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Start It Up! Sam Clemens of Insight Squared Passes Along Advice on How Students Can Become Startup Entrepreneurs

May 4, 2012

     Clemens-class
  Popular Speaker: Successful entrepreneur Sam Clemens of Insight Squared brought a packed house of students, faculty and staff members to hear his recent campus presentation on the challenges and opportunities in starting a business.

Sam Clemens, Chief Product Officer of Cambridge, Massachusetts startup company Insight Squared, gave Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology students insight on how to develop a startup business.  His rapidly growing company provides a software service product that helps small to mid-size businesses track sales and marketing productivity. 

Speaking on Wednesday, May 2, at a packed lecture hall, Clemens described the world of venture capital and fast moving startup businesses.  He explained how to form a team, how to attract financing, and how to take a great idea from inspiration to product to viable business venture.  He also explained the three things he looks for in a new employee, "One, be a high wattage personality who likes to do something different every day; two, develop your aptitude by using your skills as much as possible to GSD (get stuff done); and three, do something you love."

Clemens reasoned that by doing what you love, students/graduates will do it 15 percent better, and over time that edge will be the advantage needed to win at any endeavor. One other piece of advice he emphasized was, "No matter what your major, learn to write software code and to keep at it. Coding is the carpentry of the future. Anything you want to build will require code." 

Clemens-at-podium      
Speaking From Experience: Sam Clemens, Chief Product Officer for startup company Insight Squared, makes a point during his recent presentation to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology students.

 

At 36 years old, Clemens is already working on his fifth startup company.  His first business was eLance, the world's leading platform for online employment.

Clemens also provided invaluable insights to help students decide what kind of work environment would best fit their personality.  From the questions students asked during the presentation, it was clear that many had already set their sights on being involved in the high-risk, high-reward world of technology startups.

According to Rose-Hulman Interim President Rob Coons, "One of our goals is to expose our students to successful technology innovators in many fields.  Sam Clemens is at the top of his industry as a successful SAS (Software as Service) business leader. His insights and industry knowledge have provided a glimpse into this exciting world for our students."

The speaking engagement was sponsored by the president's office and the campus chapter of IEEE, the world's largest professional association for the advancement of technology.  Andrew Milluzzi, a senior computer engineering and software engineering student, organized the event and served as Clemens' guide for tours of campus, the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering and Rose-Hulman Ventures. 

"Sam now wants to be more involved with Rose-Hulman," stated Milluzzi, who will have an internship this summer at Microsoft before starting graduate school at the University of Florida's robotics program. "He was impressed with our product development expertise at Rose-Hulman Ventures, in awe of our campus and our community, and he was especially impressed that this entire event was student organized.  In his words, we have GSD."