Mar 09, 2023 - Atlanta, GA
On Feb. 23, CREATE-X, in collaboration with GT Startup Exchange, hosted Founders' Forum, at Tech Square ATL Social Club. The event brought three Startup Launch alumni, Tim Felbinger, founder of StartProto, Marzeah “Zea” Khorramabadi, co-founder of StrideLink, and Daniele “Dani” De Mari, founder of Neurogram, to discuss their experience building businesses.
They encouraged students to consider their partnerships and the pathway forward, but also encouraged them to just take the first step and lean into the process.
“I probably spent way too many weeks agonizing over whether I should do this or not,” Felbinger said. “Do it while you’re in school. Do it while you have this amazing effort at Georgia Tech, where you have people that will help you do it… You might tell yourself you will come back to it; you’re not.”
De Mari agreed on being open to the uncertainty of the future. The pandemic was a prime example for her. Had it not happened, she wouldn’t have gone back to Brazil and if she hadn’t done that, she wouldn’t have had the experience that sparked her company.
“Let life take you,” she said.
However, Khorramabadi empathized with students feeling analysis paralysis.
“I joke that I don’t make a decision until I’ve talked to 5 people,” she said.
Still, she encouraged students to move past those feelings. In her own experience, Khorramabadi found that rejection and failure pushed her to find better pathways.
“Take the no’s as an opportunity,” she said.
In De Mari’s path to be a founder, some investors didn’t believe she could solve the problem she was proposing because she’s a woman and an immigrant. However, De Mari focused on building the data demonstrating her company’s worth, which led to her closing deals, expanding marketing, and growing her business.
“I’m living proof that you can do it,” she said.
Since 2014, more than 5,000 students have launched their startups, totaling approximately 350 companies, through CREATE-X. The program continues to expand, looking to support more students in having entrepreneurial confidence and creating their own startups.
Be the next founder. Apply for Georgia Tech Startup Launch before the application closes March 20.
Want to see more events from CREATE-X? Would you like your organization to collaborate with us? Tell us by emailing Shavon Hunter at email@example.com.