Grit in the Face of Failure -- You cannot learn grit in a classroom. Being an entrepreneur is about making the effort to create something from nothing. You can learn theories and best practices in a classroom, but you cannot learn the grit and dedication it takes to see your vision to the end. So much of success is in the willingness to invest 100 percent of your energy in the face of great uncertainty, and to wake up the next day ready to do it again. The path is not smooth and you will take your lumps. Grit is about falling down and getting back up, again and again. You can't learn that in a classroom.

Andrew Thomas

Culture Will Wait for You to Create It -- "The interesting thing about a company culture is that it will create itself if you don't create it first. CEOs need to define and personify the company culture and instill it at every level of the organization. The best companies all have a culture based on their mission, and all employees know why they're working so hard. When the opposite is true, the culture will create itself--and it may not be the culture you envisioned."

Andrew Thomas

Article: Seven Easy Ways Millennials Can Stand Out From Their Peers

Summer is here. College students have graduated and are starting their lives in the working world. Although you hear a lot these days about Millennials and their merits (and downfalls) in the workplace, this article isn’t about the various stereotypes of Gen Y and their merits. This article is about the fact that those hiring or funding startups won’t be fellow Millennials — they’ll be of an ea … Read More

Use alumni networks. -- Alumni chapters are a great way to stay connected and network outside your own company and niche. They often include graduates from different majors, and it's a fun way to learn from people you don't normally interact with. You have a shared interest in your school, and it's an easy way to meet new people.

Andrew Thomas

Vagueness -- Investors rely on your ability to clearly state the pain points and the manner in which you solve them. It is your responsibility to be clear and precise with your understanding of the problem, the solution and how you intend to deploy that solution. Entrepreneurs can lose an investor's interest by being too vague or making far reaching assumptions about the business and potential return.

Andrew Thomas

"The Nerdist" -- There are tons of great startup focused podcasts. If you're looking for something slightly off beat, consider The Nerdist with Chris Hardwick. The show often features accomplished actors, comedians and other individuals who have succeeded by taking the road less traveled, who share pretty candid insights into their journeys and mindsets.

Andrew Thomas

Article: Looking For Opportunity In Smart Devices? Start With The User

The innovations of the last two to three years are only the beginning. At home, at the office, in the car, in the classroom, smart devices are finding ways to provide information and utility that users can integrate into their everyday lives. The key here is “users.” While the Internet of things movement includes services and machine-to-machine data exchanges, home automation and smart devices … Read More

You did it! You hit the magic number, thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign built on preparation, a compelling video, strong promotion and a savvy campaign page. Give yourself a pat on the back and save some energy, because once the buzz of your successful campaign fades, you’ll quickly realize you are accountable to hundreds, if not thousands of contributors, rather than a few VC board mem … Read More

Meeting My Mentor -- Meeting a great mentor has been the best and luckiest break I have ever had. My mentor has taught me countless lessons about myself and about business, and I can't thank her enough. She has invested the energy to teach me and has provided opportunities. Most importantly, she pushes me outside my comfort zone.

Andrew Thomas