How I Became a CEO

Last year, I came up with an idea for a tech startup to help retention rates at Universities. I conducted some initial research and decided this is a venture I need to pursue. The only problem was I didn’t know where to start. This is understandable considering I have no tech experience, never started my own business, and never worked with a startup. I am 20-year-old Finance student at the University of Missouri – St. Louis, where do I start?

I heard about Entrepreneur in Residence in the spring of 2017 and how it helps the UMSL community take ideas from mind to market. As soon as I had the chance, I asked to make an appointment.      

Daniel Fogarty is my entrepreneur in resident. That means I meet with him every couple of weeks for him to see how I progress, and for him to advise me on the tech and business side. In our first meeting, he guided me towards what I needed to do: build a business case, form a legal entity, and find a way to make money from my application.  Which led towards the right direction to gain momentum. Soon I found my programmers and sketched the whole application.

Daniel asks questions more than he answers. For an entrepreneur that is one of the most crucial parts of innovation. In our meetings, we would discuss where I progressed to, and I would follow by asking him about my challenges I was facing. He would give me a fresh perspective about what I was facing but he would always ask me why I did the stuff that I did, and would continue teach me something new. That is why the Entrepreneurs in residence are so critical for the future entrepreneurs at UMSL, not because they’ll do the work for you. But because they make sure you see the opportunities in front of you.