Derek Tu ’18
As a Babson student, Derek Tu exemplified what it means to leverage Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® to solve problems.
While president of e-Tower, he helped rebuild it into a thriving, collaborative living learning community for students interested in entrepreneurship. As a student partner with Rough Draft Ventures, he was part of a peers-funding-peers model that gave young entrepreneurs access to equity-free capital and resources, and gave students (like Derek) access to learning about the VC industry. And, as co-founder of Womentum, he helped design an online crowdfunding platform that allows anyone to donate to women entrepreneurs in developing countries.
Now that he has graduated, we spoke with Tu about what lies ahead, and how his entrepreneurial mindset will help him continue to add value to the world.
What Babson lesson will stick with you long after you’ve graduated?
Roger Babson famously said: “Keep in mind that neither success nor failure is ever final.”
That’s the one quote I take with me as I leave Babson. Having graduated Babson, I proudly wear both the successes and failures during my four years here on my sleeves. I’ve become confident I can tackle any challenge head on, because, even if I fail at first, it’ll better equip me for success in the future.
How will entrepreneurship play a role in your career plans after graduation?
I’ve learned at Babson that entrepreneurs really “come in all kinds.” From multinational conglomerates to family businesses to high education, there are so many playing fields on which being an entrepreneur can add immense value. Having played on so many fields already, I’m confident I’ll be able to add value at a growing company like Wayfair as well.
How has being a member of the Babson community impacted your career?
The Babson community made me the person I am today. My role models and mentors are Babson alumni crushing it as successful operators, managers, and founders. Their achievements have shown me that the sky’s the limit. My peers are the ones pushing me every single day to be a better version of myself, constantly reminding me to never settle for the status quo. There’s a long list of people at Babson whom I’m indebted to.
Why does the world need more leaders with an entrepreneurial mindset?
My definition of an entrepreneur is someone who challenges the status quo. We need individuals willing to challenge the status quo of our current social, political, and business establishments. Especially with the obstacles that our generation faces from climate change to overpopulation, we can’t settle for business as usual. Leaders with an entrepreneurial mindset will have to take the reins and create meaningful change.