During his time at Wharton, Aaron Goldstein received the President’s Innovation Prize, a Wharton Venture Award, a Wharton Innovation Fund award, a Weiss Tech House Innovation Fund award and a Snider Seed Award, Fever Smart won Second Prize in the 2015 Wharton Business Plan Competition, and he was a member of the Venture Initiation Program. Before he graduated last month, we asked him a few questions about what it was like being a student entrepreneur. Here’s what he said:
What school are you in and what is your major/concentration?
I am in Wharton and am graduating with concentrations in Risk Management and Finance.
How did Wharton help you become an entrepreneur?
For as long as I remember I have been entrepreneurial. So I don’t think that Penn helped me “become” an entrepreneur, but instead provided me with the right resources to be able to fully take advantage of my entrepreneurial spirit and ideas.
How did your classes help you?
They provided me with the business fundamentals that have been critical in helping develop Fever Smart. Through my various classes I learned all of skills that allowed me to successfully write a business plan and eventually launch a business.
What’s been the hardest thing about being an entrepreneur at Wharton?
This idea of “balance.” As a student entrepreneur you have to balance running your company, while still being a full-time student, and trying to maintain a semblance of a regular “college life.” This ultimately leads to a less than optimal amount of sleep, but I think that it taught me how to effectively manage my time.
What’s been the best thing about being an entrepreneur at Wharton?
The amount of resources available to students. From the funding opportunities (Wharton Innovation Fund, Weiss Tech House Innovation Fund, etc.) to the incubators (VIP) to mentorship from professors, Penn is full of resources dedicated to helping student entrepreneurs. These resources have been invaluable to me personally and to Fever Smart as a business.
What advice would you give to a new student who wants to start his or her own business?
Make sure that you find teammates that complement your skill set. At Penn we are lucky to have four different undergraduate schools—all of which teach a different set of skills. For example, if you are a Wharton student and you want to start a technology company, find an engineering student. This will ensure that your team has the complete skill set necessary to tackle the problem that you want to solve.
What Wharton Entrepreneurship programs did you participate in and how did they help you?
Probably every single one out there. We participated in the Venture Initiation Program, Wharton Innovation Fund, Wharton Business Plan Competition just to name a few. These provided us with financial resources that helped us build our business. I’ve met with various alumni via the EIR program and have been able to receive very valuable feedback and mentorship from them.
How does it feel to be graduating?
It feels a surreal. It feels like yesterday that I walked into the Quad for the first time during move in day. Even though I will be graduating this weekend, I know that this won’t be the end of my “Penn Journey” or my interactions with Wharton Entrepreneurship.