I received a pleasant surprise from the organizer that I am the only one from my country to be invited to go on a trip to meet other distinguished entrepreneurs in US. Time flew by and the next thing I knew I was in Chicago working out from a busy co-working space called 1871. This is where I met all my fellow entrepreneurs who came from all over the world such as Kenya, UK, Middle East to Indonesia.
We were exposed to some advance training on financial engineering, entrepreneurship, patents law in the US. All which the organizer has invested a lot of effort in putting together. They were also sessions where we learn from highly established entrepreneurs such as Chuck Templeton about their success and failures. To be honest, case study on failure is a much better learning material than success story.
As entrepreneurs we spend so much time fighting fire everyday, it made me appreciate the opportunity to have some learning opportunities during our journey in the States. It is through the work that we did together that allows me to know the other entrepreneurs better in person. I am now able to put stories behind the faces and what strong reason that motivates them to take those risks and push on when the others bail.
It is quite true that entrepreneurs walk a lonely road especially for those do not have a co-founder. But through programs like GIST, you get friends that understand what you are going through and able to give constructive advice, or just being able to see issues from your view point. These relationships are priceless. Through the journey, I have got to know great entrepreneurs like Natali, Frans, Alex, Hanan, just to name a few. These are the most resourceful people I have met. Not to forget, a big thank you to the GIST organizers. I am already looking forward to reconnect with the GIST community.