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On Campus: Chris Hughes of Facebook and the Obama Campaign

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As part of NYU Stern’s Berkley Center for Entrepreneurial Studies Himelberg Speaker Series, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes recently spoke with a select group of entrepreneurs from Stern’s student, faculty and alumni communities.

Drawing from his Facebook experiences, Hughes discussed the pros and cons of starting a business with friends. “Most important, always surround yourself with talented people,” he emphasized.

Having worked on the online presidential campaign for Barack Obama, Hughes described how the team used social networking tools to encourage the dialogue, both good and bad, among voters.

In his new role as entrepreneur-in-residence at General Catalyst Partners, a venture capital fund, Hughes talked about what he looks for in new ventures:

  • A sizable market
  • A leadership team with experience
  • A laser-like focus on the product or offering

He stressed that even in today’s uncertain economic climate, it’s a great time to be an entrepreneur.

Following the talk, Hughes met one-on-one with nine pre-selected semi-finalist teams from Stern’s Annual Entrepreneurs Challenge to offer feedback on their venture ideas and explore investment opportunities.