By Paul Brent
Earlier this month on March 13th, the Ottawa chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) invited me to host a conversation with Desh Deshpande at the chapter’s 10th Anniversary kickoff event held at UOttawa.
Gururaj Desh Deshpande is one of the world’s most sought after speakers on entrepreneurship. A successful serial entrepreneur, he was raised in India, attended two Canadian universities and then he moved to Boston where he co-founded several firms including Sycamore Networks Inc. a firm that hit $45 billion in market cap during the tech boom of the 90's and just this February a deal closed to sell Sycamore and have it become a private firm.
He also invested $20 million to establish the Deshpande Foundation and its five affiliated centres in the U.S., India and Canada that all assist entrepreneurs. UOttawa President Allan Rock announced at the event that his school is now part of the Deshpande Innovation Network linking universities around the world.
“Being an entrepreneur is a career choice, you have to love the lifestyle, love creating something, solving problems and always believe that tomorrow will be better,” he said.
Deshpande went on to warn that being an entrepreneur is not about producing a get-rich-quick result. While that might happen, most often it does not. On the key question of work/life balance Deshpande urged people to think of all the things you do in life as juggling a series of crystal balls, and one rubber ball. The rubber ball is work, if you drop it invariably it bounces back but drop your family for example and that ball will shatter.
I am now a member of TiE and hope to continue the market2world tradition of helping entrepreneurs to succeed. For example, for the last two years, one of market2world’s biggest PR efforts aimed at the Ottawa entrerpreneurial community is Global Entrepreneur Week. We suggested the idea to Invest Ottawa in 2011 and again in 2012, we helped make Ottawa number one among Canadian cities for the number of activities staged. In 2012, Ottawa was named one of the top three cities in the world in marking GEW.
Paul Brent is Senior Communications Strategist with market2world communications inc. the public relations and product marketing agency for global innovators.