Insights: Automating Business Operations

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Gone are the days of a business ledger. Gone are the days of solely managing a business with a series of notebooks, receipts, accounts, and files.

In today’s digital world, where every task is accomplished by a software, gone are the days where business owners are in charge of managing operations.

Businesses today rely on software to streamline business procedure, analyze data, and market their product.

As entrepreneurs, learning these software can be crucial to creating well-oiled company operations.  Here are some software tools to help build and run a startup.


A cloud-computing software, Salesforce is designed to provide customer relationship management, marketing automation, data analytics, and application development.

In recent years the company has become #1 for customer success and is designed to help meet customer needs and improve the relationship between customer and company  and is currently used by billion-dollar corporations such as Amazon and Adidas.

Companies that use the software can expect to see an average increase of 27% increase in sales revenues and 34% in customer satisfaction.

How does the software actually work? As a cloud-computing software, Salesforce has multiple ‘clouds’ to provide your company with various services. These cloud platforms include a marketing cloud, app cloud, service cloud, analytics cloud, sales cloud and IoT cloud among many more.

Its usage doesn’t simply stop at Salesforce platforms, as the software can be integrated into third-party applications and has thousands of apps available for every business need you could think of on their AppExchange marketplace.

As an entirely unique software, Salesforce does require basic education  for utilization and offers tutorials online, but learning Salesforce allows you to build your own applications on top of their software.


We live in an information age. Knowing how to effectively analyze and interpret data is key to any job, but particularly important for successfully running a business.

Tableau is a data analytics platform that creates appealing and easy to read visuals of complex data.  Their graphics are no Excel bar graphs or pie charts, either. Creating stunning visualizations of data with multiple different variables and analysis, with Tableau you can create interactive data that even uses artificial intelligence for natural language processing of questions.

Tableau is an essential software for entrepreneurs to summarize their data in presentations for investors, and create models for themselves to improve sales, marketing, and strategy.


While every business professional may know how to create a simple bar chart or cross-analysis through spreadsheet software such as Excel, complex data analytics is generally reserved for information technology or analytics professionals.

With Alteryx, no more. Their system of platforms and apps makes advanced data analytics possible for any individual.

Just a few of the many data analytics features include geospatial analytics, for tasks such as routing and logistical efficiency, prescriptive analytics, to evaluate the most optimal outcomes; and data blending, to blend together data gathered from different resources for analytics or app creation.

Alteryx also uses artificial intelligence machine learning to validate business models and predict outcomes.

With Alteryx at your fingers, evaluate every business decision and predict every market outcome.

Application Programming Interface (API)

An Application Programming Interface, commonly known as an API, is an interface that allows interactions between different software. For innovators creating their own application or software, APIs eliminate coding from scratch and can allow you to pull any feature you need from an API found on any quick Internet search.

Google APIs, available for public use, contain APIs for building features from chatbots to machine learning implementations.

But Google APIs are only the beginning- a simple search for an API online will return a plethora of results, from APIs for recipe gathering to finding key images in videos. Any feature or software to task you want- search for an API.

The software shared here only touches the surface of the various applications available to automate business creating and operating. Entrepreneurship may start with the idea of a single person or small team, but successful entrepreneurship is built upon the use of developments from thousands of other innovators.

Your business growth and management does not have to be self-run but perfected by developed applications.

By LaunchPad Global Fellow Claire Howard ’23; graphic by Sasha Termerte

Insights: How mentors can help your entrepreneurial journey

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Imagine learning calculus without a professor or Tae Kwon Do without an instructor. It’s doable, perhaps, but you’ll learn more slowly, experience a more mistakes along the way, and miss out on some valuable tips and tricks that would help you better understand the process.

Or, consider this situation: You have been banging your head against the wall trying to figure out the best bookkeeping platform to use for your small business. Maybe you’re looking to develop an app but don’t know what tech platform to use to create a Minimum Viable Product.

Or maybe you have a bigger decision you need to make: What if you aren’t sure how many shares of your startup to give up for investment funding? Or don’t know how to select the right people for your team? Perhaps you don’t understand the patent process or how to develop a customer acquisition model to develop and manage potential client leads.

But who do you turn to with these questions? How do you find a Sherpa for life, business, and entrepreneurship?

The answer is a mentor.

A mentor is an experienced and trusted advisor who you can turn to for questions, feedback, and guidance. An entrepreneur can have multiple mentors for different purposes. For instance, you may have a knowledgeable CEO answer your questions about developing a strong business model in your industry, but you may also be in contact with a software programmer who could help you identify technical flaws in your program.

Where do you find these mentors? Often times, they are within your very own network. It’s important to take time and reflect on who you know that could be a valuable connection in starting your business. Friends? Relatives? Past employers? Co-workers? Fellow students? Past speakers from networking events?

If there is still a certain subject matter expert you lack within your own network, begin to ask whether those around you know someone they can connect you directly with. Do you have  friends or advisors who have an extensive network of their own? They can introduce you to exactly who you need.

Otherwise, it’s time to do some proactive networking anew. With a few LinkedIn messages and phone calls, you could very well be on your way to forming a mentorship relationship with someone you previously thought was out of reach.

Here are some tips to get started on reaching out to a potential mentor on LinkedIn or over email:

  • Make sure your message is personalized. Do not send the same cold message to every person you reach out to. Do some research on why this connection would be a good fit and make sure to add a personal touch with a note about work of theirs you admire or similarities you share.
  • Come prepared with a question (or several) and any materials relevant to the questions you need answered. This will demonstrate that you are dedicated, organized and engaged, making you someone a mentor would be more eager to work with.
  • If you ask for a phone call, ask for a brief one. If your new connection chooses to spend an hour talking with you once you get them on the phone, that’s great! But to start, ask for just 10 minutes of their time, and they will be more open to hopping on a call with you. Once you’re on call, stick to the promised time unless they offer to speak longer. 
  • Follow up with a thank you email and continue to build your relationship with the potential mentor. If they are open to answering more questions, include another in your email or schedule check-in phone calls to touch base and provide updates.

Once you have a mentor, it’s imperative that you offer them the sincere gratitude and recognition they deserve. When you pitch your business, make sure you have a slide or section that highlights your advisors.

Unsure where to start looking for a mentor? Syracuse University’s Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars has on-line resources for mentoring, along with an extensive network of seasoned alumni experts and successful entrepreneurs.  It also offers a peer-to-peer Rubin Family Innovation network staffed by successful student founders.  Additionally it hosts an Entrepreneur in Residence Program with top notch alumni and faculty advisors. 

Interested in becoming a LaunchPad mentor? Apply here.

Want to find a mentor? Start connecting with LaunchPad mentors by joining here and requesting a mentor here, or email us at

Story by Sasha Temerte ’23, LaunchPad Orange Ambassador

Insights: Building social media presence

Building social media presence

Ideal or not, we live in a digital world. If it wasn’t true before with the rise of smartphones and social media, our virtual lives in the time of Work from Home, Zoom calls, online shopping, and streaming all forms of entertainment are undeniable.

In this virtual world, presence on social media is crucial to building your company and increasing user interest. Social media is in essence your business’s chief marketing strategy.  It’s how users will become aware of your company and incentivize them to use or buy your product. Building social media, however, can seem like a daunting task. Creating an account for your company that has just one follower (yourself) and desperately hoping you’ll magically rise to viral fame and garner millions of followers simply will not grant you the brand success you’re dreaming of.

Social media success necessitates a carefully planned content strategy and active follower engagement. In order to help your brilliant ideas, become known and celebrated by your users, we’ve compiled a list of key strategies to implement when building your business’ presence on social media.

  • Establish a Brand Identity

In a world where business is conducted almost 100% online, first impressions from design can make or break your company. Before you launch a social media campaign to line up customers begging for your product, create a logo and design theme consistent with your product’s field and target audience. Create a clean, aesthetically pleasing website that effectively tells your message and entices readers to buy your product. Still not sure of the importance of branding? It takes .05 seconds for individuals to gather a first impression and online – 94% of first impressions are formed from web design and 75% of consumers decide a company’s credibility based on their design.

  • Know Your Audience

Garnering likes, views, comments, and followers interested in your product is the reason to even use social media; but knowing how to do this without begging your friends and family to follow you can be harder. The first step is to know your audience and who you’re appealing to. This can help with choosing which social media platforms to be on and what kind of content to curate. Facebook interest groups can be helpful for advertising your product and page, and one of the first steps to getting more followers is to follow other pages within your vertical, your product’s field, to get other profiles to follow you back and stay updated on trends.

  • Use Algorithms

This step involves a bit of personal research, as social media algorithms for what posts garner popularity vary from platform to platform. However, a simple Google search should help you determine things like what kind of hashtags to use, and what times of day you’ll get the greatest number of views. Tracking which of your posts are most successful and what your views are is also imperative to generating content that appeals to your audience.

  • Create a Content Strategy

Effective social media use is built upon consistent posting and careful schedule of releases, not casually posting whenever you have news to share with your users. When it comes to creating a plan for your content, consistency is key. Having stressed the importance of design, creating a consistent theme and voice for your posts solidifies your brand identity. Posting frequently and habitually (ex. every three days) keeps users interested and engaged. The best way to create this consistency in your social media use is to carefully plan a social media content posting. Softwares like Hootsuite can help you plan out all your posts in advance and automate their publication.

  • Advertise your Product

While one of the golden attributes of social media use is the cheap marketing cost (utterly free), paying for advertisements or sponsored posts on platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn can do wonders for increasing your presence. On Facebook, paid advertisements can start as low as $5 per advertisement and ensure that your content will be seen.

  • Encourage Engagement

While it might be easiest to implement a strategy of “post your pics and go,” social media use that encourages your followers to feel connected with your brand and compelled to buy your product creates engagement between your account and followers. This can take many different forms – perhaps someone on your team takes over your Instagram story for a day, showcasing their day-to-day work and answering questions, or perhaps you create fun polls on people’s preferences. Whatever route you choose to take, any use that makes your users feel like they’re personally engaging with your company and having their needs listened to creates brand favorability.

The average user opens social media applications 17 times a day. Capitalizing on society’s current favorite pastime can propel your budding startup towards thousands of users and help scale into a large company. While the algorithms and sudden virality of social media can appear a mystery, these key strategies can help you build your brand.

Our recommended first step? Follow @launchpadsyr and we’ll be your company’s devoted follower.

Column by Blackstone LaunchPad Global Fellow Claire Howard ‘23

Insights: The Science of Ideating

The science of ideating

We’re all struck at some point or another with ideas that sound like business gold. Around a dinner table with our friends, we argue the advantages of our latest dream innovation, and as we’re taking showers, we imagine products that could be perfect to solve society’s most frustrating problems.

Yet most of these ideas become nothing more than a conversation topic or a pipe dream we keep in our back pocket for our genius future selves.

How does anyone turn ideas into an actual business? The path to entrepreneurship can seem impossible.  How does one shape an idea into a path to market?

The first steps of entrepreneurship are not as daunting as securing millions of dollars in investment nor as easy as creating a dream product and seeing consumers to line up to buy it.

It may be helpful to think of early-stage entrepreneurship as similar to the scientific process. First you create a hypothesis about how the world works, then carefully test that hypothesis, then adjust, and test again in a repeated cycle until you’ve found one that sticks.

The key is careful reiteration and constant adjustment. How does this relate to entrepreneurship? Let’s break it down into a few steps.

Identify Your Problem

The problem is the first hypothesis. This step is identifying some sort of societal problem and proving the existence, importance, and negative effects of that problem that your idea hopes to fix. This is especially important, because without a problem that your product is fixing or a gap that your innovation is filling, your idea will simply never get off the ground. No matter how cool or ingenious your idea may be, consumers will not buy it unless they need or want the product because it is going to fix some issue or fill a space in their life. Still not sure of the importance of this? 42% of products that fail in the market fail because they do not meet a user need.

Market Research

How does one identify or validate the problem? Market research, one of the most critical steps for successful entrepreneurship, is the first ‘testing’ of your hypothesis that a problem exists and requires a solution. First, you’ll want to target the group of people that suffer from this problem and you hope would buy your product. You might find a group to contact via Facebook groups, online forums, or consumers of a product in a similar market. Surveying those people allows you to gather firsthand experiences of a problem and concrete evidence that a market need exists.

Proof of Concept

Another hypothesis that you’ll need to test, after you’ve confirmed that there is a problem and market need, is proof that your product will actually work. This is a simple technical creation of the essential elements of your product to verify that whatever you’re creating, from a technological innovation to a new mobile app, will actually work and effectively respond to your problem. A proof of concept is especially important once you begin pitching to potential investors to prove what you’re hoping to create is feasible.

Minimum Viable Product

The next hypothesis relies again on market research and validating your product with consumers. A Minimum Viable Product is the barebones model of your product to test that consumers can use your product and respond positively to it. One example of an MVP is that of the shoe retail company Zappos, where the founder took pictures of shoes in stores and posted them online. If someone bought the shoes, he personally went to the store, bought them, and shipped them to his buyer. MVPs are not elaborate but validate that the essential components of your proposed product will be wanted and utilized by the user.

Entrepreneurship is not simply the drive to flesh out a fantastic idea, but the careful commitment to testing a hypothesized product again and again. From problem identification to product validation, the work of entrepreneurs is similar to the work of scientist in its thorough analysis of assumptions about how the world works and what society needs.

By Claire Howard ’23, LaunchPad Global Media Fellow

Insights: The Psychology of Simplicity

the psychology of simplicity

Do you want your startup to generate more sales? Do you want to develop a platform that people genuinely enjoy using?

Long story short: Don’t overcomplicate it.

“The Paradox of Choice,” a term coined by American psychologist Barry Schwartz, refers to a concept in psychology and business that argues that eliminating choice ultimately reduces anxiety in consumers and translates to more sales.

Imagine that you are given the choice between two paintings. You love both nearly equally and are feeling incredibly indecisive about which one to pick.

In one scenario, after you choose the painting, you cannot change your mind to return it. Without the option to switch it out, your brain adapts and learns to love the painting. You are overall very satisfied with the choice you had made.

In another scenario, after you choose the painting, you can return it and switch it out for the other at any moment. Now, you are unsure about your choice. You spend days questioning yourself and wondering if you really like the painting you have or if you liked the other one more. You are overall much less satisfied with the choice you had made.

We see this in restaurants, clothing stores, online shopping, and everywhere else in our daily life.

A restaurant with a menu of 10 key meals they make well expends significantly less funding and energy (with much better reviews on their cooking expertise) compared to a diner with 80 menu items.

Or consider, perhaps, buying a shirt on Amazon that comes in 30 colors. Choosing between sky blue, navy blue and turquoise can create so much decision paralysis that a customer opts not to finish their order at all.

Too much choice leaves people feeling overwhelmed.

If you create a website with twenty tabs that describe your wide range of services, customers are more likely to be at a loss for where to look.

Compare this to a sales funnel. We’ve seen them all before: a single, scrollable page with pictures, text, and testimonials. At the bottom, there is a compelling deal with a “Sign Up” or “Buy Now” button. The narrative is straightforward, and the call-to-action is clear. After signing up for a mailing list, you may be sent to watch a free video seminar, which will then conclude with an offer to buy a full online course, and next thing you know, you’ve been converted into a paying customer.

Much more effective than being bombarded with just a list of services and trainings to buy, right?

Same goes for any user platform.

Have you ever joined a Discord server and felt confused by the hashtags, the commands lingo and the sheer amount of channels to navigate?

You’re not alone.

Although Discord is infamous for its large user base, when it does receive complaints, it is always about the complex user interface. Successful Discords tend to be those with clear, limited and purposeful channels rather than a channel for every subject under the sun.

Or consider an app like Clubhouse, which took off within weeks of its release.

Clubhouse functions under a very basic premise and even more basic app design: Start a chat. Join a chat. Raise hand to speak. Leave. There’s not much else to it, and that ease — the opportunity to network in an incredibly easy-to-understand way — is just a part of what made Clubhouse so wildly successful.

People like simplicity

If you want to succeed, limit your product options to start, make your sales funnel straightforward, and develop a platform that is easy to use and accessible. 

Story by Sasha Temerte ’23, LaunchPad Orange Ambassador

Insights: Resources for women entrepreneurs

resources for women entrepreneurs

It’s Women’s History Month and we’re celebrating with an Instagram series that features on some of our women entrepreneurs, as well as last week’s successful International Women’s Day event with our partners at WISE Women’s Business Center, Gwen, Inc. and One Group.  This insight column is a roundup of resources for women entrepreneurs, assembled by our LaunchPad Global Fellow Claire Howard ’23, who is also our talented Hult Prize Campus Ambassador. Approximately 50% of LaunchPad members are women founders or hold c-suite executive positions in student startups.

Behind the glass doors of the Blackstone LaunchPad and Techstars work a stunning group of innovators characterized by talent and tenacity. We’re proud to be home to some of the most brilliant minds of Syracuse University from all different colleges, academic disciplines, backgrounds, and identities. This month we’re proud to showcase and support a particular group of people the LaunchPad would be nothing without ‑ our women entrepreneurs. For all the fearless and intrepid businesswomen who have enriched our community, the LaunchPad is always here to support them and hope this list of resources to help our women entrepreneurs find funding, community, and inspiration to pursue their ambitions.

WISE Women’s Business Center

WISE stands for Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship. We’re a women’s business center dedicated to empowering CNY’s women entrepreneurs in all stages of business.  The WISE WBC is one of 117 women business centers across the nation.  It is funded in part by the US Small Business Administration and hosted by the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University.  A team of staff and counselors is dedicating to empowering women small business owners through comprehensive training programs, counseling and connection. WISE empowers women entrepreneurs by providing access to financial, human, social, and intellectual capital essential for achieving economic success.  It serves all aspiring and current small business owners, especially women who are economically or socially disadvantaged.

Career Guidance

Geek Girl Careers

Geek Girl Careers, headed by Syracuse alumna Sandhya Iyer, helps women find their place to thrive within the tech industry. The company offers insight to women not sure where their skills or passions lie with a short and fun quiz. The assessment, which allows users to select adjectives they believe describes themselves, then uses those to match the user with a list of potential careers within tech fields. By showing women the diversity of skill sets needed within tech industries, Geek Girl Careers hopes to bridge the gender gap in many tech companies and encourage women to find their strengths and passions. Geek Girl Careers also provides events, networking opportunities, and advice for launching your career and working consistently towards your goals.

Entrepreneurial Communities

Ellevate Network

Ellevate is a community for women in business, from entrepreneurs to those working in a corporate environment to those searching for a new path.  Their twelve-week program Squad pairs women together in small groups and guides them through career development and personal growth. While Squad, available through application only, is one of their most popular programs, their resources for women don’t stop there. Through numerous online events, mentorship programs, and networking opportunities; Ellevate seeks to connect women in business and help them grow together.

Ladies Who Launch

Ladies Who Launch is a not-for-profit community organization that seeks to support women entrepreneurs all around the world. From their Launch Program which mentors women starting their own business, connects them with capital opportunities, and provides them with a grant to start their business; to their numerous webinars, virtual events, and advice columns, Ladies Who Launch is a community that educates women and gives them access to the resources they need to start their own company.

Investment and Seed Funds

Chloe Capital

Four years ago this month, the founders of Chloe Capital set out on a mission to decrease the gender and diversity gap in entrepreneurship and venture capital. They started with a program to teach women how to invest, which sparked a National Tour to #InvestInWomen. Now, Chloe Capital has launched its third investment vehicle – an Impact Fund dedicated to women-led technology companies with diverse leadership teams. Along the way, the fund has made 10 investments, catalyzed over $50 million for female founders and helped create nearly 300 high-paying jobs.

Female Founders Fund

The front page of Female Founders Fund highlights a startling point: companies with female founders perform 63% better than their peers. Despite this, less than 3% of venture capital funding goes towards companies with female founders. Female Founders Fund hopes to change that with institutional capital investment into companies with female founders. With an impressive portfolio of companies with over $3B in enterprise value, the fund seeks to invest in companies with a bright future ahead of them.


MergeLane is a venture capital fund that has one caveat: they only invest into companies with at least one women in leadership. Their reason? Data shows that companies with women in leadership outperform significantly. The fund, started in 2015,  assists companies from pre-seed onwards and hopes to choose companies with high potential and scalable business growth. Their Leadership Camp development program helps women with personal growth and awareness in order to become successful leaders in the world of business. 

Amber Grant

The Amber Grant, started by the WomensNet to honor Amber Wigdahl, an aspiring entrepreneur who died at 19 before achieving her dreams. To honor her memory, the Amber Grant fund hopes to give women entrepreneurs the chance to achieve their dreams by giving monthly $10,000 grants to aspiring female entrepreneurs working on starting their company. They also give out monthly marketing and business specific grants, as well as a $25,000 end of year grant. Application for all grants requires only a simple written application to describe yourself and your business and winners are announced on the 20th of every month.

Our diverse and rich community of innovators and dreamers wouldn’t be the same without the fearless and inspiring women we’re honored to include and call friends.  LaunchPad women have gone on to make waves in business and numerous other fields, and we are determined to make entrepreneurship accessible for all Syracuse women and provide them with the support and resources their talent deserves.

To all our women entrepreneurs, we’re rooting for you!

By LaunchPad Global Fellow Claire Howard ‘23

Insights: Entrepreneurship as universal creativity

entrepreneurship as universal creativity
Claire Howard

We can’t all be the CEO.  Not everyone wants to start a company or strive to become a household name.  But when we think of entrepreneurs, the names of tech startup giants typically come to mind.  While starting businesses and achieving notoriety can be incredible goals, that perception can sometimes have the surprising negative effect of discouraging talented creatives and innovators from thinking of themselves as entrepreneurs. For those who don’t aspire to bring technology to market, entrepreneurship may seem like an elite field reserved for the few that are tirelessly driven and incomparably brilliant.  Nothing could be farther from reality.  The heart of innovation lies in seeing possibilities for improvement and enrichment in all aspects of our lives and careers.

While traditionally defined as creating new products for the market and forming a company, innovation and entrepreneurship can be found in every pursuit and in every creative endeavor.  Whether it’s art, social change, or community growth, innovation is creation to enrich the world. It’s found in every individual bursting with ideas and dreams to improve something about the world around them.

Within the Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars at Syracuse University, some of our favorite entrepreneurial stories come from those who are innovating and creating in a field outside of business. Erica Morrison ’21,  a member of the LaunchPad and winner of some business competitions, is currently creating a documentary on the life of her grandmother who grew up on a reservation, in hopes to showcase the disparities and struggles on reservations. Maggie Sardino ’23, a Syracuse native and talented writer, started a column uncovering the lives of Narratio fellows, refugees currently living in Syracuse and telling the stories of their experiences.

The realm of entrepreneurship is boundless and can include anything from designing a technological product to inspiring social change to creating meaningful impact within larger organizations.

It’s no surprise that humans tirelessly pursue their own vision through entrepreneurship. We as humans are driven to create, constantly imagining and reimaging ways to improve our own lives and the world around us. We dream of ways to make our own impact on the world and to leave it better than we found it. We’re problem solvers and dream chasers. Entrepreneurship is a way that dreams can take flight and turn visions into reality.  In whatever projects we start and ideas we wish to make tangible, we are leaning into our natural creativity to innovate for good.

At the LaunchPad at Bird Library, we welcome all to lean into their creativity and bring their ideas to a community continually imagining a better world.   Join our creative community.

By LaunchPad Global Fellow Claire Howard ‘23

Insights: What’s the deal with entrepreneurs and manifestation?

entrepreneurs and manifestation
Alesandra (Sasha) Temerte

How do entrepreneurs do it? You know — make something out of nothing?

If you’ve opened any social media platform in the past six months, you’ve probably come across the term “manifestation,” or the idea that you can bring your goals into reality through repeated thoughts and belief.

This may come as a surprise, but manifestation isn’t new.

Good news: It works. And it is so much more than just an online trend.

Long before social media gave “manifestation” a viral name, the concept had been used by the richest entrepreneurs in history. Think Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, and any other name you associate with wealth.

So who coined it first?

Spiritual teenagers on TikTok?

Or the 1%?

Simply put, manifestation has been around for centuries, passed along as the secret to wealth through books like Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich.

In Think and Grow Rich, Hill wrote that “The starting point of all achievement is desire.” Strong desire and genuine belief (not to be confused with mere hoping or wishing) tricks the subconscious mind into transmuting these thoughts into reality.

Hill claimed that the subconscious mind is closely linked to the universe, and that by influencing your subconscious beliefs, you can “manifest” wealth and success.

Essentially, your subconscious thoughts become your conscious way of life which becomes actions that bring you closer to accomplishing your dreams. But without first convincing your subconscious, you cannot find or claim the necessary opportunities to achieve your goals.

The effect compounds significantly when these desires are written down and repeated daily.

And this is how the entrepreneurs we know and love — the end-all, be-all of making something out of nothing — can manifest their business ideas. At their deepest core, they believe in their abilities to overcome any obstacle that stands between them and growth.   

Napoleon Hill put it best: “There are no limitations to the mind except those that we acknowledge.”

If you have an idea brewing within you, take this chance to secure the very opportunities you’ve been dreaming of manifesting.

Contact Syracuse University’s Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars for help developing your idea into a business or check out our competitions to secure funding.

By Blackstone LaunchPad Orange Ambassador Alesandra (Sasha) Temerte ‘23, Coronat Scholar, Renée Crown Honors

Insights: Why You Should Spend Time with Entrepreneurs

why you should spend time with entrepreneurs
Alesandra (Sasha) Temerte

If you spend enough time with entrepreneurs, you begin to think like one.

Once you begin to think like one, you begin believing you can be one too.

And after you begin believing you can be one too, suddenly, all the opportunities you once thought were out of reach begin unfolding before your eyes.

In my entrepreneurship class, a major project we have coming up is to interview an entrepreneur (not to mention I’ve already done this dozens of times for the LaunchPad itself). Why? Why would a business professor want students to interview entrepreneurs?

Here’s a secret: It’s not just for the networking opportunity.

Once you interview an entrepreneur, you understand not only what drives them to pursue the path less taken, but you also learn the process of kickstarting a business.

And more importantly, you learn that this process is much more within reach than you could have ever imagined.

When we hear the word “entrepreneurship,” we think of college dropout billionaire success stories (think Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg…) In reality, most entrepreneurship is not multibillion-dollar-business-or-nothing.

Entrepreneurs range anywhere from innovative tech ventures to small businesses to freelancers just seeking a replacement for a 9-5 job. In fact, the allure of wealth is rarely a primary motivator, considering many entrepreneurs are content with a similar income to traditional positions but with freedom to pursue their passions, enjoy flexibility, or experience an alternative lifestyle.

So I implore you: Don’t feel intimidated. Send an email to an entrepreneur. Make a phone call or DM. In some way, shape, or form — reach out. Whether you hold a quick coffee chat or maintain long-term collaborative contact, you will find value in the conversation or relationship you build.

Contact entrepreneur. Speak. Learn.

Rinse. Repeat.

Without even realizing it, you’ll very quickly find yourself brainstorming ways to design your own lifestyle, to launch your own business, or at the very least, to explore the road less traveled.

Don’t know where to start? Join Syracuse University’s Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars to uncover a robust community of self-starters ready to offer support and help you grow.

By Blackstone LaunchPad Orange Ambassador Alesandra (Sasha) Temerte ’23, Coronat Scholar, Renée Crown Honors

Insights: The best entrepreneurial tips are just a click away

entrepreneurship free learning modules

Want insights from the best in the startup business? Techstars Entrepreneur’s Toolkit is an online educational resource to help you learn the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and accelerate your success.  Go here to access a collection of great educational modules. You’ll find dynamic content that will guide you through what you need to know about launching a successful startup.

Click here to access any of these modules.

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