11 questions with MS in Entrepreneurship student Andrew Clapp

We asked current Foster students to tell us why they chose Foster, what they like to do for fun, and to share advice with potential applicants. Meet Master of Science in Entrepreneurship student Andrew Clapp.

Master of Science in Entrepreneurship student Andrew Clapp

MS in Entrepreneurship student Andrew Clapp

1) Where are you from?

Born and raised in Seattle.

2) What did you do before entering this program?

I was an intrapreneur at Moda Health where I ran a subsidiary called Healthygrid, which provided software and consumer packaged goods in the dental field.

3) Did you have any entrepreneurship experience before entering this program?

Yes, I have worked for a number of start-ups over the years and was in the process of starting my current business, Rentcito, when I applied to the MS in Entre program.

4) Tell us why you are excited to be a part of the inaugural MS in Entrepreneurship class

I heard about this program as it was being developed and was really looking for a way to hone some of the hard skills associated with being an entrepreneur. When they launched the program, I was first to sign up.

As part of the inaugural class, we truly are beta testers for the new program. What is exciting about that is we get to work with the University of Washington and the local start-up community to figure out ways to improve upon an already fantastic program. I think there is a lot of excitement around the fact that the school, students, and the very active Seattle start-up community are working together to build what we all hope will be one of the top entrepreneurship programs in the world.

5) What are your thoughts on the entrepreneurship scene in Seattle?

Seattle has a thriving start-up community across multiple disciplines. From software to VR to biotech, there is a company or investor who is working on it in Seattle. We have a history of entrepreneurship in the city. Whether it’s Microsoft and Amazon in software, REI in retail, or Macklemore in the recording industry, this city fosters a community and culture that supports its entrepreneurs.

6) What connections are you hoping to make while in the program?

With only a quarter under my belt I have already made a number of lifelong connections, starting with our first cohort. Entrepreneurship can be a lonely career path. You are often doing something never done before and run up against roadblocks at every turn. Having a group of people who are going through the same experiences has been in invaluable experience. We have an instant network of other entrepreneurs in the trenches. We share in our successes and failures and lend our diverse backgrounds to help each other solve problems as we grow ourselves and our businesses. Outside of that, we have incredible access to faculty and resources at one of the most innovative universities in the country. As well as the constant interaction with the start-up community and all it has to offer. Through this program I feel I have made lasting connections at a speed that would not have been possible otherwise.

7) Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

The goal is to be my own boss and create companies that solve complex problems in the world. I want to provide services or tools that make people’s lives easier. Five years from now I hope to be working on a venture that allows me accomplish these goals.

8) What skills and/or knowledge are you looking to develop?

I hope to walk away from this program with the skills and tools needed to start and scale a business. Every business and situation is different, but I believe that with the proper foundation to pull from I can find a starting point and work towards a solution. It is impossible to learn everything about entrepreneurship or to be totally prepared for its challenges, but with the skills we have been learning I feel like I can name the problem and know where to start when trying to find the solution.

9) What do you like to do for fun?

I love to travel. My wife and I get out of the country as much as possible. We have traveled together to every continent in the world with the exception of Antarctica.

Andrew and his wife Laura riding camels in the middle of the Sahara desert in Morocco

Andrew and his wife Laura riding camels in the middle of the Sahara desert in Morocco

10) What’s been your favorite part of the program so far?

The people. From the cohort to the faculty, staff, mentors, and presenters, everyone has been fantastic and invested in our success.

11) What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking about applying to the MS in Entrepreneurship program?

I believe one of the core values of an entrepreneur is their ability to take action. Having the next big idea is easy, taking the risk to really commit and take that first step is incredibly hard. If you are not committed, you will not succeed. The journey to entrepreneurship will not be easy but if you choose to take that path I don’t think there is a more rewarding job in the world. Take that first step, I promise you will not regret it.

Learn more about the Master of Science in Entrepreneurship program

 
This post is part of a series where we ask current students to answer 11 questions about their experience at Foster. Stay tuned for more interviews in the coming weeks!