Hello again! I am Wayne Chang bringing you part 2 of the BET 300 – Foundations of Venture Creation at the Conrad Business Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre speaker blog series.
The second alumnus I would like to feature who has spoken in our BET 300 class to students about their entrepreneurship experience is John Zupancic, Founder of Wriber Inc., Masters of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET), Faculty of Engineering, 2012.
John is passionate about disruptive ideas involving technology that have an impact on people. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and an MBET degree from the Conrad Centre at the University of Waterloo.
John has held positions in sales and marketing, project management, and software development. In 2012, he led a team of four MBET students to win the RBC Next Great Innovator Challenge. He's active in the Kitchener-Waterloo startup community and has mentored over 200 University of Waterloo startups through his involvement with the school. In his spare time, he enjoys playing soccer with friends and cheering for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Q&A with John Zupancic
What would you like to share with aspiring entrepreneurs at UWaterloo?
Have an awe-inspiring vision, something that inspires you to get up every morning. If people don’t think you’re crazy, your goals are not ambitious enough. The greatest ideas are the hardest ones to achieve but are the most worthy of your pursuit. Be shameless. Don’t apologize for wanting to change the world. Take the road less travelled. Entrepreneurship is full of ups and downs. When there are downs (and believe me there will be more downs than ups), remember why you get up every morning.
What was memorable from your days at UWaterloo that impacted your later entrepreneurial or business perspectives?
I will never forget the conversations I had with Doug Beynon, MBET New Venture Creation Professor and Entrepreneur-In-Residence. He taught me to grasp the idea that entrepreneurship means living in a world of uncertainty and that drive, passion, and curiosity are the constants that move you forward. I am convinced that if I did not figure this out, I would never have pursued Wriber Inc. Thanks to his help, I can say with a straight face that is there nothing else in the world that I would be doing right now.
What are you working on or developing/playing with these days?
I’m working away on Wriber Inc. in the Velocity Garage. I usually refer to myself as the Chief Everything Officer as I work on product development, sales & marketing, fundraising, and everything else that comes with a startup. It’s very exciting for us as we approach our beta testing phase. I still remain involved with the school, speaking with and mentoring undergraduate entrepreneurs and the current MBET class.
Stay tuned for more posts about these outstanding alumni!