Curalate CEO Apu Gupta isn’t shy about his love of entrepreneurship. Building a business from the ground up takes guts, hard work, determination — and a major leap of faith. That’s why Apu is always willing to share his thoughts with budding entrepreneurs — especially in Curalate’s hometown of Philadelphia.

During Philly Tech Week in May, Gupta spoke alongside First Round Capital Partner Josh Kopelman at the Pennovation Center. His message? Passion is crucial to your success.

Here are a few highlights from Apu’s portion of the talk. (Check out a full recap in the Philadelphia Business Journal.)

“At any age, the default should be, you’re not going to start a company until you have that idea that has taken hold in your head, that you think about all the time, anytime you have a spare moment, that one idea you just can’t shake, that as hard as you try to shoot it down, as hard as you try to move on or come up with better opportunities to spend your time. If you can’t shake the idea, then you should consider starting it, but that should be the exception rather than the assumption.” –Apu’s advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.

“One thing I tell entrepreneurs, particularly in your early days, is you’re going to get a lot of advice, a lot of unsolicited advice from those around, and not just people with money. With any new business, there are thousands of reasons why your business shouldn’t make it. I think your job as an entrepreneur is largely to figure out the handful of reasons why it should, and then focus on them and focus on executing against that.” –On the best ways for entrepreneurs to handle advice and criticism.

“We’re five-plus years into this, and I go to work every single day looking forward to working with my co-founder [Nick Shiftan], to this day. This is something that takes a tremendous amount of effort. It’s only natural in a situation like this, you’re not always going to see eye-to-eye on things, but the fact we have yet to have any sort of major conflict at any time speaks volumes to our relationship … In hindsight, our relationship has worked so well because our personalities are fundamentally very complimentary. We do not have a lot of overlap in our personality types or skill sets, but we do have a lot of overlap in our respect for what each other does, and so there’s a tremendous amount of trust implicit in our relationship. We know that each other will have handled what the other needs to handle, and there is just enough understanding of what each other does to have built a lot of respect around that.” –On the importance of an effective management team.

In June, Philadelphia magazine, ran this Q&A with Apu, touching on topics like startups, innovation and how Philadelphia’s startup culture can continue to thrive. Here are two highlights:

“We need to encourage audacity. Some of the biggest bets are going to have the greatest impact, but many of these ideas may seem crazy to people at first. The ecosystem of companies and investors focusing on the earliest-stage ventures here in Philly would be well served to focus less on early traction and more on the potential of the team and the concept.” –When asked how Philadelphia can foster start-ups culture.

“Ask yourself, ‘do I have confidence in myself to do this? Do I have someone I trust to partner with? Am I ready for a marathon, not a sprint?’ ” –When asked to identify one piece of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Curalate helps more than 800 of the world’s leading brands sell online more effectively. How? By creating compelling commerce experiences that adapt to how consumers discover products. On average, our clients achieve:

  • 79% increases in time-on-site.
  • 16% jumps in average order value.
  • 31% increases in conversion rate.

What can Curalate do for your business? Contact us to find out.