By Bijan White
Last week, the Anderson Entrepreneur Association (EA) hosted the Entrepreneurial Leaders Roundtable to introduce students to top CEOs in various fields. Among the speakers were alumnus Jake Neuberg (’02), co-founder of Revolution Prep; Jennifer Somer, president of Junk Food Clothing; Pervez Delawalla, CEO of Net Data Centers; and Sue Chen, founder of Nova Medical Products.
The speakers shared their entrepreneurial experiences and the major challenges they tackled along the way. Each experience proved to be unique and highlighted the complexity of the respective situations and industries. Chen, for example, took her family business from Taiwan to the U.S. Rather than construct a new company, she adapted her business to the market and learned to navigate a new corporate and legal system. Meanwhile, Bill Wilson, founder of AdMediary, declared, “90% of the things I started were failures, but it’s through those failures that I succeeded.” Delawalla cautioned that many failures can result from issues among partners, and that trust and safety were paramount in starting and maintaining companies.
This dialogue between established business leaders and emerging entrepreneurs is at the core of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), the sponsor of the event. YPO is a global association of over 17,000 entrepreneurs, business owners and senior professionals across various industries around the world. YPO provides members access to their local business peers for advice, connections and support. The organization also sponsors a $5,000 fellowship for a second-year UCLA Anderson entrepreneur; candidates are nominated by the Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.