Sunday, October 28th, 2007...9:40 pm

Yo Wharton, It’s Me Litty

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Last Thursday I spent part of my day at the Wharton Business School at Penn. I went there with my colleague at [212] Media Matt Emerman, Director Of Corporate Finance, to give a presentation to the Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity and the Wharton Venture Capital Association. Our presentation was the first event in their “Be Your Own Boss” speaker series about “Discovering your path to Entrepreneurial Success”.

I was excited about this discussion topic as it is one that I have posted about in a previous entry. Outside of actual experiences, one of the best ways for an entrepreneur to learn is through meeting other entrepreneurs. I tried to put together a presentation that I would have found useful back when I was at the Michigan B-School and struggling to figure out my own career path. After putting together some thoughts I sent it over to my little sister Courtney who is a power point whiz. She created a presentation that had some more pop and flavor. After ten years of reading and editing her college application essays, history papers at Duke (still confused about the militia essay), job applications and professional email letters it was nice to cash in some favor points with her!

The presentation went very well. It’s easy to talk about your interests so it was no sweat telling stories about selling Michigan football tickets on eBay, and what I do at Sportsvite. I also got a few laughs with jokes about Wharton vs. Michigan B-School, my amazement at the freshman who were in the room, examining the word entrepreneur (I’m just happy if I can pronounce it), admitting that I go on Facebook to find cute girls and try and figure out their deal and an Ivy league quip in regard to the movie Office Space. Matt did a good job presenting [212] Media and the different portfolio companies. The students asked tons of great questions and we actually had to cut things off after 90 minutes with a bunch of hands still raised. We stuck around another 20 minutes to speak individually with students.

I was super impressed by the students in the room (between 40-45). Most of their questions were thoughtful and inquisitive. The group seemed adamant that they wanted to follow an entrepreneurial career path and some were already involved in a web business. I guess that should be expected as these are kids in an extra curricular club at the top business school in the country spending their Thursday night (beginning of the college weekend) listening to me! We gave out our business cards and contact information and it would be great if we can work with some of these students in some capacity in the future.

The first question a dude asked was “Why did you come here tonight to present to us? Are you trying to recruit for your businesses?” My answer was that as an entrepreneur part of your job is meeting new people, promoting your venture to others and always being out there creating new opportunities. On top of that I mentioned that I was in their seats about five years ago and had a difficult time shunning opportunities with major banks and corporations to do something more on my own terms. Finally, in my presentation I mentioned that as an entrepreneur job=life. My example was that on my way down on the train my dad called to wish me luck and find out the details of the event. He asked if this was for work. I wasn’t sure how to answer that as I wasn’t judging the trip on how it could positively affect Sportsvite. At the same time I think doing these kinds of things are essential for any start-up.

If they didn’t buy that long answer I told them I was just there for the Cheesesteaks. We didn’t have time to hit up my favorite spot Jim’s (I was recently disappointed to learn the venerable Sir Alex Friedman’s record was recently broken by a competitive eater) but I did get a chance to chow down on a delicious Philly hoagie at Lee’s Hoagie House.

Below is my powerpoint presentation. Check it out if you are interested. Thanks again to Court for putting it together. Nickelodeon doesn’t even realize how underutilized of an asset she is!

  • El Gaffney

    good stuff, man. thanks for sharing. like the bball analogy to assessing your likelihood to succeed – made me think of white men can’t jump “and a hook shot”. what’s the chart on slide 8?