Written by Kerrie Head | Photos by Khadeeja Rayner
The Entrepreneurship & Innovation Institute kicked off the first ENI Live with a visit from entrepreneur guru Arthur Stepanyan. With over 35 years of experience dealing with growing companies and developing startups, Stepanyan had much to share with students about what Atlanta entrepreneurs can gain from the tactics that help businesses thrive in Silicon Valley.
Stepanyan began the discussion by giving students a brief history of how Silicon Valley began, who its founders were and how the region became the innovative focal point that it is today.
Moving on to the heart of the presentation, Stepanyan pointed out the unique features that set entrepreneurs and their companies in Silicon Valley apart from those in Atlanta.
From the uncommon ability to create and scale companies to their disruptive business models to their specialized business structure, Silicon Valley has much to teach other growing entrepreneurial hubs like Atlanta.
Among these key features, there is one Stepanyan says that Atlanta vastly lacks but which Silicon Valley has an abundance, and that is venture capital. He explained to students that despite companies in Silicon Valley lacking profit, much of their success is surrounded by the amount of investments they have.
“You could have a coffee shop, and no one could buy anything, but yet people would still call it a huge success, why?” Stepanyan said. “Because of all of the investments.”
However, there was one vital piece of information that Stepanyan shared, claiming it to be the greatest thing that Atlanta can take from Silicon Valley – that thing is the swift trust of other entrepreneurs in an industry. Through intensive interaction and meetups, a mutual trust is created.
He explained that this trust and a tolerance for risk is what leads to the sharing of ideas, and therefore, leads to the creation of new business. He said that it takes risk and courage to build a company.
“If there is one thing you need for your business to succeed, it is courage,” Stepanyan said.
Stay tuned for more ENI Live events! The Entrepreneurship & Innovation Institute designed this series to educate students on topics pertaining to entrepreneurship and innovation. For more, check out our events calendar!