Babson Entrepreneur Experience Lab

Elements of the Entrepreneur Experience

Stories

Entrepreneurship Inside

Voice of the Entrepreneur

Over 400 video, audio and narrative stories from new venture entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs inside. Use the controls in the right sidebar to sort by entrepreneur type or entrepreneur experience element; or, add demographic filters to refine your results.

Mark

Although Mark believes formal education is important, there is a lot to learn being on the ground and actually living entrepreneurship.

Mark

Co-Founder and Vice-Chairman, Hayneedle

Although Mark believes formal education is important, there is a lot to learn being on the ground and actually living entrepreneurship.

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Bennett

Bennett decided to go to business school to prepare himself to start his business.

Bennett

President, BMaKK Group

Bennett decided to go to business school to prepare himself to start his business.

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Rich

Rich finds that development time and managing other tasks is difficult to balance.

Rich

Co-founder, BigStove

Rich finds that development time and managing other tasks is difficult to balance.

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Alex

Alex talks about the struggles of doing things without any prior experience or learning.

Alex

Student, Babson College

Alex talks about the struggles of having to do things without having any prior experience or learning in those areas.

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Jonah

Jonah talks about deprogramming himself to live within a co-op community.

Jonah

Founder & Worker-Owner, Cooperative

Jonah talks about deprogramming himself to live within a co-op community.

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Kevin

Kevin talks about communities learning from each other.

Kevin

Co-founder, Tech Ranch Austin

Kevin talks about communities learning from each other.

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Jessica

Jessica describes learning from her social network.

Jessica

VP of Strategy, Planning, & Special Projects, Non-profit

Jessica describes learning from her social network.

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Mike

Mike had a diversity of experiences and education that supports entrepreneurship, but college was mainly about critical thinking and writing skills.

Mike

Founder and Chairman, Front Seat

Mike had a diversity of experiences and education that supports entrepreneurship, but college was mainly about critical thinking and writing skills.

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Doug

It was easy to start another business for Doug after falling into the serial entrepreneur "trap."

Doug

Founder, Medletters

It was easy to start another business for Doug after falling into the serial entrepreneur "trap."

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Doug

Doug feels that you can't teach entrepreneurship, that you have to learn a lot of it by the seat of your pants.

Doug

Founder, Medletters

Doug feels that you can't teach entrepreneurship, that you have to learn a lot of it by the seat of your pants.

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Danielle

Danielle tells a story learning to discover opportunities throughout her life.

Danielle

University President, Nonprofit

Danielle tells a story learning to discover opportunities throughout her life.

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Mike

Prior to founding his company, Mike built up a diverse set of experiences in various industries.

Mike

Founder and Chairman, Front Seat

Prior to founding his company, Mike studied physics and history of science, built a small development company, worked at Microsoft. He built up a real diversity of experiences that helped him to be a successful entrepreneur.

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Laura

Laura talks about the "devil in the details," and seeking advice and experience.

Laura

Venture Executive, EDCO Ventures

Laura talks about the "devil in the details," and seeking advice and experience.

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Sabrina

As part of an incubator, Sabrina finds lots of learning on the job.

Sabrina

Grant Writer, 1221 Grant Services

As part of an incubator, Sabrina finds lots of learning on the job.

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Eileen

Eileen on the importance of prior experience and opportunities to “practice” entrepreneurship.

Eileen

Founder, President & CEO, Blurb

Eileen on the importance of prior experience and opportunities to “practice” entrepreneurship.

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Michelle

Michelle wishes she had a more concise set of learning tools to start her businesses.

Michelle

Founder, Fresh

Michelle wishes she had a more concise set of learning tools to start her businesses.

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Startup Chicks

It’s difficult to find help figuring out all the random issues that crop up in startups.

Startup Chicks

It’s difficult to find help figuring out all the random issues that crop up in startups.

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Hannah

Hannah recalls previous experience helping her current role.

Hannah

Food Systems Activator, Nonprofit

Hannah recalls previous experience helping her current role.

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Danielle

Danielle talks about early experiences contributing to her current skills.

Danielle

University President, Nonprofit

Danielle talks about early experiences contributing to her current skills.

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Meg

Meg was an expert in other fields, but struggled to understand the basics of business.

Meg

Founder, Maternova

Meg was an expert in international development and maternal health, but really struggled to understand the basics of business.

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Eileen

Eileen began by throwing herself into a process of learning everything about the core question driving her venture.

Eileen

Founder, President & CEO, Blurb

Eileen began by throwing herself into a process of learning everything about the core question driving her venture.

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Adam

Adam has had a life of intrapreneurial experience.

I have been an intrapreneur since very young- beginning with working to end dysfunction at home, and then school, and then my jobs.

Adam

Exec. Dir., Self-organizing

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Pam

Pam talks about having tasks and goals that are measurable.

Pam

Executive Director, Rural Community Development, Nonprofit

Pam talks about having tasks and goals that are measurable.

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Pam

Pam talks about attending events to feel connected to a larger group with similar goals for learning.

Pam

Executive Director, Rural Community Development, Nonprofit

Pam talks about attending events to feel connected to a larger group with similar goals for learning.

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Dave

Dave learns informally all the time.

Dave

Founder, TeachStreet

Dave learns informally all the time.

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Jessica

Jess explains her fear of being called out in her new role.

Jessica

Digital Storyteller, Nonprofit

Jess explains her fear of being called out in her new role.

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Doug

Doug believes finding someone to help guide him through a problem is important.

Doug

Founder, Medletters

Doug believes finding someone to help guide him through a problem is important.

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Kevin

Kevin, at a time, didn’t have a mentor that knew that business very well.

Kevin

President & CEO, Johnson Media

Kevin, at a time, didn’t have a mentor that knew that business very well.

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Hannah

Hannah describes her educational preference in correlation to being entrepreneurial.

Hannah

Food Systems Activator, Nonprofit

Hannah describes her educational preference in correlation to being entrepreneurial.

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Meg

Meg needed someone to actually work with her to do the business plan, but it was hard finding someone else with similar interests.

Meg

Founder, Maternova

Meg needed someone to actually work with her to do the business plan, but it was hard finding someone else with similar interests.

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Jessica

Jessica describes connecting what you learn with what you do.

Jessica

VP of Strategy, Planning, & Special Projects, Non-profit

Jessica describes connecting what you learn with what you do.

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Danielle

Danielle talks about characteristics of being a strong entrepreneur.

Danielle

University President, Nonprofit

Danielle talks about characteristics of being a strong entrepreneur.

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Matt

Matt decided to "flood" himself, and jump right into his venture.

Matt

Founder and CEO, Ecolect

Matt decided to "flood" himself, and jump right into his venture.

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Jessica

Jess talks about "finding her voice."

Jessica

Digital Storyteller, Nonprofit

Jess talks about "finding her voice."

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Michael

Michael on the decision to hire Mohan as the business development person.

Michael

President & CEO, Get Ya Learn On (GYLO)

Michael on the decision to hire Mohan as the business development person.

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Meg

Meg talks about applied learning.

Meg

Founder, Maternova

Meg talks about applied learning. As part of starting up, she wished she had proxies with direct experience in this area.

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Katie

Katie describes how being entrepreneurial is being resourceful.

Katie

Project Manager, Rural Community Development, Nonprofit

Katie describes how being entrepreneurial is being resourceful.

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Jessica

Jess talks about the setup to pitching her new role.

Jessica

Digital Storyteller, Nonprofit

Jess talks about the setup to pitching her new role.

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Rachel

Rachel talks about her habits she's had to overcome.

I've become better about handing off tasks to other staff members within the organization. At the beginning, I wanted to hold onto all of the pieces more tightly, but eventually that became impractical. I try to be strategic about what I hold onto and where I rely on others to support me and/or take over the reigns.

Rachel

Rabbi/Founder, Religious org.

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Dave

Dave talks about his formal education, and the impact his work community had in his professional growth.

Dave

Founder and CEO, TeachStreet

Dave talks about his formal education, and the impact his work community had in terms of his professional growth.

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Jacob and Susan

Jacob and Susan tapped into international co-working groups; and had lots of personal, face-to-face time.

Jacob and Susan

Founder, Office Nomads

Jacob and Susan tapped into international co-working groups; and had lots of personal, face-to-face time.

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Scott

Scott talks about various publications he reads to help position himself to current trends.

Scott

VP, Prevention & Wellness, Health Insurance Company

Scott talks about various publications he reads to help position himself to current trends.

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Scott

Scott describes past learning experiences that have helped him develop skills.

Scott

VP, Prevention & Wellness, Health Insurance Company

Scott describes past learning experiences that have helped him develop skills.

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Jessica

Jessica talks about not wanting to hand projects off, and always wants to be involved.

Jessica

VP of Strategy, Planning, & Special Projects, Non-profit

Jessica talks about not wanting to hand projects off, and always wants to be involved.

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Jonah

Jonah wishes he had more formal education before jumping into his co-op.

Jonah

Founder & Worker-Owner, Cooperative

Jonah wishes he had more formal education before jumping into his co-op.

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Jacob and Susan

Jacob and Susan talk about gaps in their knowledge of running a business.

Jacob and Susan

Founders, Office Nomads

Jacob and Susan talk about gaps in their knowledge of running a business, and that seeking help through their community is more valuable than formal education.

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Startup Chicks

Learning through mentors and from others’ experience is immensely valuable.

Startup Chicks

Learning through mentors and from others’ experience is immensely valuable.

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Jeff

Jeff describes having a business mind within the church.

Jeff

Reverend

Jeff describes having a business mind within the church.

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Janis

Janis on the role of mentors to make up gaps in experience.

Janis

Founder and Managing Partner, Paladin Partners

Janis on the role of mentors to make up gaps in experience.

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Pam

Pam talks about previous experiences being translated into useful learnings now.

Pam

Executive Director, Rural Community Development, Nonprofit

Pam talks about previous experiences being translated into useful learnings now.

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Bennett

Bennett talks about gaining experience in other fields before starting his business.

Bennett

President, BMaKK Group

Bennett talks about gaining experience in other fields, and going to business school before starting his business.

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Jessica

Jessica describes entrepreneurship as a mindset - knowing how rather than what.

Jessica

VP of Strategy, Planning, & Special Projects, Non-profit

Jessica describes entrepreneurship as a mindset - knowing how rather than what.

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Brian

In the beginning, Brian was not sure how to drive the venture forward.

Brian

Co-Founder, Gazehawk

In the beginning, Brian was not sure how to drive the venture forward.

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Scott

Scott discusses the desire to have employees that also have entrepreneurial traits.

Scott

VP, Prevention & Wellness, Health Insurance Company

Scott discusses the desire to have employees that also have entrepreneurial traits.

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Mike and Seth

Mike and Seth talk about all the mistakes they made regarding technology.

Mike and Seth

CEO and CFO, CustomMade

Mike and Seth talking about all the mistakes they made regarding technology; they had serious business chops but nearly crashed the company because they didn't know the tech side of their business.

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Rachel

Rachel talks about seeking companies that have similar experiences.

Rachel

Co-founder, CoThrive

Rachel asks, "What company is out there now that was where I am and is now quadruple in sales. You're four steps ahead of me, how did you get there?"

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Kevin

Kevin talks about mentors.

Kevin

President & CEO, Johnson Media

Kevin talks about mentors.

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Scott

Scott talks about having to read the competitive landscape while aligning with specific market.

Scott

VP, Prevention & Wellness, Health Insurance Company

Scott talks about having to read the competitive landscape while aligning with specific market.

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Kamal

Kamal was an expert baker, but when it came the running a business he learned everything on the job.

Kamal

Owner, Sublime Donuts

Kamal was an expert baker, but when it came the running a business he learned everything on the job.

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Eileen

Eileen reflecting on the value of informal and formal learning in her career.

Eileen

Founder, President & CEO, Blurb

Eileen reflecting on the value of informal and formal learning in her career.

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