Tech entrepreneurs have a vision for what’s possible and won’t stop until they achieve it. They’re passionate yet relentlessly resourceful in bringing together all the business know-how required to build something out of nothing. See what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.
Being the Boss of You
Transforming a business dream into reality, while being the boss of you, is what lights the fire under tech entrepreneurs. Not everyone will be as wildly successful as a Steve Jobs with Apple or a Mark Zuckerberg with Facebook. But greatness is possible if you dream big and don’t give up.
There’s never been a better time to be a tech entrepreneur. The exploding capabilities of digital services and products are changing how we live, work and play. And, it’s easier than ever to throw your hat into the entrepreneurial ring. For many ideas, getting started can take nothing more than passion, a computer and dedication to hard work. But overnight success isn’t automatic. You need to understand the market for your idea and develop a business and marketing plan to secure funding. Few people have all the skills to go it alone. They surround themselves with a smart team to drive sales and marketing plus handle operations like billing and finances.
Entrepreneurs start up 130,000 small businesses in Canada every year. Nearly 90% of new full-time jobs are self-employed. If you’re self-disciplined and ready to put in countless hours to get things done on time, on budget and with high quality, becoming a tech entrepreneur can be one of the most amazing trips you’ll ever take.
For people who
- Are imaginative, curious and inspired
- Live at the leading edge of new technologies
- Can creatively transform ideas into real-world applications
- Are well-organized and self-disciplined
- Are resourceful and persistent
Because tech entrepreneurs thrive outside the boundaries, their educational paths aren’t always traditional either. You can become an entrepreneur from just about any starting point. But if you’re going it alone, it’s critical that you understand the ins and outs of business by mashing in courses like marketing, administration or management. A one-stop shop for this combination is an undergrad degree/certificate in Business Technology Management. Or, you can do your undergrad degree in computer science or software engineering and then gain business skills from an MBA.
Carleton offers a concentration in entrepreneurship within its Bachelor of Commerce and the University of Western Ontario has a technology entrepreneurship certificate. The University of Ontario Institute of Technology offers game development and entrepreneurship in its Bachelor of Information Technology. Or, check out a college program like Seneca and Fanshawe’s Entrepreneur certificate or Mohawk’s Small Business Entrepreneurship certificate.
There are also amazing university support programs and incubators for would-be entrepreneurs like Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone and the University of Toronto’s Centre for Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship. The University of Waterloo has the Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre as well as a residence just for student entrepreneurs. VeloCity. Simon Fraser University’s Venture Connection program for entrepreneurs provides experienced advisors, funding opportunities and other business connections.
Home office or coffee shop? Freedom and flexibility are a career priority for many tech entrepreneurs who work their own hours whenever and wherever they want. Young tech entrepreneurs are the most connected generation ever and they adapt an “always-on” digital lifestyle into new variations on 9 to 5.
Entrepreneurs who prefer the structure and social features of an office have a variety of affordable options for full or part-time space rental. Shared work spaces are great for networking or accommodating additional staff as the business grows. Then, when you get as big as Facebook, just buy your own building!
- Students’ Musings Becoming Start-ups
- Canadian Universities Join Global Race to Spark Innovation – Globe and Mail
- Let's Raise Kids to be Entrepreneurs – Cameron Herold
- Tech Entrepreneur and Leader – Melody Adhami
- Entrepreneur - Adrian Bulzacki, Founder, ARB Labs
- Peyman Moeini, Innovator and Entrepreneur – Peyman Moeini, Co-Founder, Peytec
- Canadian Youth Business Foundation
- Fuel Awards – Canada’s Best Young Entrepreneurs