San Francisco Entrepreneurship Conferences - A Student Founder's Review

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This blog post was written by NYU Entrepreneurial Institute intern and CoStudy Co-founder Neev Mittal (Courant '22), after his trip to California to attend a number of entrepreneurship conferences.

It is safe to say that the trip to San Francisco was time well spent. It was the first time I’d been to a conference full of entrepreneurs from all around the country (some success stories and some a work in progress), and I realized how valuable that is. The three conferences (Blackstone Launchpad, Startup Grind, and TechCrunch) were all unique and there were different things to take away from each of them.

Blackstone Launchpad was a great experience because the talks were very student-driven and interactive - getting the chance to ask a few questions that were relevant to me was very valuable. Russell Glass’s fireside chat stood out for me because of his experience in starting multiple companies and his word of advice on how to stay true to your values as an entrepreneur.

Startup Grind was done in a very different way. The talks and presentations were more one-sided than interactive - which wasn’t the best for me because some of them just didn’t end up being relevant for me. Additionally, about 60-70% of the speakers joined virtually, and there wasn’t a chance to interact with them after their talk. However, there was a lot of time to meet new people outside of the theatre. I met so many student entrepreneurs and other seasoned career professionals and investors. It was a great opportunity to expand my network and get some valuable perspective on my journey as an entrepreneur and how I can take it further.

Lastly, TechCrunch Early Stage was the best conference for me. The talks and roundtables were all studded with amazing speakers and the agenda seemed very thoughtful. I feel like it took the best elements of Launchpad and Startup Grind.

Overall, this trip really gave me the confidence and belief that I want to be a lifetime entrepreneur, and encouraged me to get creative about my non-citizen status. It also helped me objectively evaluate the last 2.5 years working on CoStudy - what we got right and what we didn’t. This self-evaluation and taking in different perspectives about the last few years gave me a lot to reflect on, and it has made me a better entrepreneur. I feel ready to start working on something new soon, leveraging all that I have learned and the network I have established.

I am very thankful to the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute for sending me to these conferences and giving me this last experience in entrepreneurship before I graduate. I feel like it was exactly what I needed to take into my post-graduation life.