Jul 312012
 

It’s always fascinating to take a breather and look back at just how far we’ve come.  Even more compelling though is to see how much we’ve learned. Indeed, time flies. Looking forward, I believe there’s plenty of growth and development ahead of us. And personally, I believe it’s valuable to dig deep into the minds of those who have already ventured the beaten path for gems of insight. Luckily, Dartmouth’s tightly knit alumni community is perfect for this.

To that end, a week ago, I began reaching out to the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network, asking for advice from Dartmouth entrepreneurs more experienced than me. Most were eager to help out our startup, Memeja. After a few phone calls and email exchanges, I met up with Dartmouth alumni, Nader Aknoukh, who graciously agreed to meet up at Dirt Cowboy for a cup of coffee. My objective was to dig his brain as much as possible. Questions  like “What do you wish you had known while founding your startup” and “What was your biggest mistake” yielded insightful answers about the nature of venture capital and communicating with the market. We walk away thirty minutes later with pearls of wisdom rolling around in my mind.

What I’ve realized is that the Dartmouth alums really want to help you — especially when it’s obvious that you’re funneling tons of time and effort into something you love. They’re friendly, responsive, extend invaluable insights and love to reminisce about their adventures in the startup world. And hey, I don’t mind hearing what Dartmouth was like way back when, either! (apparently there were many more public computer terminals back then).