Launch Pad: First Week at Jellyfishart

Working with Alex and the team at jellyfish art has been a revelation. The unique nature of the company ensures that I have the opportunity to cultivate a varied skill set and break out of my comfort zone. I have done everything from packing boxes of jellyfish to learning about their complicated life cycles. It has been an incredible experience thus far.

Alex is a great boss. He has a tremendous eye for detail, and possesses the coveted ability to motivate his team. He is approachable and understanding, and is always open to radical new ideas. He gives his employees the freedom to execute their tasks in their own unique styles, and is always willing to lend a helping hand. Although he takes a keen interest in all aspects of his business, he refrains from micromanaging his employees. He has been a valuable resource, and it is a pleasure to work along side him.

Veronica, my fellow Duke intern at jellyfish art has also been great to work with. She is chirpy and fun, and is always willing to give me feedback on my (sometimes ludicrous) start up ideas. She has made working at jellyfish art infinitely more enjoyable than it would have been in her absence.

My current job profile includes performing various kinds of experiments on jellyfish to measure their responses to different kinds of external stimuli. I have also been assigned the task of contacting suppliers and negotiating new deals. Although these two tasks may seem incompatible at first glance, I thoroughly enjoy the challenge of executing them simultaneously. My goal at jellyfish art is to establish a production line for breeding jellyfish. This sounds deceptively simple, but I can assure you it isn’t. However, it is definitely not an ordeal. I love being given the freedom to try new things and hammer together a unique plan of action. All in all, my work is stimulating and educational, and allows me to tread the fine line between experimentation and execution.

I have also had the good fortune of accompanying Alex to an informal get together with some other entrepreneurs. I was privy to some absolutely fascinating conversations that covered a wide array of entrepreneurial topics. We discussed everything from technological singularity to freelancing for the FBI. These conversations helped me to better understand how entrepreneurs think, and I am certain that this understanding will hold me in good stead as I continue my entrepreneurial journey.

Listening to proven entrepreneurs speak about their companies at Dogpatch Labs was also very informative. We were exposed to a variety of entrepreneurial viewpoints, some of which were in direct conflict with each other. However, all the speakers encouraged us to chart out an individual course of action, taking our own circumstances into account. They spoke about the general character traits that successful entrepreneurs often possess, and it was interesting to note the overlap in many of their criteria.

The angel pitch event held in San Francisco was an exceptional networking event. I am sure that the connections I made there will prove to be immensely valuable somewhere along the road.

I am very grateful to the team from DEC for giving me the opportunity to experience Silicon Valley’s unique entrepreneurial culture. I hope that the remainder of the program will continue to exceed expectations in a similar fashion.

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