Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The road less traveled ...

Thanks to the leadership and efforts of our Vice Dean, Doug Collom, Wharton San Francisco in conjunction with Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati launched the first session of a series of workshops focused on entrepreneurship. This first episode of the Wharton Entrepreneurs Workshop got oversubscribed in a few hours after it was offered, which is a great indicator of how many among the Wharton community (students and alumni) are interested in starting companies, or are currently doing so. I was not surprised to have this validated at the event either. I met a few alums and current students who left their jobs a year ago and are in the early prototype stages of their startups that they bootstrapped so far.

Class 36ers were of course, the largest contingent, given that we're already in school and this felt like another lecture we could go to. The speaker today was Rob Coneybeer, co-founder and general partner at Shasta Ventures. The discussion was around what the focus should be while starting a company - how much of a focus on the product vs. team and other things. He had a few interesting observations to make and experiences and anecdotes to share. Can't wait for future episodes of this series. Doug is also trying to get these archived so that folks who could not make it can watch them offline.

Why is this the update for the week? When interviewing at Wharton I used to compare what resources are available here with the Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs at Philly, and wonder how much of it we were missing here. Though we still probably aren't there at that level of operation, efforts like this are unique to our geography that no other region in the US could do as well. We are at an amazing confluence of technology, capital, talent and entrepreneurial bent, and programs like this are ideally positioned to leverage all of these and fashion the big successes of tomorrow.

So if you thought Wharton in SF and entreneurship did not gel well, think again. And keep watching this space for more updates on such programs. The road to entrepreneurial success is a long and lonely one, and events like this help solidify connections that go a long way towards making that journey quicker, livelier and more memorable.

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