Entrepreneurship Checklist by Silicon Valley Entrepreneur, Samir Mitra

2/5/2020 1:36:07 PM Urvashi Jha, Marketing and Communications Coordinator

 The Technology Entrepreneur Center and The Grainger College of Engineering annually sends a select group of students to Silicon Valley during winter break for a week-long technology entrepreneurship workshop that includes visits to startups and leading technology companies.

The trip features corporate leaders, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs in various stages of a startup lifecycle. Students also have opportunities to network with prominent entrepreneurial Illinois alumni. 


This year, the Silicon Valley Entrepreneurship workshop began with an insightful presentation about entrepreneurship, career, and life by Samir Mitra. 

Samir Mitra With Silicon Valley Entrepreneurship Workshop Participant
Samir Mitra With Silicon Valley Entrepreneurship Workshop Participant

About Samir Mitra: An ECE '88 alum, he is the founder and CEO at Cura Technologies Inc., a health startup. He was the founding member of the Java software team and he created Java Mobile (J2ME). He co-founded 3 technology companies in Silicon Valley. He has also been an advisor for technology and innovation to the Office of Advisor to the Prime Minister of India from 2011 to 2015.     

Highlights of his presentation: Samir Mitra discussed many valuable life and entrepreneurship lessons. He shared how failures helped him learn the most about himself. He also explained how entrepreneurship is all about you, you and you! And he strongly believes that ‘Life will always reward you for being true to yourself.’  

Here are some Key Takeaways;

Connecting with the right people is the capital of your life: Who you hang out with and people you know as friends, acquaintances have an inordinate impact on your career and opportunities. Be acutely aware of this, don’t take it for granted or wing it. When networking or connecting be forthright about yourself to others. 

Spend time on things you love and are passionate about: Life will always reward you for being true to yourself. Know what you like and don’t like it even if it’s completely illogical. 

You learn the most about yourself when you fail: True, deep, introspective learning comes from failing—never be afraid or fearful of taking risks as you need to always keep learning. If you really want to learn, then take risks—even with everyday life choices like the books you read, the movies you watch, and the restaurants you try. Without taking true risks, there is no reward. Always go all-in and challenge yourself constantly. Remember pain plus reflection equals progress.

Develop your tenacity, will-power, and self-confidence by trying different things at different points of life: Get comfortable with the uncomfortable and unconventional. Give yourself the benefit of time. Being impatient doesn’t serve you well most of the time.

Entrepreneurship is all about you: To be an entrepreneur these are the things to do and traits to have;

  • Have a strong work ethic: It’s you
  • Have a great vision: It’s you
  • Be creative and determined: It’s you
  • Be a great communicator: It’s you
  • Good at finding market-opportunity: It’s you
  • Good at neat ideas: It’s you
  • Good at building relationships with great people: It’s you

Create a simple checklist and mark things out (so you don’t forget and keep track of them). Call it “I am an entrepreneur checklist”. 

Have you started building your entrepreneur checklist? Tell us how the checklist is helping you reach your entrepreneurship goals. Email us at tec@illinois.edu