Vinit Nijhawan’s Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

WalletHub interviewed the Questrom lecturer for a new study on entrepreneurship

Planning to launch a new business? Before you set up shop, consider the findings from a new study conducted by WalletHub, a personal finance social network, which analyzed startup opportunities in the 150 most populated cities in the US. “We did so using 16 key metrics, ranging from five-year survival rate to office-space affordability to educational attainment of the local labor force,” the report explains. Boston ranked 14th overall on the list, and came in first in the “access to resources” category.

Source: WalletHub


WalletHub notes that self-employment figures are on the rise in the US (nearly 54 million Americans are now working for themselves), and asked some of the foremost entrepreneurship experts what advice they would offer an aspiring entrepreneur. They turned to Vinit Nijhawan, lecturer in strategy and innovation at Boston University Questrom School of Business, for his input:

Vinit Nijhawan
Lecturer Vinit Nijhawan

What tips would you offer an aspiring entrepreneur?

  • Make sure you do sufficient market research to confirm customer pain point;
  • Attract co-founders that have complementary skills.

How important is the city an entrepreneur picks to start a new company?

Quite important. Cities are known for certain areas of focus and as a result, both talent and funding resources are concentrated around that focus. For example, if one is starting a consumer focused software platform, San Francisco is ideal, or if a life sciences company, Boston is ideal.

What are some of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make?

Scaling too early. The metaphor I use: You must be dialed into the exact frequency of a radio station before you turn up the volume so you get music not noise.

Besides technology, what other sector is ripe for disruption by entrepreneurs? What is the next big thing?

Every segment can be disrupted by technology: Uber disrupted taxi, AirBnB hotels. The next areas of disruption are many but I like the intersection of computing and biology.

What is the best source of funding for new companies?

Customer revenue, i.e., bootstrapping.

What is the most effective way state and local authorities can stimulate entrepreneurship and new business development?

Get the basics right: affordable housing and public transportation, since Millennials who are very interested in starting companies do not want to own cars and want to live in urban cores. Next, make the regulatory environment easier for startups. Finally, attract investors by using matching funds.

Check out the full study, including methodology, here.

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