This Summer Speakers Series Event Was Boss!

By Kaylene Sheran, Pathways Intern

On August 3rd, ZUMIX Pathways hosted the third Summer Speaker Series event of 2017, “How To Be Your Own Boss”. We welcomed six panelists, each of which had experience in being their own boss and running their own business. During this event, the panelists answered many of the typical questions that people have when they want to start their own business, as well as questions about their products and what a typical day of work looks like for them.

One of the main topics that the panelists focused on during this event were the challenges that they have faced as entrepreneurs. Tivan Amour, the CEO of Fortified Bicycle, spoke about the financial challenges that he faced when wanting to start Fortified Bicycle, since he had lost a large amount of money from two previous businesses endeavours. Tivan was able to overcome this challenge by creating a Kickstarter campaign for his product, which enabled him to raise the adequate amount of money needed to start his business. Mark Ethier, the CEO of iZotope also faced challenges in his company when his company began developing photo editing software. When Mark began to realize that the photo editing software that his company was producing was not in popular demand, he decided that his company would just solely work on technology that would inspire musicians and audio technicians.

Many of the panelists agreed when speaking about the keys of success in a business. All of the panelists believed that luck was a main factor in their success, since it typically takes a lot for entrepreneurs to get people interested in their products. It also takes luck to find employees who share the same values for the company and have the same ability to get the customers interested in a product. Kannan Thiruvengadam, the founder of Eastie Farm, spoke about the difficulties of having the ability to convince the city of Boston that a farm would be the best use of the land. Kannan was able to overcome this challenge by convincing city officials to provide him with a temporary permit, which allowed people to realize how beneficial Eastie Farm was to the community.

Some of the other panelists who spoke at this event included: Marlene Del Rosario, founder of Marlene Jazz Ensemble and Home Chef worker, jazz and pop teacher, and musician; Joel Edinberg, physicist and founder of Somerville Symphony Orkestar; and George Howard, entrepreneur and Business Teacher at Berklee College of Music and Brown University.

The next (and last) Summer Speaker Series event will be on Thursday, August 24th, 2017 from 6-8pm. The topic of this event will be “How To Turn Your Passion Into A Full Time Job”. The Summer Speaker Series events are free, and open to people of all ages. This event will take place in the main lobby at ZUMIX. We hope that you will attend!

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