Babson Entrepreneur Experience Lab

Elements of the Entrepreneur Experience

Acknowledgements

We’d like to take a moment to recognize the “we” behind this body of work. Without the collective help of all those who took time out of their very busy work lives to speak with us, to invite us to spend time in their world, to point us toward critical resources and people, to spend long hours in the field or in front of a whiteboard, or to critique the emerging content, this report would not exist.

The report was written by Christine Costello, Design Director, Business Innovation Factory; Heidi Neck, Jeffry A. Timmons Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies, Babson College; and Robert Williams, Design Lead, Business Innovation Factory; with the invaluable feedback and contributions from the following: Len Schlesinger, President, Babson College, Shahid Ansari, Provost, and Saul Kaplan, Chief Catalyst, Business Innovation Factory, for their incredible vision and sustained support of the lab; the Babson College Advisory Board (Candida Brush, Chair, Entrepreneurship Division; Director, Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship and Paul T. Babson Professor of Entrepreneurship; Elaine Eisenman, Dean of Babson Executive Education; Sebastian Fixson, Assistant Professor of Technology and Operations Management; Erik Noyes, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship; and Jay Rao, Professor of Technology and Operations Management), for their wealth of knowledge and oversight; Lisa DiCarlo and Paayal Patel, for their contributions to the ethnographic fieldwork; Heather Jones and the team at Revelation Global for helping us make the most of a new research tool; the BIF team (Jeff Drury, Interactive Designer; James Hamar, Digital Media Specialist; Sam Kowalczyk, Digital Media Generalist; and Tejae Santos, Lab Associate), for their efforts in the design, storytelling and execution of the work.

Multiple resources were used to locate potential study participants including but not limited to Chambers of Commerce, Inc.’s 500/5000 list, news and online media, university and university research labs, academic teaching associations, economic development agencies, Small Business Administration, entrepreneur and professional associations, entrepreneur community organizations, BIF and Babson networks, and conferences. All participants were screened to ensure they met study criteria.

The Entrepreneurs

To those entrepreneurs and experts in the field who participated in the study, we cannot thank you enough for sharing your experiences and observations. With you as our guide, we take a step forward to understand and address the challenges you face.

BENNETT ACHIGBU · BMAKK GROUP // KARINA AGUIRRE · CHEERS ME UP // KRISTINA ALLEN · ZOINK TECH RENTALS // MARK ALLIO · MASSACHUSETTS SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER // JOY ANDERSON · CRITERION VENTURES // ARJUN DEV ARORA · RETARGETER // JOSHUA BAER · CAPITAL FACTORY // ROSS BAIRD · GRAY GHOST VENTURES // RICHARD BANFIELD AND CHRIS MERRILL· FRESH TILLED SOIL // STEVE BARCIK · FIREFLY LED LIGHTING // DAVID BAUMGARTEN · BAUMGARTENS // Q BECK · FAMIGO // JOE BENINATO · TELLO // JODIE LYNN BODUCH · MUCH ADO MARKETING // TONY BOND · PRIMERICA // JENNIFER BONNET · NEXPENSE // LAURA BOSWORTH-BUCHER · EDCO VENTURES // CONNIE BOURASSA SHAW · CENTER FOR INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON // NICK BOWDEN · MINDMIXER // RICHARD BRANDT · JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR // DOUGLAS H. BROWN · BROWN BAG MARKETING // TINA CANNON · PETSMD // KRISTIN CARNEY · CUBIT PLANNING // AMY CARRIER · FENWAY VENTURES, FENWAY HIGH SCHOOL // KEVIN L. CASTELLO · BAYLOR ANGEL INVESTORS // TOM CHAPMAN · GREATER OMAHA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE // BILL CHORBA · HAPPY COMPUTERS // WAYNE D. CLARK · DRIFTWOOD DISTILLERY // JIM CLIFTON · THERIX MEDICAL DEVELOPMENT // DAVID CUMMINGS · HANNON HILL AND SHOTPUT VENTURES // ANNE DEGROOT AND BILL MARTIN · EPIVAX // LUC DESLAURIERS · FRANNET // ANTHONY DILUGLIO · ART OF STRENGTH (AOS) //  KATE EMERY · WALKER SYSTEMS SUPPORT // JASON EVANISH · GREENHORN CONNECT // SUSAN EVANS AND JACOB SAYLES · OFFICE NOMADS //  ALEX FRIEDBERG · STUDENT, BABSON COLLEGE // LARA FELTIN · BIZNIK // JODY FENNEL · ABUNDANT CLOSET // LAURA FITTON · ONEFORTY // HOPE FLAMMER · VOICEQUILT //HERB FLUITT · HFLUITT & ASSOCIATES // JIM FOSTER · POINTKNOWN // MARNA FRIEDMAN · WRITEFULLY INVITING // CHARLES E. FUQUA, JR. · FOUR SEASONS LAWN CARE // SONIA GAILLARD · ENTREPRENEURSHIP CENTER AT ST. MICHAELS CATHOLIC ACADEMY (SMCA) // MICHELLE GIRASOLE · FRESH LLC // EILEEN GITTINS · BLURB // MICHAEL GOFF · COCOAFISH // BIJOY GOSWAMI · BOOTSTRAP AUSTIN // KAMAL GRANT · SUBLIME DONUTS // MATT GRIGSBY · ECOLECT AND ANCHOR // HOWARD GROSS · SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR // TENY ODED GROSS · THE INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY AND PRACTICE OF NON-VIOLENCE // JEREMY GUILLORY · 3 DAY STARTUP (3DS) // PENDERY HAINES · FLUFF YOUR STUFF // LINDSEY HARPER · SWAYABLE // PAULA HARRIS · PRINCESS HOUSE // JASON D. HARRY · LUCIDUX // MARK HASEBROOCK · HAYNEEDLE, DUNDEE VENTURE CAPITAL // SCOTT HENDERSON · CAUSESHIFT // SABRINA HENRIQUES · 1221 GRANT SERVICES // DIANE HESSAN · COMMUNISPACE // CHARLES M. HOLLAND · HILL LEAD TO READ // JONATHAN HOSSEINI · KENARI NEIGHBORHOOD FOOD SYSTEMS // DEB ICE · 3 WAY RACING // MATT AND KATE JENNINGS · FARMSTEAD, LA LAITERRIE // KEVIN D. JOHNSON · JOHNSON MEDIA // OWEN JOHNSON AND ALLAN TEAR · BETASPRING // NIKKENA L. JOSEPH · STUDENT, EMORY UNIVERSITY // DAWN KANNE · DAWN’S DESIGNS // DANIEL KEELAN · NEXT STEP CAPITAL PARTNERS // TAYLOR KEEN · STUDENT, CREIGHTON UNIVERSITY AT THE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS // ROBERT KENNEDY III · RKCS LEARNING SOLUTIONS // MICHAEL KEOTTING · HOOT.ME // JI KIM · DIJIPOP // KEVIN KOSLOSKY · EVOLUTION COMBAT METHODS // KEVIN KOYM · TECH RANCH AUSTIN // BRIAN KRAUSZ · GAZEHAWK // DR. RAJIV KUMAR · SHAPE UP THE NATION // RICHARD LENGSAVATH · BIG STOVE // CASSANDRA AND JASON LIN · T.G. I. F. (TURN GREASE INTO FUEL) // JANICE L. MABRY · JACKSON COUNTY BUSINESS INCUBATOR // JANIS MACAHALA · PALADIN PARTNERS // ERIC PATRICK MARR ·THE  LEXENOMICS GROUP // HALL T. MARTIN · AUSTIN ENTREPRENEUR NETWORK // MIKE MATHIEU · FRONT SEAT // FUMI MATSUMOTO · ALLURENT // DR. MICHAEL MAYRATH AND MOHAN NIHALANI · GET YA LEARN ON (GYLO) // CHERIE AND BILL MCBRIDE · KNOWLIN JEWELRY // DAN MCCOMBIE · RUNA TEA // RAYMOND MCGLAMERY · DARE MUSIC GROUP // MIKE MCQUARY · WHEEGO // SHEILA MEDINA · PLEXUS SLIM // TERRI MENDOZA · COUNSELING // THOMAS MIRANDA AND AL LOPEZ · ECONOMIC GROWTH BUSINESS INCUBATOR (EGBI) // PATRICK MITTEREDER · ELECTRIC OWL STUDIOS // MICHELLE MORGAN · THE HUB ATLANTA // DR. DOUGLAS MORIN · MEDLETTERS // JORDAN MOTZKIN · BIG BOX FARMS // MAXWELL MOZES · STUDENT, EMERSON COLLEGE // TOM MURPHY · CHEF AND SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR //HEATHER NELSON · ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROGRAM MANAGER, METRO COMMUNITY COLLEGE // CHRISSIE NOVAK · RISE GLOBAL // MATTHEW DOYLE OLSON · STUDENT, COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC // RACHEL ORSTON · COTHRIVE // LAUREN O’BRIEN · EMBRACED ATLANTA // KELLY RAMIREZ · SOCIAL VENTURE PARTNERS RHODE ISLAND (SVPRI) // LEO RAMIREZ, JR. · MINIDONATIONS // GAYLE REAUME · THE MONEY ACADEMY // KAI ROSTCHECK · INTERNET MARKETING GUY // MIKE SALGUERO AND SETH ROSEN · CUSTOM MADE // RAHMIN SARABI · (UN)CLASSES // DAVE SCHAPPELL · TEACH STREET // RON SCHNEIDERMAN · LIFTOPIA // KEVIN SCOTT AND ROBBIE REESE · GLOBAL LEAD // ALEXANDER SHEARER · O2 MEDIA // JEFF SLOTBOSKI AND DUSTY DAVIDSON · SILICON PRAIRIE NEWS // BILL STALLWORTH · HOPE CDA // VINCENT STUDER · STUDER ENTERPRISE // MYRNA SUAREZ · TWIN B PHOTOGRAPHY // RADHIKA SUBRAMANIAN · EMCIEN // BETH TAYLOR · LIONHEART ASSURANCE // KERRY TAYLOR · PUNCH GYM, AOS FRANCHISE // TEXAS VENTURE LABS // CARLA THOMPSON · SHARP SKIRTS // LAWTON URSEY · INDIE PEACE // JIT VAITHA · LEAPFROG ACADEMY // CAROLINE VAN SICKLE · PRETTY IN MY POCKET // JEFF VARASANO · VARASANO’S PIZZERIA // SARA VELA · HELP ATTACK! // CAMILA VOLKL · VOLKL DESIGN // PETE WALSH · PEAK PERFORMANCE COACHING // MICHAEL WALTRIP AND LAWRENCE LEE · PARC // JON WASHBURN · DAILY TICKET // LANCE WEATHERBY · ATLANTA TECH DEVELOPMENT CENTER (ATDC) // STEPHEN WHITT · THE INNOVATION CENTER // SYLVIA WILDFIRE · ONCALL MEDIC // TONUA WILLIAMS · SURGI SNUGGLY // JANEE WILSON-KEY · STUDENT, EMORY COLLEGE AND FRANCHISE OWNER // JIMMY WINTER · ROCKDEX // MEG WIRTH · MATERNOVA // ALEXANDER WONG · GETCONTACTINFO //

 

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Superman. www.flickr.com/photos/xurble/376591423/; Page 5: Baby. Photo by Andrew C. stock.xchng.

Baby. Photo by Andrew C. stock.xchng.

The HP Garage at 367-369 Addison Avenue in Palo Alto, California. ©Broken Sphere/Wikimedia Commons.

Wall Street. Sign at Broad and Wall in NY. Photo by Robert Linder. stock.xchng.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Developer Garage Paris. Photo by Ludovic Toinel.

Bill Gates, http://www.flickr.com/photos/oninnovation/4996229285/sizes/l/.

Steve Jobs, http://www.flickr.com/photos/acaben/541326656/sizes/m/.