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University of Toronto entrepreneurs offer tips for startups

University of Toronto entrepreneurs offer tips for startups

Posted by PanamericanWorld on March 29, 2017

In an effort to boost the odds of other’s success, ten of Canada’s leading entrepreneurs recently provided tips to business students at the University of Toronto.

Tiff Macklem, the dean of U of T’s Rotman School of Management, said although Canadians have innovative ideas, what Canadian startup companies are lacking is great business judgement, adding it’s not easily attainable.

“A new venture cannot simply go downtown and purchase a unit of business judgment,” said Macklem.

That’s why the U of T Entrepreneurship network of incubators, accelerators and programs, including at Rotman, are linking beginner companies with successful mentors to gain in-depth knowledge on tried and tested methods to get their business on its feet and gain momentum.

Here are the shared lessons as part of Entrepreneurship@UofT Week:

1. “As an entrepreneur, the best product you can build is yourself,” says Allen Lau, who is the CEO and co-founder of Wattpad, an online story-sharing community.

2. “Find a business idea you feel passionate about.” Cynthia Goh is the academic director of University of Toronto Entrepreneurship and the founding director of U of T’s Impact Centre, a business incubator.

3. “Get an advanced degree, and set audacious goals.” Kristjan Sigurdson is the associate director of the Creative Destruction Lab and a PhD candidate at the Rotman School of Management.

4. “Accept that sometimes you’ll be unlucky, and move on,” says Daniel Debow is a serial entrepreneur and an adjunct professor of law at U of T.

5. “Spend at least one day a week cultivating relationships with investors,” says Anthony Lacavera, who is the founder and chairman of the Globalive Group. Lacavera also founded Wind Mobile, which was sold in 2015 to Shaw Communications for $1.6 billion.

6. “Test out your ideas in the real world. Don’t get caught in analysis paralysis,” says Toni Allen, who is the founding partner of R3VE Business Design Inc., which specializes in user experience and business innovation.

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