XI places great emphasis on having Entrepreneurs in Residences (EIR) to support the startups along their entrepreneurial journey. The EIR mentors those involved in an XI program, Accelerator and Amplify.
Read below to hear from Bryan Lee, the current Entrepreneur in Residence and co-founder of Oscium, to learn about his entrepreneurial journey.
WHAT IS YOUR JOURNEY AS AN ENTREPRENEUR?
My first job was a kid was mowing lawns for the neighbors, and ever since then, I knew I wanted to own my own business. I also knew that I didn’t want to mow lawns for work. So, I went to school and got some experience (working in a 100% commissioned sales job). Then, I started my entrepreneurial journey. I started out trading my own capital as a professional commodities trader. I remember explaining to my fiancée that I had lost $60,000 in about 10 seconds and that it was normal and that there was nothing to be concerned about. She didn’t necessarily agree…and we also got married. So, I purchased a management consulting business that specialized in cost reduction. I did that for a while and then went into business with my brother. We started a company called Oscium (pronounced aw-see-um) and we’ve been doing it together for a decade now.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT OSCIUM?
Oscium makes Wi-Fi awesome.
The way that we make Wi-Fi awesome: we visualize the invisible wireless landscape. What makes us unique is that we do it using a smartphone or a tablet. Our hardware accessory plugs into an iPhone or an Android device and then we transform that host into a professional-grade troubleshooting tool (using an app in the app store).
In addition to wireless tools, we also make a portable oscilloscope that troubleshoots electronics.
WHAT IS A LESSON YOU LEARNED FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE THAT YOU TELL NEW ENTREPRENEURS?
Two key ingredients come to mind:
Strategic partnerships are an awesome way to grow your business.
Life balance is important: don’t get swallowed by your business and lose track of the most important things in your life (like family).
WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE AS THE EXPONENTIAL IMPACT ENTREPRENEUR IN RESIDENCE (EIR)?
Being an entrepreneur has a ton of perks: you’re your own boss, you can set the direction of the company, there’s no cap in compensation, etc. But, it can also be lonely and tough. Exponential Impact offers a vibrant community of successful startups where insights are shared across the board and there’s a sense of team within the cohort. There’s also a rock star group of support staff that I love being around. It’s not easy to be accepted into XI, but for those that make the cut, they really do have a greater chance of success. And, they don’t have to walk the journey alone.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME AN XI EIR?
I love the idea of helping others avoid the mistakes that I’ve made…and I’ve made a lot of them. The fact that XI has a mentor program built-in is brilliant because it’s so important. In the past, I’ve paid for mentoring because I know how valuable it is for me. So, being the EiR at XI is my way of helping others as I’ve been helped.