Featured on Jun 16, 2011
Trevor is an entrepreneur and thought leader on Lean Startup methodologies. He's the Founder & CEO of Lean Startup Machine, an innovation education company that has helped thousands of individuals at organizations including Google, Salesforce, News Corp, Intuit, and others, start hundreds of new businesses on five continents.
Owens is active in the community as a coach for the White House's Innovation Fellows program and as a featured guest speaker at Princeton & Columbia University.
- Title: CEO & Co-Founder Lean Startup Machine
- Location: Midtown
- Contact: @to
What experiences and inspirations led you to create Tech@NYU? What advice do you have for college students who are interested in the startup world?
Larry Lenihan, Cynthia Franklin, and Evan Korth inspired me to create Tech@NYU. Back then it felt like no one was doing startups. People didn't understand the web and they all wanted to go to Wall Street. Now it’s amazing how far NYU has come. In just a year and a half it’s changed into an entrepreneurial hot-bed.
If you're a student, make a name for yourself by building the entrepreneurial community at your school. Play the student card as often as possible. Start getting successful entrepreneurs to come to your campus. Find as many role models and mentors as you can. Always be working on at least one startup to get real world experience and work with different partners. Hit me up and let's organize a Lean Startup Machine at your school.
Both Tech@NYU and Lean Startup Machine are about bringing creative minds together and forming new communities. What is the most satisfying part of helping people in the startup world connect?
For me it’s most satisfying that we can have a significant impact on people’s lives. Many members of Tech@NYU are now running their own ventures or working at awesome startups because of the resources and connections we provide. Because of Lean Startup Machine people have quit jobs they hated, gone on to raise angel funding, and are becoming leaders in their startup communities.
It’s also satisfying working with awesome people. All of the advisors of Tech@NYU are amazing and super motivating. I could write a book on the things that I’ve learned from Brant Cooper, Patrick Vlaskovits, and Eric Ries.
Your tumblr is full of inspiring thoughts and quotes. What is the most inspiring thing someone has ever told you?
I don’t pay much attention to the things people say, I learn from what they do. Eric Ries thinks long-term in everything he does. Mark Suster’s humble no matter how many times he gets pitched. Hiten Shah meets a ton of people, yet he’ll remember that small important thing about you.
What is your opinion of the startup environment in NYC? How do you think it compares to other cities?
Even my friends in Silicon Valley say NYC’s the place to be right now. Every industry is getting disrupted and the startup community’s a level playing field. First-time entrepreneurs have access to all the top VC’s in the world. This just isn’t the case anywhere else.