“Our failures teach us so much more about
entrepreneurship and life than our successes.“
Tristen Darmodihardjo learned early on that earning his own money was so much more empowering than receiving an allowance. Bitten by an entrepreneurial bug at a very young age, Tristen’s first self-employed gig was selling candy. Certainly not to be shown up by the likes of notable entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos or even Walt Disney, candy soon became ho-hum. As soon as Tristen could drive, he created a landscaping and junk-hauling business. And as the business grew, Tristen hired friends to help meet the demand. Not one to blow his hard-earned cash on frivolous purchases, Tristen saved his earnings and learned the art of investing.
Tristen had a VIP, front-row seat on the ins-and-outs of investing. He learned from his stock broker dad the importance of building a client base, developing investment strategies and adapting to market changes. Mostly focusing on stocks and cryptocurrencies, Tristen also invested in his older brother’s company. When the company was ultimately acquired, that investment proved to be quite fruitful.
Growing up in a private school setting, Tristen had an appreciation for smaller class settings that foster deeper connections with professors. As Tristen received affordable collegiate offers from notable public universities, Baylor wasn’t even on his radar. However, because of Baylor’s unabashedly Christian foundation, Tristen’s mom was persistent, to the point of insisting, on a trip to Waco to visit Baylor’s campus. Baylor’s close-knit community and overall inviting atmosphere not only put the University on Tristen’s radar, but ultimately positioned Baylor as the final destination.
Deciding on a major wasn’t a lengthy, drawn-out process for Tristen. His past experiences, passions, skills and interests led him to pursue a double major in entrepreneurship and finance. This strategically chosen double major combination proved to be the perfect funnel for Tristen’s involvement as a Senior Analyst in the Baylor Angel Network (BAN).
One of Tristen’s most impactful experiences while studying at Baylor has been in his Entrepreneurial Finance class taught by Professor Steven Diedrich, who also happens to be the BAN Director. In class, Diedrich often brought in experienced and successful business professionals to share their real-world expertise. Tristen relished in those moments, soaking up every bit of the knowledge and insight. Tristen feels that networking and seeking out mentors is the best way to navigate through the processes of pursuing both academic and professional goals.
While Tristen admittedly shares that entrepreneurship has the potential to be a risky field, he does feel that his experiences at Baylor will transcend quite well into the business world. Plus, he adds, “Our failures teach us so much more about entrepreneurship and life than our successes.”
Tristen will graduate in spring 2024 and his goal is to start off working in private equity or venture capital. Ultimately, he plans to start his own VC firm or business.
Keep investing in your dreams, Tristen. Sic ’em!
For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.