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  • Writer's pictureBaker Institute Team

"I wake up every day excited for what I will be learning next."

William Cioffi '21 | Software Engineering Major | IDEAS: Mechanical Engineering and Product Design Minor | Entrepreneurship Hometown | Bronxville, NY

Today’s adventure for the LehighSiliconValley group was to visit Adobe. We met with successful entrepreneur and CEO of vArmour, Tim Eades. He is the embodiment of a venture capitalist and a risk taker and was gracious enough to spend time with us to talk about some of his ventures and the lessons he learned along the way. Meeting with such an influential and passionate businessman reminded me of some of my early thoughts about becoming an entrepreneur and how I’ve grown since then.

Before coming out to California, I didn’t think of myself as an entrepreneur because I felt more like an engineer. I was studying to get a desk job at an engineering firm and to employ skills to solve the problems my firm will give me. I would have been fine with this, if it weren’t for my desire to have more impact. I wanted to become an engineer to help people and to solve problems, and I believed that I would be able to do this more effectively as an entrepreneur. After taking an introduction entrepreneurship course at Lehigh, I affirmed that my mission, and more importantly a passion, was to do exactly that. I applied to LehighSiliconValley in the hope that I would learn more about how to run a startup and what business strategies I would need to adopt to become successful.

The first day for me was daunting and it made me question if this was still something I wanted to do. Hearing from some of the most amazing people was intimidating, and I felt like I could never be like them. As a result, I started to have doubts as to whether I could truly become an entrepreneur like them. However, I realized that learning how to share the passion, the tenacity, and insight would allow me to become what I want to be. Not only this, I realized that I had the best opportunity to be an entrepreneur because my education background as an engineer not only allowed me to know the intimate workings of a product, but also allowed me to understand the necessary functions of the company and to make the tough decisions that others wouldn’t want to make.

LehighSiliconValley has made me consider the different business strategies that I will need in order to thrive as a competitor in the startup environment. I have learned so much from the entrepreneurs who have come to talk to us, and I wake up every day excited for what I will be learning next.

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