Dreamers: Young minds take hold of ambition

An idea can stem from a eureka moment or years of research and perseverance. The next step is selling that idea to more people and high-end investors, which isn’t even the hardest part.

The biggest challenge is building and sustaining a business empire built upon that brilliant idea. One must develop a working and fully functioning model with the correctly applied business strategies.

The Bauer College of Business is ranked No. 2 on The Princeton Review’s 2014 list of leading undergraduate entrepreneurship programs in the United States.

The Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship at UH has many programs that encourage business ideas from students. The 3 Day Startup program promotes a business startup by integrating a team from different disciplines with an entrepreneurial drive. The idea of 3 Day Startup is to start a technology company over the course of three days. The best ideas are picked by top-notch entrepreneurs and investors.

In an incredible win last year, UH undergraduate students Cassandra Hoang, Bobby Jacobs, Casey McNeil and Susan Tran bagged victories in the Baylor University New Venture Competition and the California Institute of Technology for Department of Energy’s National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition. The team did this through their business plan for a company called REEcycle that reclaims rare earth elements.

Setting good examples for their peers, this year seven new teams will review 15 patents from UH’s division of research to see what can be turned into business ventures. Every year a Business Plan Team is selected from the junior year to represent the Wolff Center in business plan competitions. Wolff Center students have won 19 awards in national business plan competitions in the last 11 years.

The energy level of young entrepreneurs is tremendous, and that is what sets them apart. Despite all odds, these new age entrepreneurs have found success, persevering  through all adversities.

The best example of young entrepreneurs is Elon Musk, the chairman of SolarCity, founder of SpaceX and co-founder of Paypal, Inc. A real life Tony Stark, Musk does not even have the time to enjoy all the attention he deserves.

While interviewing Musk on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart said “the four entities that have launched rockets with a spaceship into the orbit so far are the United States, China, the Soviet Union and Elon Musk.”

Musk answered by saying that since college he has been driven  by three areas that he believes most affect humanity: the Internet, sustainable energy and space exploration — particularly making life multi-planetary. In order to realize this dream of his, he has been flabbergasting the world with his creative inventions.

The most recent one is the Hyperloop, claimed to be the next breakthrough in transportation. The Hyperloop is expected to travel the 1-hour, 15-minute flight journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles in just 30 minutes by going a maximum speed of 760 mph.

Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Larry Page and Mark Zuckerberg are some of the names that have been etched in the minds of every new startup kid on the block. But history has witnessed entrepreneurialism since long ago. One can go back to Benjamin Franklin, who is believed to be America’s first entrepreneur.

An entrepreneur is an inventor who comes up with an idea and has the confidence to go about selling it themselves. Profits, corporate sharks and competition are not deterrents for these people. There is a basic difference between a businessman and an entrepreneur: the motivation behind running that enterprise or company.

The entrepreneurs who are being widely talked of nowadays are ambitious dreamers. Money is not the first and foremost priority for them, but an essential entity to help them continue their dream.

Aishwarya Gogoi is a petroleum engineering graduate student and may be reached at [email protected].

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