TechDay NY is the largest startup event in the United States. The event returned to NYC for its sixth installment on Tuesday, April 18, hosting 575 startups from across the nation and from diverse sectors and stages of growth.

IVY showed up in full force for Tech Day NY 2017, securing interviews with a range of founders, CEOs, and entrepreneurs who are leading the startup space. Here are five key takeaways for aspiring entrepreneurs hoping to break into the world of startups or take their brand to the next level.

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1.) Make sure your startup is solving a problem.

You’ve probably heard the numbers, and they’re not pretty: 90% of startups will fail. The single biggest reason for this lack of success stems from startups that create a product the market doesn’t want, and therefore doesn’t purchase.

So, if you’re about to set off on a journey to launch your very own business, take the time to consider whether or not you’re creating a product that people really need. Work to position your company to solve a common problem for which there is not yet a solution.

According to Crashlytics Co-founder and legendary tech entrepreneur, Wayne Chang, one way to think about this issue is to determine whether your idea is a “painkiller or vitamin.” Wayne explains how to build game-changing “painkiller” ventures that have investors searching you out and consumers begging for you to take their money.

2.) Are you willing to quit your day job?

The startup life demands a work-hard, play-hard mentality. Launching and running a company from the ground up is a full-time job, and one that will require a certain degree of unwavering dedication in order to succeed. Ask yourself: are you willing to quit your day job to fully commit yourself to the startup life?

One way to know when it’s time to make the leap is by being “aggressively patient.” This is the mindset James “J.C.” Curleigh, the President of Levi Strauss & Co, has adopted, and it seems to be working for him!

3.) Build a team that wins.

Finding, hiring, and collaborating with a rockstar team is as important as developing a killer product. If you’re able to surround yourself with people that elevate and inspire you on a daily basis, your brand is sure to reach unforeseen heights.

According to Todd Wagner, the billionaire investor and Co-founder of, amazing things happen when you combine workhorse tenacity and a clear vision with the right group of people that just win.

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4.) Find a wider audience.

Beyond your core consumers, it’s essential to find ways to broaden the spectrum of people interested in your product or idea.

What’s the best way to do this? We recently sat down with Toni Ko, the Founder of NYX Cosmetics, who discussed the power of influencer marketing to fuel viral growth in the early days of her now multi-million dollar cosmetics brand.

5.) Make sure you’re ready for the startup life.

Before you set out on this trail, check in with yourself to make sure you’re ready for the road ahead. You’re going to have to make sacrifices in order to transform your passion project into a reality — from the amount of energy you’ll have leftover to dedicate to your relationships, to the hours in the week you’ll be able to find for physical exercise.

There has been a growing body of research on the toll of entrepreneurship on one’s mental health. Sheryl O’Loughlin, the CEO of REBBL and Former CEO of Clif Bar, recently shared her insight with IVY on the ups and downs of entrepreneurship and how to solve the mental health crisis in entrepreneurship.

If you feel ready to commit yourself to the startup space, the payoffs can be far-reaching and diverse. We hope to see you at TechDay NY next year!

IVY is the world’s first Social University. Our mission is to educate and inspire future leaders. To learn more, check out our video and visit