My name is Martin Kim, a junior in the NYU College of Arts and Science studying politics and economics. As the digital media content arm of the creative team for the 2014 NYU Entrepreneurs Festival, Peter Ryan, Mitchel Lazar, Lewie Kloster, and I were tasked with developing a photography and video concept to promote the festival and create hype in and around NYU based on the motif of “stories.” As we were brainstorming ideas for the photo project, I threw out the idea of taking a cue from Brandon Stanton, the photographer behind of the wildly successful Humans of New York project. HONY’s ability to capture the raw humanity in individuals from a sea of anonymous faces is what inspired our project, Entrepreneurs of New York University.

Entrepreneurship can seem a bit monolithic to many. The nuances of the stories of the human beings behind the ventures are often overlooked or untold, much like how we pass by millions of fellow New Yorkers everyday without knowing a thing about their personal stories. We aimed to change that with our photography project, which evolved into a short film. The general consensus among the NYU entrepreneurs we interviewed for EONYU was that the entrepreneurship community is incredibly strong here. NYU is sometimes cited as a fractious student body with a lack of community but I saw a wonderful counterpoint to that notion. The interviews revealed that when one asks for help here, there are plenty of people who are willing to help directly or to make an introduction to someone else who can help. They pierced the veil of the superstar entrepreneur and showed a more complex and more relatable personage. They dispelled myths and misconceptions about running a startup. It’s their stories that will not only inspire future generations of entrepreneurs, but also make entrepreneurship more mentally and emotionally accessible. It was a great honor to start this project and I hope that our team and those that come after us continue creating a community of entrepreneurs in and around NYU.

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