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Above: Peter Sinkevich – Photograph by Sandro DeCarvalho

Peter Sinkevich was in his twenties when he made his first multimillion dollar exit from a startup—an online gaming technology he and his partners sold in 1999. Since then, the Greenwich resident, who calls himself a “serial entrepreneur,” has made similarly profitable exits from other startups. Along the way, he’s relished playing a mentoring role to ambitious sorts looking to do the same. “The question I got a lot was, ‘How did you do that?’” says Peter.

So Peter was game when approached by Google executives to establish the first Connecticut chapter of its entrepreneurial incubator, Startup Grind. He suggested Greenwich as the place to start. “There’s a cachet to Greenwich, but it was more than that,” says Peter. “It’s essentially a town made up of investors. I thought, Why not bring entrepreneurs to the investors and see what happens.”

The philosophy behind Startup Grind, which launched in the Silicon Valley in 2010, is that entrepreneurs thrive by developing like-minded professional friends (not contacts). “It’s about more than passing out business cards,” says Peter. “The point is to create a sharing economy. So when people enter the room, no one wants to sell you anything. It’s about real connections. How can they truly help each other?”

Speaking of connections, Peter’s already used his vast contacts to bring some true business visionaries to town for Startup Grind’s signature Fireside Chats. To date, guests have included GE’s first female vice chair Beth Comstock, former Virgin Atlantic Airway’s executive David Tait and Datto founder and CEO Austin McChord. startupgrindgrw.com

 

PETER’S TOP 5 TIPS FOR ENTREPRENEURS

1 DON’T BE AFRAID TO FAIL
“You have to be risk tolerant. And you don’t learn anything from being perfect. You learn from failures. That’s a very entrepreneurial trait.”

2 BE SOCIAL
“Businesses are built as much on the process of connecting with people as they are on selling. You have to be willing to put yourself out there. That can be really difficult when you are trying to run a business, but you have to be open to reaching out constantly.”

3 HAVE PASSION
“Having an excitement for what you do is the only thing that’s going to get you through the highs and lows of the business cycle, which are inevitable. You have to constantly convey that passion when you talk about your business.”

4 HIRE YOUR WEAKNESS
“It’s impossible for you to do everything correctly, so make sure you hire people who are better than you. There’s no fear of them taking over.”

5 YOUR PEOPLE ARE YOUR BEST RESOURCES
“If you have high-quality people working in an environment where they want to be, you’ll be amazed at what you can get done. Your role is to be the visionary.”

 

 

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