Tejas Shastry, a young entrepreneur, offered advice to students on how to start a company, hone their products and achieve success Friday night in Westlake Hall.
“Most people think it’s all about having a brilliant idea, but that’s just a starting point, a grounding point,” Shastry said. “Really, the most important step is building a team, and the best team is usually your friends.”
Shastry is the co-founder and CEO of AMPY, a wearable motion charger. During his talk, he detailed how he and his friends came up with the idea, how they created their product, how they built their brand and how they raised money for their business through a Kickstarter campaign.
He concluded with encouraging the audience to pursue their own entrepreneurial goals.
“For all of you out there hoping to take an idea further, just find some friends and pursue it,” Shastry said. “Creating a company is a monumental goal, but it is an achievable one.”
Several people lined up to talk to Shastry further following his talk.
“I was really struck by his passion,” sophomore mechanical engineering major Frederick Lingner said. “It was really quite fascinating to see an engineer not only start his own company but also be really successful at it.”
The Bradley chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) brought Shastry to campus as their first event.
“The point of this event was to inspire our members and the broader Bradley, to show them a successful individual who isn’t that much older than themselves,” junior mechanical engineering major and President Luis Lorenzo said. “And also to get our name out, let people know we’re here and what they can expect from us.”
Lorenzo, along with several other SHPE members, said they were happy with how the event turned out.
“I’m really excited to see so many people here,” sophomore industrial engineering major Elizabeth Castorena said. “In fact, around 132 people showed up, and that’s pretty cool, especially when you consider we were only expecting around 50.”
The Bradley chapter of SHPE was founded in the fall 2014 semester. It was created to empower Hispanics and other minorities in STEM fields and to act as a “home away from home,” providing a technical and also social network for its members, according to Lorenzo.
“Whenever we get together, even if not everyone knows each other, we’re all very friendly and warm, sort of like an instant family,” junior mechanical engineering major Jacob Becker said. “And that feeling of community, of familia, is not something I’ve encountered a lot in other clubs.”
To get more information about SHPE, visit their national website national.shpe.org.