Shared Experiences and Newfound Inspiration
Crockett Callaway, TAMID at Northwestern Class of 2023, is a current Fellow interning for Presenso. The following is his reflection on the Entrepreneur Panel that featured four TAMID Alumni, known as TAMID Pros, who embody the entrepreneurial spirit.
For some people, getting a head start on the day is everything. Those early mornings are their motivation — the very fuel for their lives. Yet while others live for that 5:00 am wakeup, workout, or meeting, I often find myself struggling to roll out of bed. All of the Fellowship webinars hosted by TAMID thus far have been incredible, but as my 7:00 am internship meetings have progressed, there have been times when attending a 9:00 am webinar feels like the last thing I want to do. Last week, TAMID hosted the Pro Entrepreneur Panel. And while I may have first felt adverse towards attending, the Pro Entrepreneur Panel may have proven to be one of the most inspiring hours of my life this summer.
The panel was an exploration of the meaning of entrepreneurship, as well as a deep-dive into the challenges entrepreneurs face every single day. The panel also served to demonstrate the differences and similarities of the Israeli and US entrepreneurial experience. The panelists — Sarrica Fink, Ezra Mosseri, Yonatan Waxman, and Daniel Newman — could not have come from more different backgrounds. From inheriting existing companies, to completely bootstrapping unheard-of businesses, these entrepreneurs each held a different perspective on the world of innovation. Sarrica Fink’s ability to marry her healthcare and business acumen allowed me to observe the importance of realizing your various passions without being forced to make distinctions between one’s interests. Others, like Ezra Mosseri, demonstrated how even the smallest ideas and adolescent ventures can blossom into much larger concepts or businesses. However, as a student-founder myself, I found Daniel Newman’s experience to be quite possibly the most meaningful entrepreneurial journey I have ever heard.
Newman, who discovered his love for entrepreneurship at USC, overcame a plenitude of obstacles while developing his current startup. From market insecurity to academic and social pressures, Daniel Newman was able to remain steadfast in his mission and vision for his business. And what’s more, Newman’s road to success touched me directly due to our shared hometown, academic pathways, and entrepreneurial goals.
I found inspiration in Newman’s story as a founder and entrepreneur myself. During my first year at Northwestern University, I co-founded DORMLY, a startup tackling the problems with the freshman move-in process. Much like Newman, I too started off by managing nearly every aspect of the business — from marketing strategy to web development, to operations. Challenges tore our team apart, but successful product launches built us back up, ultimately allowing us to grow to become a stronger and more refined company. And so, as I listened to Daniel Newman explain his work in the startup world, I grew increasingly inspired by the similarities of our paths. I related to his challenges and admired his tenacity. By the end of the Pro Entrepreneur Panel, I was left hungry for more tales of entrepreneurial victories and defeats by the talented group of panelists.
Entrepreneurship can often be a crushing journey, yet it is listening to the experiences of others which makes it easier to overcome hurdles and find success. After listening to the Pro Entrepreneur Panel, I have a newfound confidence in my ability to grow, and the motivation I was lacking to get up and attack each day harder than the last.