Tonight the TFA-NewSchools EdTech cohort spent a great evening with Jeremy Stoppelman, the CEO and co-founder of Yelp at their hip HQs in downtown San Francisco talking about entrepreneurship, Jeremy’s road from PayPal to HBS to Yelp, and the books he is reading about education these days. Some interesting thoughts on life as an entrepreneur:
- Follow your passion: If you don’t love the idea, chances are it won’t stick
- Learn to pivot: Be flexible and fluid, ideas change and you need to learn to pivot
- Find a technical co-founder: If you are serious about starting a technology company, you need to find a technical co-founder
- Fundraise in cycles: Don’t do random fundraising rounds, spend time organizing and polishing your pitch and develop a clear fundraising plan and process
- The lonely road: Entrepreneurship can be a lonely, dark path, but there is always light at the end of the tunnel
- The ups and downs: Life at a startup is manic-brace yourself!
Starting a company in the education technology space is no exception to any of these rules. Jeremy’s candid perspective was inspiring and eye-opening. I look forward to hearing more exciting real life success stories from our own edtech entrepreneurs in the months and years to come!
And if you were wondering, Stoppelman’s recent education book list includes Jay Mathews’ Work Hard, Be Nice and Paul Tough’s Whatever It Takes. Find his thoughts here on his blog.