Chicago Startup Factory

The event is a collaboration between the GSB and CS Department. The group hopes to create technology-heavy startups and businesses unlike when you gather a bunch of pure business people who can’t make a business plan other than canned food, a network of juice/ shake stands, etc. The speaker for the Startup Factory talk was Adarsh Arora, CEO of Athena Security and Co-Founder of Lisle Technology Partners. I took some of his striking ideas about innovating and generating business plans around technology:

  • never sell more than one innovation – his rationale for this was that the market cannot catch-up with all of your ideas. I have not thought of this deeply because [1] I have yet to have a really brilliant idea, and [2] most busines models I saw are too caught up in selling this one unique idea that they don’t bother to look at the other types (probably they are bad ideas in the first place).
  • interdisciplinary collaboration – now this is more familiar to my school of thought. As what we always say in the Ateneo Innovation Center, today’s problems are so complex that you need to apply every type of paradigm to be able to attack the problem from different angles and come up with a brilliant solution.

Adarsh also discussed four types of companies [1] wishful thinking (you have enough deep connections to get angel funding), [2] historical precedence – selling technology to improve a process, [3] intuitive jump – pure luck; with democratization of technology, YouTube and Ebay became a big thing even though video sharing and online auctions were almost non-existent web services during their time, and [4] sure technology – you know that there is a need for it in the future (e.g. Y2K “bug”).

Follow-up events to this is an Entrepenuerial Brainstorming Session with GSB and CS students and an Introduction to creating application on the iPhone. Apple’s development platform makes it so easy for anyone to distribute an app and sell it over iTunes (or AppleStore?) enabling you to earn several thousand dollars in a few months.

Oh, and they had free pizza during the talk🙂

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