Hi Daniel, I'm currently writing my senior thesis on the development of startup communities, specifically focusing on the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Charlottesville, VA, home of your alma mater, the University of Virginia. As an entrepreneurial person who has spent time in Charlottesville as well as Silicon Valley, I'm interested in your thoughts on what comprises the essence of a startup community. Where do startup hubs come from? As a UVA alum, I'm particularly interested in your perspective on how the University and Charlottesville could have better supported you as an aspiring entrepreneur during your college days. Attached are several questions to generate some conversation
- How would you characterize the entrepreneurial ecosystem of UVA and Charlottesville? How is it changing?
- What are this community’s strengths, and what are our weaknesses? Characterize the greatest obstacles for Charlottesville to become a vibrant startup hub.
- Describe your vision for startups in Charlottesville. What does the ideal startup community look like locally? What must happen for C'ville to become a sustainable startup hub that consistently produces high quality entrepreneurial ventures?
- Please feel free to add anything else that is on your mind. Are there other individuals who you believe would have thoughts on this subject? I hope to incorporate as many points of view as possible, so suggestions or referrals are greatly appreciated!
To anyone else who finds themselves motivated by these questions, I'm interested in hearing your own perspective on startup communities. Your input is greatly appreciated! Thanks a lot Daniel!
- Weston Reynolds, Political & Social Thought, University of Virginia 2013
When I was at U.Va. (1994 - 1998) where was no entrepreneurial scene in C-ville.
I don't know how it's changed since then, as I haven't been back much, but honestly my advice probably isn't something you want to hear:
If you're serious about your startup, you need to move to Silicon Valley.
I wish that weren't the case, but it is. There are so many variables outside of an entrepreneur's control, that an entrepreneur has to do everything possible to tightly control the few variables that are within his control, and where the startup is based is one of those variables.
Now, this assumes a few things. It assumes that one's goal is to maximize the potential outcome of the startup. It assumes that being in Silicon Valley will be helpful to the startup (i.e., tech space). Those assumptions may not all be true. If the startup is based around "Virginia History" then there may be no better place than Charlottesville to do it.
Here's a great article by Washington Business Journal reporter Bill Flook profiling my & Sam's transition out to San Francisco. You can also find the article here.
Brothers Daniel and Sam Odio say D.C. doesn't sate entrepreneurial needs
Herndon natives Daniel and Sam Odio share a last name, two alma maters and a gene for entrepreneurial risk-taking. Each brother has created a well-known, successful tech startup , mobile app builder PointAbout Inc. for Daniel, picture-sharing company Divvyshot for Sam.
Very good question. Here we go -
I saw your post offering advice help, so I thought I'd take you up on that. I'm young, pre college, so time is on my side. I'd like to create a web startup at some point in the future, at least that's the dream. Should I focus on homing in on my technical skills, or business skills? Right now, I know much less of the latter, but I recognize its importance in entrepreneurship.
Also, do you think college credentials are as important as real world opportunities? And any reading recommendations would be much obliged. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks so much,