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The Future of Entrepreneurship

How Enrique Levin, MBA '13 is Helping Local Startups Succeed

enrique-levin

November 29, 2017

“Entrepreneurship is hard. I’ve failed 30 times and succeeded seven times, and I’m proud of that,” says Enrique Levin, MBA ’13. Born in Mexico, Levin embraced entrepreneurship from a young age, starting his first web development company at age 13, his second at 15, the largest online performance automotive parts retailer in Mexico. He found unprecedented success with the latter and single-handedly ran the business from his teens through his undergraduate studies. 

In 2011, he began the MBA program at Brandeis International Business School (IBS) and knew immediately that, with its values and education, and focus on giving back, he could call it home.

Levin’s journey is an unusual one. To be honest, he admits, “When I was younger, I wanted to have money, I wanted to be cool, and then I realized – this is not what I want.” He would never feel comfortable with doing work that didn’t add value to the world around him. “I’ve always believed in giving before asking,” he says. At Brandeis IBS, he recognized that all the Brandeis graduate students in different programs could benefit from interacting with each other. So, he founded Graduate Doers Club. It became a forum to discuss paths and stories unrelated to education, a place where, once a month, like-minded students could “meet and join forces.”

In his last semester, he took Senior Lecturer Chuck Reed’s entrepreneurship class. Mr. Reed brought in industry leaders to speak to the class. One of these speakers was Stuart Lewtan, who was starting a new company to connect companies with highly-specialized experts called Zintro. “I fell in love with the concept of democratizing access to opportunity,” says Levin, “Imagine a world where managers and executives have just in time access to expertise to help them make better decisions” He joined the company as VP of Product and helped turn it into a successful platform with over 200,000 active users. With “helping others succeed” in mind, after graduating he also started mentoring at local startup incubators and accelerators. In mentoring, “I could fulfill my need to help others in a meaningful way,” he says.

After leading the Product, Engineering and Marketing teams at Zintro for five years, Levin decided to devote himself to supporting the Boston startup community. He decided to build a company that could help early stage startups succeed using agile and lean methodologies in order to build sustainable businesses that create true value. He started his own company, ELEVIN SOLUTIONS , working with startups in “the traditional mentor/apprentice approach” some of which he does pro bono. “Mentoring is my full-time job” he says, “mentoring pro-bono is the sales funnel of my financially viable business.” In building ELEVIN SOLUTIONS, Levin is able to expertly balance giving back with profitable results. “Focus on what you do best and ignore everything else,” he tells the startups he works with, “You will have your eyes and ears open to opportunities that otherwise you never would have found.”

Levin’s success, he says, is owed “entirely to Brandeis IBS. All the resources that I needed in order to reach success were within the school and," he smiles broadly as he finishes, “it’s where I met my wife.”