“…it makes you not be afraid of resources and your community.”
Name: Jessie Singh
High School: Forest Hills Northern
Participated in TESA: 2014, 2015 & 2016
Neu: How did you become interested in TESA? Were you already interested in entrepreneurship?
Jessie Singh: My brother did TESA, and my mom pushed me to do it my sophomore year.
Neu: You guys placed this year…
JS: We got second.
Neu: Did you place in 2014 or 2015?
JS: In 2015 we also got second.
Neu: What has been your favorite part about TESA?
JS: I think the activities that they put you through are really fun because you have to interact with the people around you, but they are all there to have fun, too. You realize that that is important to entrepreneurship and creativity, but also is what makes it so cool. It is a ton of fun to work with these people and make your own ideas.
Neu: What has been the most valuable thing that you have learned at TESA, and can take into the workforce with you?
JS: It opens you up to doing more– which is kind of cliche, but the reason why that is true is that I am coming in here (University of Michigan), and I am not afraid to get involved in entrepreneurship because I have that background. That background really set me up to do more. I felt like I knew something when I came out of TESA, because you get a lot. Every activity that you do, you learn more. Through all of that I was able to find awesome people in GR Current and in the (entrepreneurial ecosystem), and was able to transition to the University of Michigan really well. I think it makes you not be afraid of resources and your community.
Neu: What is your major?
JS: I am a business major right now, and a lot of stuff is in the air. I want to learn more about the field that I am doing before deciding exactly what I am going to do.
Neu: Business is a good place to start. Are there any of your TESA ideas that, if you could, you would want to circle back around to and develop into an actual business?
JS: Probably the 2015 pitch. We pitched an art bus…that was really fun. I felt like that was the year that I really led the team. That was the year where we had a lot of loud people and a few really quiet people. We were all able to come around to the fact that we all really wanted to win. They all started listening to me because I was the only one that had already experienced TESA. Our project was an art bus, and that was my favorite because I felt like we came up with the most innovative solution and one that I would really want to see at a school, and one that would still solve a problem that is going on now.
Neu: What would you tell someone that is interested in doing TESA, but is kind of hesitant, and doesn’t really know what to expect?
JS: One thing I could say is that you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain. TESA can give you great exposure and push you towards things…economically it makes sense to do TESA. The other thing I would say is that, people forget about how important ideas are. That is exactly what TESA will do–going beyond ideation and actually making something out of an idea. It’s about as applicable as creativity can get. And that makes it really useful, if you think about it from that perspective.
Neu: Can you sum up TESA in one sentence?
JS: If you can think of any problem you might have thought of in the world, you can come to TESA and make a company that provides a solution to that.
Neu: Is there anything else that you want to say about TESA?
JS:I really enjoyed the environment and being around a lot of people who really wanted to do this, not only because there is a monetary reward, but because they are really energized to listen and participate and build a company with you, and that is super exciting.