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Starting Your Own Company - Insights from New Entrepreneurs

Advice from new entrepreneurs on what contributed to their success: David Mackanic, Founder, Anthro Energy, Karin Calvhino, CTO, RenewCO2, and Joe Landolina, CEO & Co-Founder, Cresilon, Inc.

Youtube ID: z2dkx1yZ9f0

Joe Landolina, CEO & Co-Founder, Cresilon, Inc.: [00:00:00] So the biggest lesson that I learned in the early stages of starting a company is to ensure that you have the right team. 90% of doing a start-up is about ensuring that you have a team that you can lean on and that you have skillsets that are complimentary. One thing that I would strongly recommend, especially for technical co-founders is to find a strong co-founder with skill sets that compliment yours.

In my case, I was chemical engineer. As a result, I wanted to find a co-founder with finance as a background. Together the two of us have been able to grow a business into what we have today, 10 years later. 

Karin Calvinho, Chief Technology Officer, RenewCO2 [00:00:51] For us, the biggest unexpected challenge that we ever went through was COVID. We had an entire plan for this year with lots of experiments and a lot of progress to do on technical milestones and suddenly we didn't have access to the lab. We figured out that we could do something else from the safety of our homes, which was to work on our business plans, talk to mentors a lot, do financial modeling and to do techno-economic modeling. That flexibility is super important to keep going when everything feels like it's at a standstill.

We also learned that we need to take care of ourselves because if we're not healthy, if we're not present, we can't be creative and move our business forward. 

David Mackanic, Founder, Anthro Energy: [00:01:47] One thing I've learned in my experience as an entrepreneur is that the people you work with are extremely important. At Anthro Energy, I've had the privilege to work with a few of my really good friends and colleagues from my research lab, and that's made the experience infinitely better and infinitely more enjoyable.

I would say to anyone who's thinking about starting a company, or thinking about entrepreneurship, begin thinking about who those people are and who are the type of people you'd want to work with. These collaborations on research projects could turn into something much bigger.