By Ashley Zahabian
The Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship has yet again given my peers and me the opportunity to walk in the shoes of an entrepreneur. Not only did we get the chance to network with startup experts and others who are striving to become one themselves, but we also had the chance to hear the stories and speak to the CEO of three awesome startups.
As an individual who is taking pursuing the Certificate of Entrepreneurship at Montclair, my team and I are creating a product along with a smartphone application, and guess what? None of us have a clue on how to build a working application, manufacture a hardware, work overseas, and how to legally start a technological business. Nonetheless, I went to a Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship event and I was honored to hear a story about a successful application being run by a programmer who barely knows anything about coding! As he encouraged my team and me to proceed, he offered me many useful tips, sources, and tactics on how to do so. Sure, words can only take you so far… But with action, you are limitless; the same week, I went home and built my own prototype for my team and my mobile application software!
On top of delicious food and wonderful individuals at the event, I was able to leave with phone numbers, business cards, and even better, a foundation for our startup. Also, to add a cherry on top, our mentor Professor Frasca, was able to pass down his technological resources to our class to help our startup stay alive outside of the program as well.
The entrepreneurship program here at Montclair State University has been such a realistic walk in the life of an entrepreneur, and I am grateful to take part. As our May 6 pitch day approaches, with a prize of $10,000 for the winning student team, our weekly pitches are being critiqued by several individuals, and our opportunities to reach and seek advice and opinion are broadening. I deeply thank the Feliciano Center of Entrepreneurship for the opportunity to understand what a true startup consists of, and for preparing my peers and me for life after college. All of the networks I have built through the Feliciano Center meetups held will build a strong foundation for becoming an entrepreneur myself.
Ashley Zahabian is a sophomore Economics major.