April 12, 2018
Navid is part of the April 1st cohort where he will be going through the Qualification Phase for six weeks.
When I first heard about the Entrepreneur-in-Residence program at TandemLaunch, it sounded interesting to me because it was very structured in how the whole program works starting from the Qualification Phase to the end of the Graduation Phase. I wasn’t really familiar with how to start a venture but having a structured program made me more comfortable and confident in doing it.
On TandemLaunch’s website, it explained why most startups fail and TandemLaunch was clear and honest with everything right from the start. TandemLaunch didn’t say “come here and make a company”, but instead they said “come here and make a company, but statistically 9 out of 10 times it will fail”. The expectations were set beforehand and I knew what I was walking into so that’s why I wasn’t scared of trying something completely new.
TandemLaunch said that the reasons why startups fail can either attribute to the technology, lack of market, or other reasons but the most probable cause of failure is not having a good team. With this in mind, I was comfortable since I knew exactly what I wanted to avoid going into the program.
On my first day, I was already feeling settled because within seconds of being in the office Calvin from the Edgehog team came by to introduce himself and we started chatting about his venture and this all happened literally in the first few minutes of sitting at my desk which was very welcoming. Afterwards, I got a tour of the office and it was nice to know there were free coffee and tea, that was a real plus! And the office… Oh man the office. It’s really nothing like an office because it’s just a space where really smart people are working and it has a very dynamic environment. I was also happy to see a lab because I am a hardware-focused person and to have a lab full of machines and tools to play around with was a good surprise. I was maybe a bit too excited because as soon as I finished my paperwork I raced back to the lab to talk with members of Wavelite to see what they were working on!
Even though there’s a bunch of teams, it feels like we’re one big family and not separate entities.
During my Qualification Phase, I’ll be spending six weeks with Wavelite and it was nice of the core team to put me into that venture because I had read a lot on Wavelite and I liked their idea and the venture matched my skills perfectly!
Every morning I come into work and the first thing I do is make myself a really nice latte, I learned how to use the machine and I. Am. Definitely. Hooked. Every day I come to work feeling like there’s a lot of work to do and you’d be surprised to know I am actually glad about this. Every day I meet someone new in the office and I feel like I can walk up to anyone and just have a talk about their ventures and experiences.
I was surprised by how friendly and helpful everyone is despite how busy they are. Even though there’s a bunch of teams, it feels like we’re one big family and not separate entities. I didn’t expect that aspect so it’s nice to see.
By the end of the first week, I was already working on deep aspects of the project at Wavelite since it was clear where I can help after seeing how the project worked. For now I will be working on the RF area of the wireless system and it’s been fun so far. I feel like I’m going to learn more about teamwork and have a new view on technical problems because there are so many people with different backgrounds, and when discussing problems you are exposed to different perspectives and ideas, so you get to learn what other people are thinking and how you can adapt. I also didn’t know much about machine learning beforehand but even after a week, I am motivated to learn more about it after attending a few lunch & learns and being surrounded by the technology every day.
It’s also inspiring to see that Wavelite has two women as co-founders as well as another intern who is female. Overall there’s a large number of women in TandemLaunch and in tech roles so it’s refreshing to see that here. I like seeing the energy and motivation in the people here that are turning academic papers into actual realities day in and day out. After talking with a few people here and learning their stories, it’s motivating to see their persistence in trying to make it work.
If I can tell you one thing, it’s don’t be afraid to try something that looks difficult or intimidating. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone because being out of your comfort zone can open up a lot of doors for you.
– Navid Rezazadeh (Entrepreneur-in-Residence Candidate)