The MBET Experience

The University of Waterloo – Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Program

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Entrepreneur Week In Review – Part 1

October 11th, 2006 · No Comments

We’re back in class after the Thanksgiving weekend, but I promised a review of Entrepreneur Week. With all the events going on, it was a busy and tiring week, and my late night studying last Monday for the accounting exam didn’t help at all!

Monday, October 2: Don’t Cry in Your Beer – Accelerator Centre

The first event I attended was a panel session with a number of successful Waterloo Region entrepreneur’s. The theme for the session was how failure breeds success. It was interesting to hear stories of some of the mistakes these entrepreneurs made along the way, such as how Sandvine spent two years developing the wrong product before changing direction and hitting on the right one.

I made a few notes on the panel’s comments, and here’s a few highlights:

  • “Fail often, fail fast, fail cheap.” (courtesy of Jim Estill, CEO, SYNNEX Canada)
  • “3/4 is better than 2/2.” (Marc Morin, CTO, Sandvine)
  • “The harder you work, the luckier you become.” — Mark Twain

Best of all, one of the panel members was Jim Brickman, the founder of the Brick Brewery. Jim and the Brick brought along a truck full of beer for after the event!! Any event that ends with free beer gets the thumbs up from me!

Tuesday, October 3: Knocking Down Silos – Networking Event

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I am really trying to develop my networking skills this year. The Knocking Down Silos event couldn’t have come at a better time. The keynote speaker for the evening was Dave Howlett, who in addition to being a great networker, is also an Ironman competitor, which I found particularly interesting!

Dave gave a great presentation on networking, including how to break the ice, questions to ask, and most importantly, how to be remembered. His biggest tip was asking new contacts: “What’s your biggest challenge this week?” Follow-up emails can then included with information or contacts that may help that person with their challenge! Always offer to help those who have helped you!

This was definitely one of the most useful events of the week. I will have to work integrate Dave’s techniques into my own networking activities! I’d highly recommend checking out one of Dave’s sessions if you have the chance.


That gets us through Monday and Tuesday of Entrepreneur Week. I’d better get back to class, but I’ll fill you in on the rest of the week soon!

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