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What It Takes to be a Tech Entrepreneur

Today, music streaming service Spotify has 170 million monthly active users, including 75 million paying subscribers. Its IPO in April 2018 was valued at $26.6 billion. The service employs more than 3,000 people worldwide. It's safe to count Spotify among the echelon of tech giants. 

When Daniel Ek founded the music streaming service Spotify in 2006, he already had a few enterprising years under his belt. At age 13, the Swedish CEO started making websites for clients from home, initially charging $100 per site, and eventually raising his cost to $5,000. By age 18, he was managing a team of 25. Not bad for someone who couldn’t legally order a beer in the U.S. 

Successful tech entrepreneurs do not necessarily need to be teenage ingenues, but they do tend to have certain inherent characteristics: a wide-eyed curiosity, unwavering commitment, resourcefulness, and a willingness to adapt to change.

But there are also the skills and knowledge gaps that can be filled by learning and experience. Tech entrepreneurship is ultimately a combination of business and technology, so it's critical to have a working knowledge of both if only expertise in one –– Ek himself happens to have a strong background in IT. 

ITU has a unique program designed specifically for such aspiring entrepreneurs. The Master of Engineering Management degree is geared toward engineers, technical specialists, and business professionals who seek to take on a leadership position in technology-oriented programs. It's a "technical MBA," of sorts. Throughout coursework, an emphasis is placed on team-building, collaboration, technology assessment, financial analysis, market research, and more. 

One thing is for sure: A career in technology management is never boring. On the question-and-answer site Quora, Ek says this: "As an entrepreneur, you go through various transitions...No days are the same, though, which makes it hugely exciting. There are always a ton of new things to learn from all the smart people in the company and the ecosystem around it."

Ready to take the next step toward a career in engineering management? Contact us at info@itu.edu to learn more about the opportunities that await you in ITU.