By Micaela Wenger
In October, Laurie Silvers, who earned her B.A. and J.D. degrees at the University of Miami, shared her expertise about her career as a serial media entrepreneur from Boca Raton, Florida. As a UM student, she had big dreams and always knew she wanted to achieve great things. Every time she was told “you won’t,” she responded with a positive “I will.”
In 1989, Silvers and her husband created Syfy (originally called the Sci-Fi Channel) before selling it four years later to USA Network, which was owned by Paramount and Universal at the time. It is common practice for entrepreneurs to build a business and then sell it to another party within several years. But Silvers conceded that she did not want to sell the channel yet and sought more financing to sustain its development. Eventually, though, she negotiated “a really good deal” with USA Network.
Entrepreneurship begins with ideas, but Silvers insisted that the would-be entrepreneur should do their homework to arrive at a successful outcome. During the Q&A session, she added that aspiring entrepreneurs should be “judicious and careful” when sharing ideas with third parties, including investors. Taking appropriate notes at each meeting could be a way to track down the exchange of ideas.
Silvers also stressed the importance of financing, which started with family resources in the case of Syfy. Financing from angels and investment firms generally occurs in the next phases of the company development.
Third, Silvers recommended that the aspiring entrepreneur surround themselves with positive and smart associates.
Silvers’ collection of internet entertainment businesses has included: Hollywood.com, which provides online entertainment news and information; Broadway.com; and MovieTickets.com.
Currently, Silvers is a founder and owner in Misfits, an e-sports company that holds franchises in League of Legends, Overwatch and Call of Duty.
Silvers’ takeaway is that anyone with a big idea who truly believes in it should “go for it.”
Although failure is definitely going to be part of the roadmap to success, having a plan, staying focused, and not being afraid of risk is what it takes to make dreams a reality.