Sebastian and classmates make time for fun on their study abroad trip to Porto, Portugal, where they learned what it’s like to run a startup.

Get ready to be inspired by the vibrant world of entrepreneurship through the eyes of Sebastian Leone. Majoring in Industrial and Operations Engineering (IOE) and with a sprinkle of Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE) magic, Sebastian is carving his own unique path in the entrepreneurial realm.

You might think Sebastian’s entrepreneurial journey started at U-M, but this adventure kicked off long before he ever set foot on campus. 

As a kid, Sebastian dreamed of being an inventor – the kind of person who can dream up solutions to problems nobody’s even seen yet. Not just that – he also craved the kind of independence that entrepreneurship offers.

“I began to realize that I really wanted to be my own boss. I wanted to have a job where I know I could be financially independent so that I can help out my family,” said Sebastian.

One fateful day, at Sebastian’s freshman orientation at U-M, he crossed paths with the CFE for the first time. Imagine this: he’s touring the campus, and bam, he stumbles upon the CFE office. It was like destiny knocking on his door, telling him, “This is where you belong!” He was so intrigued by all the courses and programs the CFE had to offer, that he decided to dive right in.

But here’s where the story gets good. Sebastian’s ‘aha’ moment came during a study abroad program associated with the CFE. In Porto, Portugal, he was thrown into a simulation that changed his perspective of entrepreneurship forever. After his ENTR Abroad in Portugal, the following academic year Sebastian served as the IA for Organizational Management and Leadership of Startups (led by the one and only Ted Dacko) and as a PA for Entrepreneurship Hour (led by CFE’s own Eric Bacyinski).

“I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur and that I wanted to run a company, but I never realized what that would actually mean … It wasn’t until I went on this trip that I was able to play the role of CEO and truly understand what it would mean to run a company. I experienced leadership and failure like never before, and this now drives me to become a real CEO so I can try again.”

So, what’s next for our entrepreneurial whirlwind? Sebastian is all set to pursue a master’s degree in IOE right here at U-M. He’s arming himself with knowledge and skills to make waves in the entrepreneurial universe. We can’t wait to see where his creative genius takes him!

Now, for some words of wisdom from Sebastian: “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable and learn to bounce back after falling down.” Words to live by, especially for budding entrepreneurs. 

Sebastian Leone’s story is a testament to the unstoppable spirit of the Michigan Entrepreneur. With his imagination, resilience, and unwavering determination, he’s all set to make a big splash in the startup world. We’ll be here, cheering him on every step of the way!