and has seen interests from entrepreneurs in other markets as well.
The first season of the video series launched today. You can see all 7 episodes at Eyesight Collective’s website.
Image via Eyesight Collective