An entrepreneur is anyone who starts a business or nonprofit organization. At least that's one way of looking at it. Another way of looking at it is to say that entrepreneurs are innovators. You may have heard the term "in-trepreneur." An in-trapreneur is someone who takes responsibility for a particular product or problem inside an established organization.
In addition to those who start their own companies, and those innovators working under the banner of a larger institution, there are those who want to work in startups.
Georgetown has a thriving entrepreneurship community, and there are many ways to get involved, to find a job or internship, or to learn how to start your own business.
What skills are needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
If you want to start your own company, you need to have a vision. A good way to think about your vision is to ask yourself what problem your company is going to solve. What bugs you in your daily life that you think you could do something about? Maybe you’re annoyed that you can’t find a backpack as good as the one you had in the military. Maybe you’re not satisfied with the health food options in your city. Whatever it is, those things that bug you can be clues to what you’ll be passionate about and what you’re most likely to succeed at.
If you want to start your own venture or if you want to work for a startup, you should be comfortable with uncertainty. Most startups fail, so, if you need the security of knowing your job will be here in 3 or 4 months, maybe a startup is not for you.
Be willing to fail. Failure is a hazard of entrepreneurship. Everyone who has ever started a successful company has failed at one time. Remember NeXT, the computer company Steve Jobs created after leaving Apple in 1985? If you do, you’re one of the few, because NeXT was a failure. But that failure was followed by Jobs’s return to Apple, which turned Apple into the company it is today. His failure with NeXT didn’t prevent him from succeeding. It helped him to succeed. Failure is how you learn. So be ready to fail. And do it quickly, so that you can learn and move on.
Be willing to work long hours. At a startup, everyone must be willing to do whatever needs to be done to make the enterprise work.
Pitching skills. If you start your own venture, at some point you’ll likely have to pitch investors. For a good beginner’s guide to pitching, visit StartUp Hoyas.
Entrepreneurship at Georgetown
Undergraduate courses -- Take classes such as Foundations of Entrepreneurship, Launching the Venture, Social Entrepreneurship, or e-commerce. Learn more at StartUp Hoyas.
Become an Entrepreneurship Fellow
If you are a sophomore, you may apply to the Entrepreneurship Fellowship program.
Go to events. See a speaker in the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative’s speaker series. Find out what they’re doing. Find out what they did to get where they are.
Startup Hoyas - Georgetown has a vibrant entrepreneurship community with many ways to learn about entrepreneurship and events to help you meet like-minded people and learn from them.
Internships - find an internship at a startup. Where to find them? A good place to start would be the Startup Hoyas jobs and internships page.
Get involved with the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Alliance
Visit the Entrepreneurs-in-Residence at Chalk Talks.
Georgetown is a place where people come to make an impact on the world. Some do that through government service and public policy work, but others make their mark by starting their own companies and organizations.
There are many successful companies that were founded by Georgetown students and alumni:
There is now a community and infrastructure built in at Georgetown to grow and support entrepreneurs with the Georgetown University Entrepreneurship Initiative.
What are the recruiting timelines for startups?
Most companies hire when they need help. Either someone has left their job, leaving a vacancy that needs to be filled, or a startup needs help that it never needed before, so a new hire must be brought in. Either way, most companies and organizations, startups or otherwise, do not have a structured recruiting and hiring timeline.
How to get a job at a startup
Look for postings, but be aware that many job and internship opportunities at startups never get posted because people working at startups might not have time to post and recruit, or because they wouldn’t know what job description to post, because they need someone to do whatever needs to be done.
Where to find jobs and internships startups
- On the Startup Hoyas job board
- Hoya Career Connection
- By networking at places such as 1776. If you ever hope to find some of those jobs that never get posted, you need to know some of the people working at startups. Going to events like those hosted at 1776 is a great way to meet some of them.
Connect with fellow entrepreneurs
Sites and resources
Start-up Hoyas - The cornerstone of the entrepreneurship community at Georgetown. Includes a suite of academic, extracurricular, and off-campus programs to connect you to accomplished alumni, industry experts, entrepreneurs and business executives.
Georgetown’s Entrepreneurs in Residence - Accomplished entrepreneurs--some of them Georgetown alumni--are available to mentor and advise you.
Georgetown Entrepreneurship Alliance - find them at facebook.com/GeorgetownEntrepreneurshipAlliance
Startup Hoya Challenge - Pitch your business idea and win cash prizes. Compete in the commercial track or the social track, for businesses with an explicit social impact objective.
1776 - Startup incubator and venture fund in downtown D.C. Georgetown students, faculty, and staff will have access to dedicated space at 1776 campus and can connect with the community of startup activity there, including mentorship, corporate connections, media attention, and access to educational classes and events.
MAVA - The Mid-Atlantic Venture Association
GCEC - Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers