Horizons, Chapter 7

At the beginning of Week 7, Horizonites took part in their final formal lessons with our excellent teachers — Moose and Lane. Moose emotionally taught his final lesson on React Native, remarking at the end how much he had enjoyed teaching the class.

Students created their final project for the class of the program — Ho Ho Ho, a Yo! Clone.

Horizonite Cole Ellison’s HoHoHo app

After completing this project, students picked what teams and projects they’d like to start work on for the next week or so. Some students were asked to undertake real client projects, ranging from a health insurance app to a scholastic gaming app to a social media app. Some students chose to continue their hackathon projects and make them great, viable products to release.

Horizonite Louis and Horizons Founder Edward brought some of the class to a Bastille Day celebration on South Street.


Speakers this week

BOB MOUL—CLOUDAMIZE CEO

Bob is in many ways the mayor of the Philly tech scene and has had decades of experience as the CEO of several successful companies of all sizes. He’ll have a whole lot to share.

Bob Moul is a Philadelphia tech CEO with 35 years’ experience ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. Bob is currently CEO of Cloudamize, a leading cloud infrastructure analytics company. Previously he was CEO of Artisan Mobile, creators of the industry’s first mobile experience management platform (acquired by TUNE), CEO of Boomi, pioneers of middleware for cloud computing (acquired by Dell), and president of SCT’s $300mm global education solutions business (acquired by SunGard). He also enjoyed a 19-year career at EDS where he held senior management positions including director of operations in Hong Kong and China, and executive director of its federal government business in Australia. Bob is an active advocate for entrepreneurship in Philadelphia. He is aformer chair and president of Philly Startup Leaders and serves on the board of directors of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), the Philadelphia Alliance of Capital and Technology (PACT), Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Academies Inc., and USA250. He was named a 2011 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist for Philadelphia, the 2013 Small Business Person of the Year by the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and one of the most influential business people in Philadelphia by both Philadelphia Magazine and the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Bob came to Horizons to speak about his experiences in tech. From an early age, Bob knew that the conventional education process was not for him. He did not attend college and instead found a job at a top tech company of the time. His relentless willpower and determination to succeed brought him from a low, non-technical position in the company to a senior level position over the course of his 19 years there.

Since then, Bob has moved on to found numerous companies.

Advice for Recent Graduates

Bob advised everyone to continue with what we are passionate about and to be good people. When he is hiring people, he looks for more passion and whether this person will be good to work with on a team. It doesn’t matter how intelligent you might be, if you can’t work on a team, he does not want you around.

DANIELLE STRACHMAN—1517 FUND

Danielle invests in great young entrepreneurs as a General Partner at 1517 Fund and was previously at the helm of the Thiel Fellowship.
Danielle is a General Partner at 1517 Fund, which supports teams with pre-seed and seed funding for technology startups. Their focus is on makers, hackers, and scientists interested in working outside tracked institutions because they believe that the path geared towards higher education is not for all. 1517 motivates people to work on what they’re passionate about, to learn by doing, and to create new technologies.
In 2010, during the founding of the Thiel Fellowship, Danielle joined to lead the design and operations. She is the visionary behind the Thiel Summit series that has been attended by some 2000 young entrepreneurs. Previous to her work with Peter Thiel, Danielle founded and directed Innovations Academy in San Diego, a K-8 charter school serving 350 students, with a focus on student- led project based learning and other alternative programs.

Danielle had some simple advice for all the students in the room. After a short recount of her experiences with Peter Thiel and her personal successes, she explained that it’s’ important to love who you are first and foremost, otherwise you won’t ever be truly successful.

She stressed the importance of your doing your homework on people — are they supportive? hyper competitive?

“If you feel excited and scared to do something, make sure there’s a balance of how you feel and that you have a mission to guide you int he process.”

You should always ask yourself every day if what tasks you are completing today are serving your overall mission. Ask yourself why you are doing certain tasks. Finally, get out there, into the world, and really put yourself out there in front of people.

Book Recommendation

Read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg


Stay tuned for our update of chapters 8 and 9 for more information on the interesting projects horizons students are working on!