Gary Whitehill, the founder of Entrepreneur Week gave a speech at EIT ICT Labs Budapest CLC

Gary Whitehill, founder of Entrepreneur Week at EIT ICT Labs Budapest CLC

"Stop at nothing to achieve everything the universe has to offer."

Gary Whitehill, the founder of Entrepreneur Week gave a speech at EIT ICT Labs Budapest CLC

Gary Whitehill, one of the most successful young entrepreneurs of the United States, the Founder of Entrepreneur Week finished his Global Tour by giving a speech in front of students and IT professional at the EIT ICT Labs Budapest CLC on the 24th of November 2014. To offer the opportunity listening to him for the whole EIT ICT Labs community, his presentation was broadcasted over the internet.

Gary Whitehill has been fortunate to accumulate experience in a variety of roles that empower entrepreneurs and the disruptive innovations they seek to bring to market. This is the foundation he leverages when:

  • Mentoring entrepreneurs on strategies for achieving better business results.
  • Developing action plans for large corporations, on how to engage entrepreneurs and their communities, with a goal of spurring local commerce.
  • Advising government leaders, at the local, state, and national level, on granular execution of economic policy.

Over the course of scaling his previous company, Entrepreneur Week, Gary witnessed a clear need for demystifying the myths and perceptions of how entrepreneurship, economic development, and innovation work together to create long-term sustainable job growth - globally. In just two years, Entrepreneur Week became a global ecosystem and scaled to four continents. His team curated more than 500 speakers who shared their stories, resources, and connections with more than 6,000 entrepreneurs, a group responsible for more than $7 billion in annual revenue.

During his Global Tour Gary visited 20 countries in 60 days. As the last stop, on the 24th of November in Budapest he shared his thoughts and advices on personal growth, how to build a company, and how to push the world forward.

"Do not talk about features and benefits. Talk about the desired state and future state of the user. Put me in their story, make me "feel" their situation and the emotions it entails." - advised to the audience. He emphasized that humanity doesn’t absorb spreadsheets and numbers. People absorb stories. "No system is sustainable that has money and time as its core organizing principles. The systems that do survive have stories at the center."

While talking about his impression of innovation culture in Europe compared to other vibrant startup regions in the World, he said "Stuck way too much in the mind - seeking too much substantiated, spreadsheet-driven ideas and implementation. Building a company is not linear, neither are people. The funny thing is people build companies, culture, products, and are the consumers of those products - yet we project them in a linear way….. yet humans aren’t linear, either."

Regarding the possible start up trends, he commented that trends are not a reason to build a business. He suggested to find a solution to a social or cultural challenge that humanity feels emotive about. "Notice I did not say ‘just find a challenge’ like pontificated in Lean Startup, etc. Find a social or cultural challenge to solve - those never run out of addressable market size and aren’t just ‘trends."- he said.

At the end his presentation he was asked to give advice for startups in Europe to become successful.

"Currently you are in the fear eradication business. Once you eradicate fear, you can be creative. Once you’re creative, the information and money follow. If you think you have something to lose - you have already lost. Your ego will tell you that you have something to lose, and you must protect it. It’s up to you to have the courage to realize that 95% of everything you do is subconscious and it’s your responsibility to bring those stories to your conscious and change them."

Further information about him can be found at his website: garywhitehill.com

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