Enactus TRU and the TRU Generator combined forces to teach entrepreneurial-minded students lessons about success from some of the most qualified people in Canada. The Generator, a service that provides mentorship and coaching for new businesses, presented a video series called The Naked Entrepreneur, created by entrepreneurship professor Sean Wise of Ryerson University.
Joel Mercer, director of business development with Enactus, spoke about the importance and effect of entrepreneurship and business in every profession, from writing to dentistry. Between videos, Mercer and the audience would engage in discussions regarding their takeaways from each speaker.
One of the featured entrepreneurs, Satish Kanwar, founder of design agency Jet Cooper and now vice-president of product at Shopify, spoke candidly about his failures, successes and his long journey from messing around with computers to starting a business servicing Fortune 500 clients.
Amanda Chan, an employee at the Generator, emphasized how Kanwar wasn’t a tech person but created a huge tech company through his entrepreneurial spirit. MBA student Tatiana Fedotova was also impressed with Kanwar, specifically his desire to develop the “soft skills” involved in business: email, phone conservations, professionalism, etc. because tech entrepreneurs often lack those skills.
Barb Stegemann, a screenwriter and entrepreneur, spoke to female entrepreneurs in the audience and discussed how to overcome adversity geared towards them in the business field. According to Barb, in order to succeed one must hold themselves “to the highest standard possible, and then make mistakes.”
Bruce Poon, founder of G Adventures, spoke to recent grads about how to find success. Replicating Stegemann’s standard of excellence is crucial to Poon, but he emphasized the importance of combining a strong work ethic with that. To Poon, nothing is guaranteed in life, and no one deserves something just because they “have a degree in this or that.” If you work hard and hold yourself to a high standard of excellence, your results will speak for themselves.
Students interested in entrepreneurship who think they can turn their ideas into something more can get in touch with the TRU Generator and take the first steps to creating their own startup.