Dillan Ostrom, a VCSU alumnus co-founded UTrain
By Sarah Tyre
Entitled. Narcissistic. Cynical. These are all words that have been used to describe millennials. Being a millennial simply means a person is between the ages of 20 and 35, but as with all generations, it can imply a certain persona. This blog highlights the worst of these stereotypes: http://www.literallydarling.com/blog/2014/09/09/worst-millennial-stereotypes/. A simple google search for “millennials” will produce equal parts spiteful and inspiring articles. Technology and social media have been accused of corrupting an entire generation of young professionals. When a study emerges that shines light on successful and inspiring members of this controversial generation, it is a breath of fresh air.
This article from Fortune Magazine (http://fortune.com/2016/02/20/millennial-entrepreneurs-study/) brings to light a study on millennial entrepreneurs. While technology may be to blame for excessive selfies and cat videos, it is also responsible for the millennial generation’s entrepreneurial success. More millennials are starting companies and having rapid success than previous generations. The reason for their success and negative stereotype is the same: technology.
For millennial VCSU alumnus Dillan Ostrom, technology is not a vice but a victory. Ostrom, along with his business partner Nick Corbett created UTrain (https://www.myutrain.com/), an app that connects personal trainers with clients all over the country. As personal trainers, Ostrom and Corbett founded UTrain after brainstorming ways to grown their consumer base. Their tech-savvy and grit paved the way to starting a company.
“Back in the day if you were to start a business you didn’t have all these resources. You couldn’t easily go to Squarespace and make a website. Customers couldn’t easily reach out to you,” Ostrom said. The study by BNP on millennial entrepreneurs (https://group.bnpparibas/en/news/bnp-paribas-global-entrepreneurs-report-2016) speculates that part of the reason there are more millennial entrepreneurs than prior generations may be that millennials are more comfortable with failure. Millennials are used to starting over. Resilience and tenacity are a perfect combination for entrepreneurs. Ostrom chooses to see failure as a chance to grow.
“If you fail, do not panic. Failure is expected. It teaches you what you did wrong so that you can do it right next time around. If you love what you do, you’ll find a way,” Ostrom said.
Having an idea is the first step to every business. Introducing a new idea and convincing the public of the importance is one of the most challenging aspects of starting a business, according to Ostrom. What’s the remedy for the non-believers? Ostrom says it’s persistence. “It’s just believing in yourself and believing in your idea. If you believe in your idea, that’s going to show.”
Millennials tuned in to the negative static surrounding their generation should listen closely to the opportunity the world they were born into is providing. Starting a business today is as easy as owning a laptop. All it takes is an idea and perseverance.
Co founders of UTrain Dillan Ostrom and Nick Corbett