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Advice from Keyma Prince: Entrepreneurship Coach

Concept has a large network of experienced coaches who students can book sessions with to gain insights and invaluable feedback on their business ideas at any stage. 

Headshot of Keyma Prince. She is standing outside, smiling with her arms crossed and wearing a pink sleeveless shirt.

Keyma Prince is one of our newest coaches who not only is a UWaterloo Alum but was also involved with the Velocity Incubator during the early stages of her startup, Pression!

While completing her PhD in Mechanical Engineering at UWaterloo, Keyma was simultaneously working in the biomedical engineering space. She helped ideate a wearable technology (an active compression garment to be exact) to help military soldiers increase their endurance, but later realized that the garment had broader utility to help prevent blood clots… and thus Pression was born! 

While working on her startup she found many gaps in the product development process and connected with Velocity for support and advice – much of which she still uses today! Keyma’s positive experience with Velocity inspired her to give back to other student entrepreneurs at UWaterloo and become a Concept Coach. 

Keyma as a Concept Coach

To Keyma, the breadth of creativity that students demonstrate is the most rewarding part of being a Concept Coach. “The world is their oyster. There are no bounds to the ideas that they come up with… other than physics of course,” she says.  

Keyma’s approach to student coaching is to distill their thoughts into a core idea, customer, or need that they can address. “I think the ideation funnel can be quite wide in the beginning – which is great because you want to catch as many ideas as you can. Then you start learning to narrow down the needs and become precise on the core need that you are addressing. The funnel almost widens again after that because you start exploring many solutions and gathering advice from many people, who are now able to understand the core need / problem to be solved and can offer advice to help you develop your solution even further,” says Keyma.  

Wise words of wisdom

One of the largest difficulties she sees with startups is in defining the problem that needs to be solved. “If you don’t have your problem properly defined, then you are building for the wrong purpose. You need to ensure your solution is always pointing back to the problem you are trying to solve.” 

Having been a student entrepreneur herself, Keyma’s best advice to student entrepreneurs is to be open to criticism, as it will help shape and mold ideas faster.  “Often, we can get defensive when receiving criticism because our startup is our baby, and you don’t want anyone to call your baby ugly! But it’s important to be impatient about finding that failure point because it will further accelerate you to success. There’s so much to learn from industry partners, coaches, and mentors; you should be open to their feedback. Think of them as external partners that are just trying to help shape your idea so your startup can grow!” 

Keyma is an active coach in our network and is always excited to speak to new folks and teams! 

“This whole experience in a startup – whether you become that unicorn or not – teaches you to be be comfortable with ambiguity. Not only will it benefit your startup – but it will benefit you all through life in whatever job you decide to take in the future.”  

Keyma Prince

Do you have an innovative idea or entrepreneurial question of your own? Book a 1:1 Coaching session with Keyma or our other amazing coaches here and learn from their experiences as they help guide you on your entrepreneurial journey.