“Make bold moves early in your career,” advised DCP alumnus and e-Builder co-founder Jon Antevy during his keynote address at the DCP Entrepreneurship Club (DCPE) kick-off on November 2 in the DCP Gallery.
Antevy told the students to take risks now when they have less to lose. He also emphasized the importance of concentrating on the appropriate market.
“Focus, focus, focus,” Antevy said as he discussed how e-Builder was first trying to provide a service to all companies. “We couldn’t be everything to everyone,” Antevy said, encouraging students to define their market and focus their energy and resources.
Antevy, who earned his Bachelor of Design and Master of Science in Building Construction at DCP, converted his master’s thesis research of multimedia and Internet applications for the construction industry into the business plan that launched e-Builder. He and his brother Ron Antevy, a UF engineering alumnus, developed and grew the company over the last 20+ years.
The DCPE event, titled DCP Alumni Talk Business, also featured a panel of DCP alumni whose companies made the Gator100, an annual listing of the fastest growing Gator-led or Gator-owned businesses in the world.
Antevy joined panelists Brittany Culbreth of Emerald C’s Development, Frank Kendrick of NuJak Companies and Joe Walker of Walker Architects, who all shared their advice for the budding entrepreneurs.
“It all starts with being clear who you are,” Walker said. “Figure out what motivates you and what you bring to the table.”
“Learn from current experiences,” Culbreth said. She also recommended, “Take the network you have seriously.”
“You have to recognize when mentors come into your life,” Kendrick said as he emphasized the importance of learning from others. He also noted that the students shouldn’t lose sight of the things they value most.
Culbreth agreed. “Make intentional time. That’s why you’re an entrepreneur because you want to be in control of your time.”
DCPE President Nicole Arrieta said everyone learned so much from the panelists. “What made the conversations at the DCPE Kickoff Event so enlightening was the speakers’ ability to resonate with everyone in the audience, regardless of his or her background, in one aspect or another.
“Listening to the stories and lessons learned from these successful entrepreneurs in the design, construction and planning fields has allowed me to recognize the importance of understanding how people work best and being willing to be fearless in taking risks.”