Driving home the importance of the pitch — and how Zipcar failed the test
I arrived a few minutes late for class the other day at the University of Toronto’s Behan Centre. Fortunately, the teacher, outspoken entrepreneur Reza Satchu, hadn’t arrived yet. Here’s the thing about Satchu — he’s a committed molder of young leaders, a founder of the Next 36 program, an eight-month business-building bootcamp designed to turn outstanding undergrads into high-impact entrepreneurs. But I was pleased I got there first, because when Satchu’s running the classroom, you don’t want to catch his eye.
Satchu’s stock in trade is discomfort. He’s adopted a definition of entrepreneurship developed by Harvard business professor Paul Gompers: “The relentless pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.” That means anyone pursuing an entrepreneurial endeavour can expect to spend most of their time feeling painfully under-resourced. You make up for that, Satchu insists, by being prepared for anything.