Thursday, November 7, 2013

Serial entrepreneur shares life story with student clubs

Startup specialist Christian Fisher visited the School of Business on Wednesday night to talk shop with members of the entrepreneurship and information systems student clubs.

Fisher has worked for startups, such as Twitter, as well as created some of his own. His current project, Briefcase, gained funding from SparkLabKC, which brought him from the West Coast to the Midwest about a year and a half ago. Briefcase is a job search app that delivers real-time push notifications to job seekers while keeping track of the application process. The application’s aim is to make it more convenient for people to stay on top of their job hunt from anywhere.

As he spoke to a packed classroom on Wednesday, Fisher said Briefcase was the culmination of a lifelong goal to help people get jobs through the use of technology.

Fisher grew up in a low-income neighborhood in East Oakland, Calif., where his mom worked three jobs, and at night, she attended school through an online program. The opportunity that provided his family set in motion Fisher’s lifelong objective to use technology to enrich peoples’ lives, he said.

After Fisher shared his personal story, he answered students’ questions about entrepreneurship and life in the startup industry.

“The benefits are crap. The pay is crap. But you get to work with people who share your vision,” he said.

Fisher said people find their way into the startup community and entrepreneurship in varying ways. Some may start their career working for a large company, and others may jump right into a startup on their own.

“Everyone’s path is different,” he said.

No matter how entrepreneurs get started or the challenges they may face, he added, it’s all about disrupting the idea of the status quo to improve how people live.

by Annie Montemayor