By Stacy Schoonover, Staff Writer
Connor McEwen, a College of Engineering senior, was chosen as one of 11 college students to be on the investment team for Boston’s branch of the Dorm Room Fund, a student-run venture that invests in student startups.
McEwen and his roommate of four years, Nam Chu Hoai, a College of Arts and Sciences senior, took time off their junior year to build their own startup, Credport, a way to verify people you were interacting with in online marketplaces.
With some personal experience in building a startup, McEwen and Chu Hoai have some advice for future entrepreneurs. Here are some tips from them:
1. Understand what you’re signing up for.
McEwen: “Entrepreneurship gives a lot of freedom. It also takes a lot of time, energy and motivation, but at the end of the day it’s worth it.”
2. Do it for the right reasons.
Chu Hoai said that when they began working on Credport, they left college as an afterthought, instead of dropping out and figuring out what to do from there.
Chu Hoai: “We thought, ‘We want to work on this, how do we do it?’ instead of ‘What are we doing after we drop out?’.”
3. Just do it.
Chu Hoai: “The best thing is just to get started and do something.”
McEwen: “Start working on something. It can be a side project, or even simply a one page website, but start making something yourself instead of something you have to do for class…the most important thing is having the willpower to just start working on something.”
4. Reach out and ask for help.
McEwen: “Boston is an awesome place to become an entrepreneur. There are so many people who are helpful and willing to reach out and give you advice.”
– Have an idea that needs financial support? Apply to the Dorm Room Fund
5. Have some confidence!
McEwen on ‘confidence’: “Everyone says, ‘Oh, Jobs is a genius,’ and yeah he was really smart and an awesome guy, but at the same time he was just an 18-year-old going to college at one point in his life. Everything in the world was made and designed by someone not that much smarter than you.”