Guiding The Next Generation of Entrepreneurs: Insights from Managing Partner Scott Dorsey and Purdue's Dr. Mung Chiang

Managing Partner Scott Dorsey and Purdue President Dr. Mung Chiang give aspiring entrepreneurs must-have tips at the Rally conference.

Article by
Tatum Lynch
|Picture of entrepreneurs Scott Dorsey and Mung Chiang with the Rally logo.|||||||

Earlier this month, High Alpha Managing Partner Scott Dorsey took the stage alongside Purdue University President Dr. Mung Chiang–two serial entrepreneurs–at Rally, the largest global cross-sector innovation conference.

With High Alpha and Purdue’s new partnership and advancements in AI, Indianapolis is continuing to foster innovation and provide opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs. While they had much valuable information to share, I compiled Scott’s and Dr. Mung’s must-have tips for the next generation of founders.

Near Death Experiences Are Inevitable For Entrepreneurs

When we look at breakout companies like Meta and Apple, we often think that everything must have gone perfectly for them to be successful. When reflecting back on his time building ExactTarget, Scott told the audience that is rarely the case. In fact, Scott listed a few near death experiences his company had, so what should founders do to pivot in these situations? Scott and Dr. Mung had a couple tips.

Build A Resilient Team. According to Scott, the reason their company survived those near death experiences were because of the employees.

Every challenge we had along the way, we were able to beat it because of our incredible team and the culture we were fortunate to build over the course of time. We had a hardworking team of great problem solvers that really stuck together.
Scott Dorsey, Managing Partner at High Alpha

As you build your team, Scott said you must ask yourself, “Will my employees stick together, stay positive, and go the extra mile?” Being resilient will keep your company going, so it’s imperative you hire people into your organization that believe in your vision and embody your values.

Stay Focused and Execute. When looking back on his experiences, Dr. Mung said entrepreneurs must be able to remain focused. Having a near death experience can leave you confused and wondering what to do next, but you must get back on track. Scott agreed and said, “The most gifted leaders can take a lot of data and inputs and distill it down into a simple direction that everybody can rally behind.”

Scott Dorsey (left) and Dr. Mung Chiang (right) speaking at the Rally Innovation Conference

The Next Breakout Companies Will Dig Deeper into AI

With the internet bubble, efficiency increased. Paper files turned into computer drives, and employees could organize their work much faster. But now, AI is taking it a step further.

"​​This is a whole new dimension of technology and capabilities that is going to change our lives and also really change how we work,” Scott said.

The recent advancements in AI will do more than just make employees more efficient and productive; it will make companies more creative and strategic and bring their job performance to new heights. Scott and Dr. Mung said it is up to entrepreneurs to tackle the toughest problems, and AI has given them the tools to do this in a bigger way than ever before.

Your Confidence and Your Team Will Set Your Trajectory for Success

When asked for any last advice, Scott and Dr. Mung had two remaining pieces of wisdom.

Be Confident. If you have an idea for a company, believe in yourself and do it. Scott said, “The most talented and gifted entrepreneurs are so compelled to build a company, and they have a vision of the future that many others don't. Through sheer will and determination, they find a way to make it happen.”

Pick a Winning Team. For his parting advice, Dr. Mung reminded the audience that the “who” is better than the “what.” You can have a great idea, but it will only be as successful as the people executing it.

Final Thoughts

Before ending their discussion, Scott gave the audience one last piece of inspiration.

As entrepreneurs and investors, we must tackle the toughest problems facing our world. We must create a better future, while having a lot of fun doing it and making value for everybody along the way.
Scott Dorsey, Managing Partner at High Alpha

The next wave of innovation is upon us, and the world needs big ideas to continue making it a better place. Are you working on a new concept? We'd love to hear what you're working on.

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