Overcoming obstacles is nothing new for Pawel Urbanski. In fact, it may be one of his defining features. An avid climber, Pawel completed the Seven Summits. He has worked for ING Bank, Abbott Laboratories, and the University of Cambridge.
He is also blind, and has been since he was a teenager.
“What is it like to lose your sight, climb the Seven Summits, run a business and keep reinventing yourself when it seems like there is nothing you can do?,” muses Pawel. “The experience of being a student, coach, consultant, researcher, adventurer and speaker gave me the opportunity to see the world and its problems from many angles.”
A serial entrepreneur, Pawel turned to the MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp when he was ready to embark on a new venture. His goal was to meet potential collaborators and to pressure-test the ventures he was exploring.
“I was familiar with the Bootcamp from the firsthand experience of the alumni I happened to know, and also from one of the mentors,” remembers Pawel. “Knowing what the Bootcamp is like in terms of the quality of its mentors and participants, I wanted to go there with a handful of ideas, which could become the foundation of a new startup, a new specialty of mine, and also to challenge myself and my understanding of innovation.”
The experience transformed Pawel in one important way. While he’s been a successful solo entrepreneur to date, he now sought the challenge of building a strong entrepreneurial team. The Bootcamp became the springboard. “The intensity and quality of lectures and the insights of fellow Bootcampers gave me the tools to rethink my approach. I learned to balance my own skills with the contribution of others.”
Finally, the Bootcamp made Pawel into a better coach. Because he had recently begun coaching startups in his home country, Pawel wanted to experience the unique Bootcamp mentorship methodology. “Being a coach myself, I wanted to work with the Bootcamp mentors and through their feedback build my coaching skills. For what really drives me is working with other people and seeing them become inspired to take concrete steps towards changing their lives, launching businesses, getting going.”