Paul Lam
Investment analyst leaves the World Bank and turns entrepreneur

Investment analyst Paul Lam just celebrated his third anniversary in finance. While at the World Bank, Paul founded a green cryptocurrency venture and was selected as a finalist at the World Bank Youth Summit in 2015. Yet, he felt that je ne sais quoi, something was still missing.

Paul finally heeded his inner voice and applied to the MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp. While at the Bootcamp, he was challenged to accomplish the impossible at a breakneck pace: build a team, develop a business plan, and pitch the proposal to investors and seasoned entrepreneurs, all in six days.

“Those attending the Bootcamp really get a pressure test of their ideas and beliefs”. Paul adds, “As a result, I uncovered real insights into what it really takes to thrive as an entrepreneur”. He also learned how to replace risky trial-and-error methods with evidence-based approaches.  “In the end, our team developed a business plan that demonstrated an overwhelming market need”, he explains.

While at the Bootcamp, Paul had the opportunity to collaborate with entrepreneurs and business professionals from over 35 countries. “This was a rare opportunity to develop these relationships. They could very well grow into partnerships, investment opportunities and other forms of business cooperation that span the globe”, he remarked.

By the end of the Bootcamp, Paul learned that he was not only motivated to do the hard work of building a successful business but was also well-equipped with the knowledge and the skills to actually get it done.

Not even a month later, he left from the World Bank to join the UK Department for International Development’s Impact Accelerator. He now helps incubate and catalyze innovative solutions and challenging greenfield projects in Africa and South Asia. His nights and weekends, however, are filled with developing new entrepreneurial projects, including an initiative that provides digital corporate training solutions in Beijing, China.

When Paul shares that he left his comfortable job at the World Bank to take a shot at entrepreneurship, most give him a puzzled look and ask why. Bootcamp alumni, however, offer congratulatory words for taking the next big step in his professional life.

Paul understands that entrepreneurship requires an anti-fragile state of mind. “The amount of work it takes to create a thriving company can be overwhelming. It’s imperative that those who aspire to be entrepreneurs do not romanticize the idea of starting or running a business. Prioritizing learning and participating in experiences that help you work smarter as an entrepreneur is key to gaining the kind of competitive advantage you’ll need for success.”

How can the MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp shape your future?  Find out more about the program and apply today.