“I’m probably the most unlikely person to be an entrepreneur. My family has a legacy of failures.”
UPDATE: An interview with Ranjit Nayak has been posted on McCombs TODAY.
The Austin Business Journal announced on Friday, October 23, 2009, that eVapt has reached an agreement to be acquired by an India-based billing software company, MagnaQuest Technologies. The deal is expected to close this quarter.
For those following Austin startups, eVapt is a familiar name, particularly for those of us close to the McCombs new venture program at The University of Texas at Austin. The company was founded in 2006 by two students in the Texas Evening MBA program at McCombs, Divakar Jandhyala and Ranjit Nayak, who won first place in the Carnegie Mellon McGinnis Venture Competition with their business idea.
My memory of Nayak is from a panel discussion a few months back at the 2009 Moot Corp competition, in which he participated along with several other graduates of that competition. (Video here, look for Nayak around 10:46.) He spoke of the difficult path to success, saying the company was “stretching dollars to pennies and beyond.” But the most memorable line of the whole panel was during his introduction when he said with humility, “I’m probably the most unlikely person to be an entrepreneur. My family has a legacy of failures.”
That line brought a laugh from the audience, and it struck me as quite insightful on the culture and reality of entrepreneurship. If you truly understand what failure means, and you are willing to push past that fear, it seems to me you are better prepared to launch a venture than most. Given the news of the company’s acquisition, I’m pleased to see Nayak and Jandhyala finding success rather than failure along the way. I know they give much credit to the entrepreneurship faculty at McCombs, and the university’s new venture support-structure, such as the Austin Technology Incubator.