NFTE Student Experience: TechCrunch Conference 2012

September 14, 2012  |  24 comments

By: Cale Morrow

            Some opportunities come once in a lifetime, and sometimes these never reoccurring experiences place fundamental ideas into our minds that cause the light bulb of life to “click” and an important issue to become clear. A moment such as this occurred to me while in San Francisco at the 2012 TechCrunch Conference. I had been chosen as one of the eight NFTE National Business Plan contestants to deliver a 60 second speech…on a huge stage…in a room full of scary businessmen…..which is being broadcast live for the world to see. Believe it or not all of these exceptionally incredible things are not what impacted me the most upon this trip. The biggest resonating essence of the trip was a single word. “Passion”. In San Francisco I heard the great Mark Zuckerberg sum up his entire multi billion dollar business with that single word.

NFTE graduates interviewed after pitching their business plans to the conference.

            I’m sure you’re wondering how on earth Mark Zuckerberg and a single word had such a profusely profound effect upon my life. Well the answer is simple. When asked how he felt about the fact that the Facebook stock had lost half of its dollar value, he responded by saying that  he was not happy with the performance of the stock, but at the end of the day he was just thankful for the chance to live out his dream of connecting the world. Mark Zuckerbeg  himself claimed that money and cash value are second to passion on the list of “Business Things to Know” . I am, and have always been, a believer in that if you truly love something with all you heart, then your passion will shine through and pretty soon “money” will no longer be a problem.. At the end of the day I learned that when you create a business you should ALWAYS pick something that you believe in. For it is the passion  within a young entrepreneurs heart that helps his business to thrive, not the amount of financial returns that he generates.

Cale, from Dodge City, KS, is currerntly competing in NFTE's Elevator Pitch Challenge. He will present his business plan at the National Youth Entrepeneurship Challenge on October 11th.

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