Michele Romanow (middle) stands with Hong Yi (left) and Anthony Chang (right).
By: Hong Yi Chen
SHAD Fellow 2017
As a high school student, there aren't many opportunities where you get to have a meeting with a dragon from Dragon's Den. When SHAD gave me the opportunity to have a chat with Michele Romanow, it was a dream come true for an aspiring entrepreneur like me.
Michele Romanow is a serial entrepreneur, Co-Founder of Clearbanc, Co-Founder of SnapSaves, a Dragon on Dragon's Den, but also a SHAD Fellow. However, in my short time with her, she was one of the most down to earth people I've ever met. She spoke about her experience at SHAD Queen's quite a few years ago, but emphasized the vast power of the SHAD Network -- something that is infinitely valuable. With a rare opportunity like this, I took away more knowledge in an hour of talking to an actual successful entrepreneur than anything I would've learned in school.
It's the best time ever to be alive -- take advantage of it.
For all my life, I've grown up with technology. It was heavily emphasized that we live in a time where we can change the world with a click of a button. Anything we want to do is within our fingertips. Being someone who's always been passionate regarding innovative new technologies, I had a laundry list of questions for Michele. Several topics were mentioned, whether it was FinTech and blockchain technologies or Artificial Intelligence that can change the world, I was amazed by how much knowledge she had to share.
Surely, the disruptive, emerging technologies are fascinating, but to truly harness their true potential, it takes the passion and hard work of people.
As much as technologies evolve in the future, it's the people behind it that makes it something special. Technology is meant to solve problemsand create value for society, which explains why artificial intelligence is bigger than ever. In contrast, technologies also go through hype-cycles, where they eventually die out and become obsolete, thus it's crucial to be wary of those as well. She stressed the importance of building something that you're passionate about, and looking at where tech isn't applied already.
Just start and get up more times than you fall.
Most people are want-repreneurs, rather than actual entrepreneurs. Becoming an entrepreneur is overly glamorized by present day media, yet it's still one of the best professions out there. As an entrepreneur, Michele talked about how she was able to tap into the food, sales, and even finance industry all under one profession. She stressed that youth have the power to change tomorrow, and should constantly be trying new ideas.
Do everything and do anything, cold call, brainstorm everywhere, but just don't stop thinking.
The key is to just start and be comfortable with rejections. There's going to be challenges and failures along the way, but be passionate about your ideas.
Only around 20% of my ideas work. I fail a lot.
Brute-force your way through problems and accept failures. Solve the problems that society didn't even know it had. Ultimately, make life easier and be the change you want to see in society.
There's so much a young kid like me can learn from someone with vast experience. I'm forever grateful for an opportunity like this.
Huge thank you to Michele Romanow for spending time with us and to SHAD for organizing it. Although it was only a short period of time, I was motivated to do so much more.