Topix Co-Founder and CEO Chris Tolles spoke about entrepreneurship and what it takes to start a new company, as part of Wanderful Media’s speaker series. More than 100 invited guests along with Wanderful employees attended the event on March 27th at the company’s downtown Chico office.

Topix is the largest local forum site in the US. A Silicon Valley executive and entrepreneur, Chris has launched multiple startups, helped raised over $20M in venture capital and has been integral in the successful exit of two companies. He has substantial experience in the areas of internet search, online communities, social networking, new media, news and network security.

Chris told the group that starting a new company is hard, having luck is an important thing, think outside the box and lastly, now is an exciting time to build a new company.

During a Q&A session with the audience, Chris was asked what entrepreneurs can do to help their startup. The three main points he mentioned were 1) Network. Go to industry events, speaker series events like this one and meet people. 2) Embrace the person who is smarter than you, and 3) People are key. Don’t forget to send letters, keep in touch and look at what they have done before that can help you in the future.

Wanderful Media’s CEO, Ben T. Smith IV ended the evening by reinforcing the need to foster startup companies: “A city or community needs a university, pillar companies, and to have a culture that allows individuals to take and accept risks.”
Wanderful Media’s guest speaker series is a program initiated by Ben, in which fellow entrepreneurs and industry leaders share their personal and professional experiences of working in the technology industry.