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UMKC Innovation Center
GEWKC Youth Entrepreneurs Kansas, Bo Fishback
By Sarah Mote
November 20, 2014

My First Global Entrepreneurship Week: Thoughts from a Young a Entrepreneur

Meet Sam Stowers (@phantom_sam), a homeschooled high school student living and creating in Kansas City. Right now, he’s learning all he can about entrepreneurship—and he's using every opportunity to connect, network and learn.

During Global Entrepreneurship Week (or "weeks" here in KC), Sam attended Get in the Ring and through a tweet and KC's unique brand of "one degree of entrepreneurship," he met Neil Neumeyer  (@neilneumeyer) of the Kauffman Foundation and Bo Fishback (@bowman) of Zaarly. Those connections led him to last Friday's Youth Entrepreneurs' Business for Breakfast with  ishback, which in turn led him to Startup Weekend, where his new startup and his team (@get_converse and here) won the fan favorite award. It's been a good week for Sam.

Below, he talks about "life in a hoodie"—navigating the entrepreneurial landscape as a young entrepreneur and gleaning some face time from one of our region's entrepreneurial rock stars.

And now we give it to Sam . . .

It’s always a fun feeling, walking into a room full of suits while sporting jeans and a hoodie. I had anticipated the breakfast to be a ‘startup casual’ type event, which was not the case. Even the tables had sponsor companies, all of which were large and well-known. I certainly got a few funny looks walking in.

My breath of fresh air was seeing Bo Fishback, the entrepreneur who was speaking at the event. He and I may have been the only two in the room dressed casually.

GEWKC Youth Entrepreneurs Kansas, Bo Fishback

Bo was a fantastic guy, friendly with a touch of genius. We talked for a while, and he managed to advise me on everything from college to startups. Bo spent some time at both Harvard and Stanford (and talked about it like it wasn’t a big deal), managed a large team at Cerner right out of college, and had a string of successful ventures before he got to Zaarly, his current startup.

When he addressed the crowd, Bo didn't promote any service in particular. He told his entrepreneurial story, talked about the creation of Zaarly and recommended attending the Startup Weekend that Friday.

There were about 16 other students there. Seeing such a wide variety of people present was pretty cool.

Entrepreneurship is like the cool kid on the block now, with students, businessmen and corporations all jumping on the bandwagon. This is an awesome thing! We’re starting to tap into the innovation potential of the youth in Kansas City, and I’m excited for what’s in store.



 

 

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