When Thomas Pauly ’12 and Rebecca Hecht ’12 needed funding for their senior project, a theatrical production titled “The Ones Left Behind,” they took an unconventional approach to raising the funds. After receiving a generous but insufficient Angel Grant — a $3,000 grant provided by Undergraduate Advising and Research (UAR) to assist students in producing public creative works — the pair created a project on Kickstarter, a popular “crowd-funding” platform that allows individuals to seek funding for creative projects.
A study conducted by the University of Virginia showed that the average American spends about five hours a day with his mind idle. This includes time spent commuting, exercising and getting ready in the morning — valuable time that could be spent learning. And what better way for students aspiring to create start-ups than to learn through a podcast by some of the world’s leading entrepreneurs? Named by Forbes as one of the best podcasts, the Stanford Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders series is a podcast that promotes innovative thinking.
“Innovation” is a quintessential Stanford buzzword — after all, it’s the alma mater of countless entrepreneurs over the years. The research generated by its intellectual ferment has been one of the largest driving forces for the Bay Area’s high-tech industry. Not to downplay its significance, establishing a comparable environment is no easy task, and the word serves as a beacon for those who dream of similar academic and economic successes.
The Startup Kid feeds history, national flavor, cultural quirks, into the same lean-mean-winning-machine as whimsy, romance, spontaneity, gesture, immaturity, joy, personal development — these are sacrificed for ambition presented so wholesomely we often fail to appreciate its ferocity. This certain kind of ambition is, I believe, currently being expressed in the ASSU Executive. This is not to say The Startup Kid is a real person or that he is part of the ASSU — but the attitude is real, and present.