Seven years ago Ankit Buti was introduced to entrepreneurship at Purdue. The computer science major (BS ’12) wanted to be an entrepreneur from a young age, but wasn’t sure how he could make his passion a reality. After gaining more knowledge about the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation through a presentation in one of his computer science courses, Buti enrolled in ENTR 20000, a decision he says changed his life.
“When I was a child I wanted to make an impact on society, generate employment and hold ownership of my mission,” Buti said. “I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur, but I wasn’t sure how to get there until I started taking entrepreneurship courses at Purdue.”
The certificate program was extremely impactful in helping Buti decide what type of business to start and when.
“Education is very important to me. I needed to understand as much as I could before I started my own business. To me there isn’t an idea that can’t wait one more year. Although I had opportunities to start a business while in college, I knew I needed to complete my educational goals first.”
After graduating from Purdue, Buti took a job at Qualcomm, a Fortune 500 company. The youngest senior engineer, he quickly moved up the corporate ladder because of his entrepreneurial skillset.
Buti then completed the Stanford University Summer Institute for General Management, a four-week residential program that provides participants with a strong foundation in business management fundamentals.
In his three years working in industry, Buti gained valuable connections and was able to save money for his future startup.
“I felt like it was the right time to start my own business. You never know if it will work out, no matter how prepared you are. It was scary leaving a high paying job and a comfortable life style, not knowing if I would succeed. However, I knew I had the knowledge and resources to chase my dream, the timing was right, so I did.”
In 2015, Buti founded StartupEd, a tech entrepreneurship school and startup incubator that offers tools and resources to help student entrepreneurs make progress towards their ventures while reducing the failure rate of startups.
“My passion is education and my background is computer science, so an online startup based on helping reduce failure was a natural fit for me. There are many people who are ‘wantrepreneurs’, people who want to be entrepreneurs but they are unsure of how to get there. StartupEd helps people in this area by providing educational tools that are applicable at every level of building a business. Through the Purdue Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program, I learned that failure is inevitable and one must overcome it. This was helpful for me when building the foundational pieces of StartupEd.”
Buti credits his education to many of his successes, he also has learned a lot of life lessons this past year.
- Human capital is just as important as financial capital. “If you have the right team, then you can get financial capital much easier.”
- Progress isn’t necessarily linear. “You have to make the decision to take the next step when the window is open, not too early or late. If you hit the target, you are making progress.”
- There is no shortage of ideas. “Prioritizing ideas and what to spend resources on can be a hard decision to make. It could payoff or cost you a lot in the end.”
- I learned a lot about myself. “Self-discipline both professionally and personally can be challenging. Some days I spend struggling to finish just one thing, other days I can complete every task that comes my way.”
Buti is currently meeting with investors and potential academic partners across the world, hoping to create more awareness of entrepreneurship education and grow StartupEd.