47: Founder and CEO of Integrated Roadways-Tim Sylvester

Tim Sylvester earned a Bachelor in liberal arts with an emphasis in English and Communications and then pursued an Electrical and Computer Engineering degree from The University of Missouri-Kansas City and is the founder and CEO of Integrated Roadways which has a very unique solution for the information super highway – smart pavement by putting the antenna directly into the roadway!

Tim went to college because he was supposed to, but didn’t really know why he was there and decided to pursue English because he lacked the confidence that he could actually complete an engineering degree. Going to a rural high school he did not have any Calculus so thought STEM was beyond his capability, but realized later in life he could do it and now he is running a technology company. The English degree has helped him immensely in his engineering career.

Some strong advice from Tim is to read, and read a lot – we have lost that ability to self-study and also if you want to be an entrepreneur do NOT get a business degree!

An ah-ha moment was driving to and from work with roads under construction; there has to be a better way and also if the road paid for itself, it would a great solution by selling data about traffic.

Tim recommends that to get through college, you want to know why you are going and should have a clear purpose, if you don’t then maybe you should wait.

Best advice is don’t listen to most people’s advice, you should accept their advice and listen to what they have to say but don’t think you need to obey it. And a habit is to make sure you get enough sleep, you really need 8 hours of sleep, eat properly and exercise.

From a reading and book perspective, Tim recommends science fiction.

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