This past week students in the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership’s Venture Accelerator program had the opportunity to hear from SCH parent, trustee and UPenn professor Vanessa Chan.Chan is a part of Penn's Engineering Entrepreneurship faculty and leads Senior Design for the Materials Science department. She is also the inventor of Loopit (tangle-free headphones that are currently sold on QVC), a product that went all the way to the finals of the Today Show’s “Next Big Thing” contest.
Her presentation to the students focused on 5 important questions entrepreneur need to ask themselves when considering a startup. With a slide showing a photo of an adorable baby, she cautioned the students not to fall into a common mindset of many entrepreneurs in which everyone thinks they have the perfect baby. She challenged the students to think candidly about how they might bring something to market that is “solving a real unmet need within an ecosystem that is primed to accept the innovation.”
The students had great questions for Chan and their commitment—after school and late on a Friday afternoon—earned them some valuable tips and insights. She left them with one of the most important messages: “Enjoy the journey”!