Alumni Visit from Basecamp Labs
October 2, 2010
Late Thursday night, VeloCity alumni Karim Mitha and Ashok Raju returned to the dormcubator to enlighten our current students. Both have recently joined Basecamp Labs; an incubator for venture-backed businesses that works hand-in-hand with startups to get them on the right track.
Agitated with the constant stress of school and cooperative placements, Karim found himself inspired by the bubble gum machine empire – a real-life tale concerning a man who profited from distributing bubble gum machines all over New York city. After spending a term at VeloCity, Karim founded his online advertising company specialstoday.ca.
Karim notes that there are 3 vital ingredients in the transformation from idea to startup
1) Team – create a group of like-minded individuals, and ensure that they all desire a similar goal
2) Direction – use a business plan to make sure you address all details
3) Finance – money is always a factor and is necessary for growth
He also provided a few tips for VeloCity
- Network as much as you can – never again will you be provided with such a great networking opportunity without putting in a vast amount of effort.
- Make VeloCity a priority – make the most of the four months spent there
- Take initiative – keep in mind that VeloCity itself is in its early stages; if you perceive a problem, create a solution
- Be persistent – keep in mind that ideas tend to pass through several stages
- Have an amazing time
Ashok too, works with Basecamp Labs, though his work is primarily concerned with the growth of PushLife Inc. He had both an idea and a team before moving into VeloCity and though this idea did not take off, Ashok was still able to learn through the experience. Namely;
1) Get uncomfortable – granted living at VeloCity and managing schoolwork will prove difficult at times, yet learning to balance this stress will be beneficial in later life
2) An idea can fail because of a ‘bad’ team – an idea is nothing until it is executed, and people execute it; if you don’t have the right people, it won’t work out
3) Focus on the core of the product – if you focus on the superficial details and forget the core, you’ll fail