DAILY HERALD - Feb 24 - Sam Yagan, a 1995 graduate of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora, will be speaking about the importance of a technical education and what it's like to be an entrepreneur.
Q: What will you discuss during your speech?
A: I'll be mostly focusing on the decision to become an entrepreneur and how to go about thinking about that decision.
Q: What makes a good entrepreneur these days?
A: Comfort with ambiguity and uncertainty.
Q: Is there a typical career path in entrepreneurship?
A: The defining characteristic of a career is success in one job leads you to the next, there's this ladder. I've started four successful startups, so when I go to start the next company, I'll have some advantages; I'll be able to hire and raise money more easily.
Q: What did you learn about entrepreneurship during your time at IMSA?
A: You have to be willing to fail.
Q: How does your startup accelerator, TechStars Chicago, assist budding entrepreneurs?
A: In the '90s when I got my start, what you really needed to succeed was cash. But now what really differentiates successful startups is whether you have access to the brainpower and the mentorship of people who have been there and done that. TechStars Chicago basically brings together this army of mentors.
Q: What should high school students with big ideas do to set themselves up for careers in online entrepreneurship?
A: The biggest thing is to get a technical education. And if you want to be an entrepreneur and you want to build things, just start building.