Draper University Alumni Spotlight: Roman Stephan
Roman Stephan is a senior at Arizona State University studying Entrepreneurship and co-founder of Momentum, an extreme adventure company connecting you to professionals all around the world so you can break free from the every day routine and start experiencing life. Roman originally hails from Anchorage, Alaska.
Draper University: How did you hear about Draper University?
Roman: I first heard about Draper University through Eli Chmouni, a professor at ASU. I was in a class with Eli initially and he introduced us to a program in San Mateo that was specifically created to help young entrepreneurs. This piqued my interest and so I applied for the fall program in 2016.
Draper University: What was your most memorable experience at Draper University?
Roman: My most memorable experience at Draper University was the day we did tours of a couple companies in Silicon Valley. We visited Zynga as well as AirBnb which were both very exciting and insightful. Seeing the behind the scenes operations of such large companies in the heart of the tech capital of the world was a great experience.
Draper University: What was the most important thing you learned at Draper?
Roman: One of the most important things that I learned at Draper University was overcoming the nerves associated with pitching in front of large audiences. Public speaking is something that takes getting used to more than anything. After pitching over and over again it became easier to stand up and speak and overcome stage fright.
Draper University: How does having gone to Draper help you in your current occupation?
Roman: Going to Draper helped me learn how to deal with any sort of obstacle. Draper constantly throws challenges at you that you have to overcome in order to succeed in the activity. These challenges are completely unexpected just like in life. Learning how to cope with huge changes has helped a lot in my personal life as well as in my professional life.
Draper University: What are some things that you learned about yourself through Draper that you did not know before you joined the program?
Roman: What I learned about myself is that I naturally gravitate towards a leadership position. And that I am not afraid to take on that role if I need to. Being a leader is tough but I learned it is something that I excel at and enjoy doing no matter what the situation.
Draper University: Who are some people you still keep in touch with that you met at Draper?
Roman: Of course I still keep in touch with all of the ASU students that attended Draper but I also keep in touch with Kevin Hernandez. He helped mentor me a lot through the program, working with me on landing pages and my pitch deck. We played basketball together a few times and became great friends because of the program.
Draper University: What advice would you give to incoming students so that they can take full advantage of the program?
Roman: For incoming students, I would want them to take full advantage of all resources offered. Get mentorship any time you can and work to constantly upgrade and improve your startup idea. Do not be afraid to fail. Reach out to your market and sell yourself and your idea. If they do not want it they will not buy it and that is one of the first things you need to find out. Just hustle, put everything you have into what you are doing and find something you are passionate about.