Wise Words from a Member of VeloCity’s Alumni
Earlier this evening, Eric Migicovsky, CEO of Allerta visited VeloCity, advising the students on their time spent designing an effective startup. Having once been a member of VeloCity himself, he noted what a great experience he had in the residence. VeloCity, he said, is a time to “focus on school and get exposure to the entrepreneurial network here in Waterloo and Toronto”; there is arguably no better way to access such a community without inputting a significantly greater amount of effort. Considering that time management is perhaps one of the greatest difficulties faced by students, this aid is extremely beneficial. Eric also mentioned that no one person has a broad solution or road to success that will work for every startup, instead it is necessary to take advice from each of VeloCity’s guest speakers and piece it together as your own formula.
In addition, Eric stated that you must not neglect the countless opportunities VeloCity presents through which you can practice your pitch. In the early stages of your project, that pitch is the sole aspect of your ‘business’, and you must tell everyone and anyone who is willing to listen. In doing this, it helps you to stay on track and question “am I actually practicing what I preach?” Even pitching to angels only to be shot down is worthwhile – it puts you on their radar. Even better, when you finally have a successful business, you get to go back to that person and politely indicate that you have managed that which you set out to do.
When talking to mentors, Eric says it is vital to set milestones and deadlines, and give yourself timelines. Primarily because it keeps you motivated, but also because mentors don’t necessarily want to give advice, instead they want to hear what you’re doing; so keep them up to date, keep them in the loop.
Finally Eric emphasized the importance of recognizing money available to you, noting OCE and CYBF as exceptionally good sources.