Three Takeaways on Entrepreneurial Tips from David Ollila of 100k Ideas

Kathleen Achtenberg

Friday, March 15, 2019

Entrepreneurial ideas can change lives and cities, but many go unexplored. Fortunately for Flint, one nonprofit is on a mission to make these ideas possible.

100K Ideas is dedicated to providing local aspiring entrepreneurs the resources, funding and mentorship needed to commercialize their ideas. Supported by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation Entrepreneurship & Innovation initiative, 100K Ideas is a one-stop shop for innovation with its team of student specialists and professional mentors helping entrepreneurs bring their ideas to fruition.

David Ollila, co-founder of 100K Ideas, knows the entrepreneurial process requires determination and hard work, but he’s making the process easier for aspiring entrepreneurs. As a serial entrepreneur himself, he has been in a similar position as many of the entrepreneurs 100K Ideas assists and draws from his own experiences to provide support.

In the following video, David shares three takeaways to help startups build grit, create strong and supportive teams and get started. In addition to the three takeaways in the video, David provided the following tips for those hoping to take their idea from concept to commercialization:

  1. My advice for being an entrepreneur is to get started now. There’s proven data that suggests the earlier you start being an entrepreneur, the more successful you’re going to be. Everyone should exercise their entrepreneurship skills, no matter what level they’re at.
  2. What I wish I knew before starting out is that I wish I would have started earlier to get the experiences I have now, because I’d be able to execute on those much more powerfully today if I would have started earlier.
  3. I practiced my 100K Ideas business pitch each and every time a little bit differently depending on who the audience was. Every pitch deck that I put together, whether it was the state or to private investors, was tuned specifically for them.
  4. Everyone needs to recognize that there are going to be good times and bad times, and highs and lows. But if you keep even-keel, you keep applying that grit, the culture will support the activity, and that will lead to success.
  5. Each step in the entrepreneurial process has the risk of failure — that’s what makes an entrepreneur. The failures inform you on how to do something better or more efficiently or think differently about it as you move forward. There’s no such thing as failure in entrepreneurship; it’s just another opportunity to try again.

If you’ve got a high-tech start-up idea you’d like to explore further and don’t know where to start, contact the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation Initiative at 888-522-0103 or visit

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