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.

Emily

Emily writes about collective ownership.

The ideal idea space for me is where an individual can bring an idea to a group, the group takes ownership, and action is delegated collectively. This is the ideal. One of my main goals as an intrapreneur - and as someone who has said "it takes less than three people to start a cooperative, more than three will only start a conversation" - is to create spaces that empower people to take and facilitate action in a collective manner. Accountability and shared work are key. It is so hard to work collaboratively in hierarchical systems, it is so hard to work collaboratively in flat work structures that don't have the proper vehicles or language for working together. And, most importantly, it is so hard for people to work collaboratively having come of age and started working in social and business cultures driven by personal interest - instead of that of community.

Emily

Exec. Dir., Co-op support and education, Nonprofit

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Kamal

When there was very little outside capital available, Kamal self-financed his venture through savings and a micro-loan.

Kamal

Owner, Sublime Donuts

When there was very little outside capital available, Kamal self-financed his venture through savings and a micro-loan.

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Kristen

Kristen heard horror stories about getting investment, and views it as time spent away from building her company and customer base.

Kristen

Co-founder, Cubit

Kristen heard horror stories about getting investment, and views it as time spent away from building her company and customer base.

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Laura

Laura talks about how she got her Series A funding.

Laura

Founder, OneForty

Laura talks about how she got her Series A funding.

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Jessica

Jess talks about the investments the company had to make in her new role.

Jessica

Digital Storyteller, Nonprofit

Jess talks about the investments the company had to make in her new role.

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Steve

Steve talks about early opposition.

Steve

Innovation Network Director, Corporation

Steve talks about early opposition.

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Calvin

Calvin and Mary talk about getting investment to internal programs.

Calvin

Senior Program Manager of CTO, Innovation Network, Corporation

Calvin and Mary talk about getting investment to internal programs.

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Laura

Laura talks about investors disappearing after she wrote the first check.

Laura

Founder, OneForty

Laura talks about investors disappearing after she wrote the first check.

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Meg

Meg's venture doesn't fit neatly into a category.

Meg

Founder, Maternova

Meg's venture doesn't fit neatly into a category.

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Bennett

Bennett talks about his perception of investors, and why he chose to fund his venture through banks.

Bennett

President, BMaKK Group

Bennett talks about his perception of investors, and why he chose to fund his venture through banks.

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Jessica

Jessica describes her contributions to supporting change within an organization.

Jessica

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

Jessica describes her contributions to supporting change within an organization.

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Christine

Christine talks about others in her organization investing in her idea.

[I often seek out] support that requires someone to put a stake in the ground (make a pitch to senior execs, ask for funding, etc.) tend to be where I also need support but this kind of support is harder to come by. Not that people disagree with me or my idea, but that they don't want to be invested themselves. They can't or don't want to be in the line of fire. Those are the times where I need to re-assess and ask if my idea is off, or if I'm communicating it badly, or if the person I need support from isn't going to help for other reasons.

Christine

VP, Global Council Mgr., Corporation

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Patty

Patty on understanding what it costs for others to change.

I understand now better what it "costs" others to change...especially those who have a vested interest in maintaining business-as-usual modes of operating. In seeking to understand these nuances and motivations, I know better where (and if) the leverage points exists. Once I find those leverage points, I can then begin testing my ideas to see if I am going to be able to succeed as an intrapreneur. I no longer need the system to change for me.

Patty

Comm. & Dev. Director, Nonprofit

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Bennett

Bennett had a difficult time getting funding as an immigrant with no connections.

Bennett

President, BMaKK Group

Bennett had a difficult time getting funding as an immigrant with no connections.

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Scott

Scott discusses fighting for funds within an organization.

Scott

VP, Prevention & Wellness, Health Insurance Company

Scott discusses fighting for funds within an organization.

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Mary and Calvin

Mary and Calvin talk about an idea that took off within the organization.

Mary and Calvin

Sr. Proj. Managers, Innovation Network, Corporation

Mary and Calvin talk about an idea that took off within the organization, because of collaborative efforts.

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Rachel

Rachel thinks very little money flowing to first times and having a track record makes a big difference.

Rachel

Co-founder, CoThrive

Rachel thinks very little money flowing to first times and having a track record makes a big difference.

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Calvin

Calvin talks about investment and partnership.

Calvin

Senior Program Manager of CTO, Innovation Network, Corporation

Calvin talks about investing in an idea and partnering with the right expertise.

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Jamien

Jamien talks about having community buy-in to her company mission.

Jamien

Owner, Small Business Support, Corporation

Jamien talks about having community buy-in to her company mission.

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Jimmy

Finding funding for startups in the music industry is particularly tough.

Jimmy

Chief Architect, Rockdex

Finding funding for startups in the music industry is particularly tough.

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Diane

Diane talks about the democratization of funding.

Diane

President & CEO, Communispace

Diane talks about the democratization of funding.

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Scott

Scott talks about "building the dotted lines" within a large organization.

Scott

VP, Prevention & Wellness, Health Insurance Company

Scott talks about "building the dotted lines" within a large organization.

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Jessica

Jess talks about bringing an idea forward, and the work it causes for other people.

Jessica

Digital Storyteller, Nonprofit

Jess talks about bringing an idea forward, and the work it causes for other people.

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Jessica

Jess talks about letting people in to see her process to get internal support.

Jessica

Digital Storyteller, Nonprofit

Jess talks about letting people in to see her process to get internal support.

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Karen

Karen writes about her technique in presenting her ideas to others.

When I meet with [my boss], I know that if what I am asking for requires money, unless I come armed with an idea of how to get that money, he does not listen. He generally gets defensive. So when other faculty or staff ask for advice on how to approach him, this is one of the things I tell them. Always come armed with a solution to the issue you are addressing. I think lots of folks come to him and say "we need to do such and such" and we need this much money. Since times are tough, it just puts more of a burden on him as a fundraiser. I find that if I solve the problem for him, there is a much better chance of him listening. This works with most folks by the way, who are responsible for paying for your idea. If you can also save them money, your suggestion just might be a shoe-in.

So, the moral of the story so to speak is know what you are getting into. Do your research and find out what they are thinking or how they react to proposals before you set up a meeting if you can. Even if you have no access, going in without a demand is a better strategy. If you start with I think I can help solve a problem, they might listen.

Karen

Owner/Artist & Professor, Nonprofit

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Kevin

Kevin used multiple social networks to initially fund venture, but came up short.

Kevin

Co-founder, Global L.E.A.D.

Kevin used multiple social networks to initially fund venture, but came up short. On the last day of funding, someone donated the final amount of money they needed to launch.

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Startup Chicks

Accessing funding is a nonlinear path; there’s no conventional path.

Startup Chicks

Accessing funding is a nonlinear path; there’s no conventional path.

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Jimmy

Jimmy started his second business to support his first one.

Jimmy

Chief Architect, Rockdex

Jimmy started his second business to support his first one.

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Mike

Mike explored a variety of non-standard funding routes.

Mike

Founder and Chairman, Front Seat

Mike explored a variety of non-standard funding routes.

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Scott

Scott discusses having to align his personal expectations with the organization's vision.

Scott

VP, Prevention & Wellness, Health Insurance Company

Scott discusses having to align his personal expectations with the organization's vision.

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Jessica

Jess talks about the fear to ask for what you want.

Jessica

Digital Storyteller, Nonprofit

Jess talks about the fear to ask for what you want.

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Katie

Katie talks about a supportive environment for developing new ideas.

Katie

Project Manager, Rural Community Development, Nonprofit

Katie talks about a supportive environment for developing new ideas.

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Carla

Carla decided not to spend 100% of her time on funding because it was like "bashing her head against a wall."

Carla

CEO and Co-founder, Sharp Skirts

Carla decided not to spend %100 of her time on funding because it was like "bashing her head against a wall."

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Janice

Janice thinks there are a lot of misconceptions around money and funding.

Janice

Director, Jackson County Small Business Incubator

Janice thinks there are a lot of misconceptions around money; funding is not easy, and neither is entrepreneurship.

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Tom

Tom thinks for-profits and non-profits have a hard time mixing together.

Tom

Founder, Good Measure Meals

Tom thinks for-profits and non-profits have a hard time mixing together.

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Janis

Janis talks about the growing prominence of angel investors.

Janis

Founder and Managing Partner, Paladin Partners

Janis talks about the growing prominence of angel investors.

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Jessica

Jess discusses the barriers her boss had to overcome in approving her new role.

Jessica

Digital Storyteller, Nonprofit

Jess discusses the barriers her boss had to overcome in approving her new role.

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Jessica

Jessica talks about needing to entrust others to move an idea forward.

Jessica

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

Jessica talks about needing to entrust others to move an idea forward.

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Doug

To help pay for the venture, Doug had to take a part-time job.

Doug

Founder, Medletters

To help pay for the venture, Doug had to take a part-time job as a clinical doctor.

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