Happy Monday! I just got back from a weekend in Vegas, which was so much fun. Props to Zach for organizing the entire trip for the fraternity… his hard work definitely paid off. Stay tuned for his blog about it later this week!
Anyway, I’m going to follow Steve’s guest post about start-ups at USC with an exciting new story of my own. A few weeks ago, Zach told me his friend was looking for a chemical engineer to work on a potential start-up with him. I didn’t know what the start-up idea was, but it sounded intriguing. So I got lunch with his friend Ishan last Wednesday to talk about the idea, and how I could help. He’s a political science major at USC, with an interest in business and investing. We chatted about his idea, and I was instantly obsessed with it. Unfortunately, I can’t talk too much about it, but let’s just say that it’s a fascinating chemical engineering-related business!
After we talked about the targeted demographic and business plan for the company, he offered me the position of CSO and a stake in the company. Sounds impressive, but we have to get the idea off the ground first and see if it’s even possible. It’s really exciting! In just that short lunch time, I learned so much about real-world business and engineering principles, and the strategy for the company. Of course, start-ups are tricky and there is a good chance it might not take off, but that’s the fun of it! As the techie person of the company, I’ll be trying to design, create, test, implement and figure out how to manufacture the product, while working with our CEO and CFO (a business major at USC’s business school) to make it marketable. It’s a big task, but it’s been really cool so far, and actually realistic. I’ll be learning about giving pitches, selling an idea and just overall communication skills with non-technical people. Basically, it will be an invaluable experience no matter the results. And the inter-school collaboration is so cool — our company is composed of students from three different schools at USC! It’s opportunities like this that make me love SC.
We’re also applying for the Viterbi Start-up Garage, which is a really cool way to get funded here. Basically, the only requirement is that one of the founders be in Viterbi (that would be me), and you just have to fill out an application. Fingers crossed for that! I’ll keep you guys updated about the business. It will definitely keep me busy until finals 🙂