HAMILTON – This past Friday, April 11, Colgate University hosted the opening night of its Entrepreneur Weekend. David Faber, CNBC anchor/producer, led an exciting panel that included Tony Bates, Executive VP of Microsoft; Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO of Airbnb; Ashton Kutcher, actor/ producer and co-founder of Katalyst; and Daniel Rosensweig, President and CEO of Chegg. John Donahoe, President and CEO of eBay, was a surprise guest. Very informative and often humorous, the panel discussed the makings of a great entrepreneur and reflected on their own experiences. The group seemed to come to a consensus that fearlessness, grit, intelligence, the ability to build a team, and a willingness to learn are the main traits of a successful entrepreneur.
Kutcher, who was greeted by the crowd with a great amount of clapping and whooping, explained that it is always a difficult process determining who will be great a entrepreneur. He explained that the entrepreneurs who approach him for financial backing come from all walks of life. “Who they are is more important than what they are right now,” said Kutcher. He went on to explain that a successful entrepreneur also has to be generous.
Donahoe felt that a successful company is most usually a result of a team effort. For him, a successful entrepreneur is one who can build a team around him or her and knows his or her capabilities. Chesky added on to this idea by stating, “The most important thing you learn is how to learn.”