Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Mentors and Mixes with HPU Students

Feb 20th, 2017

Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Mentors and Mixes with HPU Students

HIGH POINT, N.C., Feb. 20, 2017 – Apple Co-founder and High Point University’s Innovator in Residence Steve Wozniak returned to campus today for a series of micro sessions with students, faculty and members of the community that focused on a variety of topics.

He began his visit with HPU pharmacy students. Teams of students took turns discussing ideas, including software and applications that streamline patient care. Pharmacy students also received advice from Wozniak on the journey from concept to implementation.

“One thing I would say when you’re going forward with a new idea, a startup idea, is you need different talents,” said Wozniak. “You want people who want to be in business, who want to be there for a reason. Just make sure your personalities are alike.

“It doesn’t matter if your values are the same, or if you have the same political leanings, if your personalities are different and you approach things in different ways. So you’ve got to find a good team. When starting something up, you have to ask yourself, ‘How happy are you with what you’re doing?’ and it almost always boils down to how much you like the people you’re with.”

Wozniak also met with exercise science students in a similar session. His main message: “Do not limit your thinking to one narrow field.”

“You might come up with some very good ideas. Don’t say that the answers are in a book. A lot of people take a test and come up with the same answer that’s correct. And that’s intelligent. But it’s the same answer that everyone else has,” said Wozniak. “My approach is to write your own book. Do something that has never been done before. Devote yourself to it.”

In the afternoon, Wozniak held a Growth Mindset Forum moderated by Dr. Jim Trammell, assistant professor of communication, and met with computer science students who he began mentoring last spring in their efforts to build an autonomous, self-driving vehicle.

Together, the team and Wozniak focused on technical items such as vision sensors, hydraulics and GPS. Wozniak also encouraged them to reach out to successful organizations for collaboration and to stay focused on their mission.

“Always keep your end goal in mind,” Wozniak said. “When Steve Jobs and I started Apple, we had a goal to make peoples’ lives easier. Ask yourself what is HPU about and what will help HPU be more of that? Your end goal is the most important thing; what will this mean to the people on your campus?”

“Once again, the Woz never ceases to inspire us,” said HPU student Kira Foglesong. “Today he brought insightful and creative ideas to the table to not only help us with the specific tasks we are currently working on but to also better manage the bigger picture and scope of our project. He encouraged us to always keep our end goal and purpose in mind and never fear being different. We should never be afraid to go out there and ask questions. We shouldn’t be afraid to talk to professionals, companies or other leaders in the industries relevant to our project, because we will never know who might be willing to help unless we dare to try.”

Click here to view more photos from the event.