The event was held in The Basement, a shared campus-wide enterprise operated by Alumni & Community Engagement with a mission to stimulate, encourage and serve the entrepreneurial spirit of UC San Diego undergraduate students by educating them in the startup business process whether it’s evaluating an opportunity, starting a company or joining an existing startup.
So, Sleiman shared some of his own struggles. Though he was regarded as the "networking assassin" by his graduating class, Sleiman strongly disliked public speaking as a kid - imagine a nervous student with heart pounding, palms sweating, terrified. He wanted to improve himself, so he worked hard at becoming more comfortable with public speaking. It wasn't easy - he went through many rejections and moments of embarrassment before he found confidence within himself. Slowly, public speaking became somewhat of an adrenaline rush, and he now encourages everyone to practice as much as possible.
|Pierre Sleiman and his father|
"You have to have a purpose, and your entry and exit should be executed with good timing and style," said Sleiman. "More importantly, you have to sell your personality and connect on a human level."
For example, Sleiman says he focuses on creating a relationship with his customer - whether that be a buyer, investor, or someone just trying to learn more about his company - rather than the selling the business.
"You're not investing in Go Green," said Sleiman. "You're not investing in this product. You're investing in me."
"Sometimes you find that you have nothing that is important, but that's perfectly okay," said Sleiman. "Many people are still looking for the formula."
Bottorff is heavily involved with The Basement, which he describes as a new space for entrepreneurs, a "student-to-student organization serving to help businesses grow and expand."
Rady School student Mike Hayden is also involved in the organization and describes The Basement as an "inclusive workspace for students to collaborate" that "provides resources for students who are active entrepreneurs."
Hayden describes Sleiman as a phenomenal leader who can energize just about any situation or any person. "It's no wonder that all he has to do is sell himself," said Hayden.