Babson Entrepreneur Experience Lab

Elements of the Entrepreneur Experience

Stories

New Venture Entrepreneurs

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.

Eileen

Eileen discusses the importance of storytelling and building emotional connections with potential investors and customers.

Eileen

Founder, President & CEO, Blurb

Eileen discusses the importance of storytelling and building emotional connections with potential investors and customers.

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Rich

Rich wasn't fulfilled by his corporate job, and never had a connection or sense of control.

Rich

Co-founder, BigStove

Rich wasn't fulfilled by his corporate job, and never had a connection or sense of control.

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Kerry

Kerry started his business because he wanted to feel empowered to help people. At his other job, he had too little control.

Kerry

Franchise Owner, Punch Gym

Kerry started his business because he wanted to feel empowered to help people. At his other job, he had too little control.

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Brian

While working for another company, Brian saw an opportunity for developing eye-tracking software.

Brian

Co-Founder, Gazehawk

While working for another company, Brian saw an opportunity for developing eye-tracking software.

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Kevin

In his area, a lot of minority entrepreneurs are doing really well, and there is a supportive culture for minority entrepreneurs.

Kevin

President & CEO, Johnson Media

In his area, a lot of minority entrepreneurs are doing really well, and there is a supportive culture for minority entrepreneurs.

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Bijoy

Bijoy talks about places not copying each other.

Bijoy

Founder, Bootstrap Austin

Bijoy talks about places not copying each other.

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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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Diane

Diane talks about the democratization of funding.

Diane

President & CEO, Communispace

Diane talks about the democratization of funding.

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Rich

Rich finds that you have to be careful when taking advice.

Rich

Co-founder, BigStove

Rich finds that you have to be careful when taking advice.

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Janis

Janis compares entrepreneurial ecosystems from the west and east coasts.

Janis

Founder and Managing Partner, Paladin Partners

Janis compares entrepreneurial ecosystems from the west and east coasts.

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Jimmy

Jimmy found it was too hard to run his companies on his own.

Jimmy

Chief Architect, Rockdex

Jimmy found it was too hard to run his companies on his own.

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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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Rich

Rich and his team actively experimented with different business models.

Rich

Co-founder, BigStove

Rich and his team actively experimented with different business models early on.

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Rich

Unlike other entrepreneurs, Rich finds that he is risk-averse.

Rich

Co-founder, BigStove

Unlike other entrepreneurs, Rich finds that he is risk-averse.

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Chris

Chris talks about the incubation model his business is part of.

Chris

Co-Founder, Super Web-O-Matic

Chris talks about the incubation model his business is part of.

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RISE Week Expo, Austin

Has an idea like groupon, but will incorporate his own relevant skills.

RISE Week Expo, Austin

Has an idea like groupon, but will incorporate his own relevant skills.

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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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Laura

Laura talks about getting hung up on setbacks.

Laura

Laura talks about getting hung up on setbacks.

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Bennett

As an immigrant, Bennett does not have access to many of the social networks and relationships he might otherwise have.

Bennett

President, BMaKK Group

As an immigrant, Bennett does not have access to many of the social networks and relationships he might otherwise have.

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Kamal

Kamal doesn’t feel like he has very many resources within his communities.

Kamal

Owner, Sublime Donuts

Kamal doesn’t feel like he has very many resources within his communities.

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Diane

Diane believes entrepreneurship is the opportunity to build the company you want to work for.

Diane

President & CEO, Communispace

Diane believes entrepreneurship is the opportunity to build the company you want to work for.

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Chris

Chris talks about working alone is like "being on an island."

Chris

Co-founder, Super Web-O-Matic

Chris talks about working alone is like "being on an island."

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Kamal

Without many support services, Kamal feels like he’s “on an island."

Kamal

Owner, Sublime Donuts

Without many support services, Kamal feels like he’s “on an island."

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Eileen

Eileen discusses the differences between being an early team member and an actual founder.

Eileen

Founder, President & CEO, Blurb

Eileen discusses the differences between being an early team member and an actual founder.

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Matt

Matt talks about his internship experiences in college that led him to want to start his own business.

Matt

Founder and CEO, Ecolect

Matt talks about his internship experiences in college that led him to want to start his own business.

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Alex

Alex found that having social "capital" is vital to his business.

Alex

Student, Babson College

Alex found that having social "capital" is vital to his business.

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Jimmy

Jimmy never wanted to work for anyone else, and was influenced by his family to take an entrepreneurial path.

Jimmy

Chief Architect, Rockdex

Jimmy never wanted to work for anyone else, and was influenced by his family to take an entrepreneurial path.

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Doug

While trying to get his first company moving, Doug started another completely unrelated venture.

Doug

Founder, Medletters

While trying to get his first company moving, Doug started another completely unrelated venture.

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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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Matt

Matt made a strategic choice to partner with many different companies.

Matt

Founder and CEO, Ecolect

Matt made a strategic choice to partner with many different companies.

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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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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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Kevin

Kevin talks about the mistake of going non-profit at the start.

Kevin

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

Kevin talks about the mistake of going non-profit at the start.

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Anne

Anne talks about conflicts between academic research and commercial research groups.

Anne

Founder and CEO, Epivax

Anne talks about conflicts between academic research and commercial research groups.

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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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Kevin

Kevin pursued entrepreneurship to create "generational wealth."

Kevin

President & CEO, Johnson Media

Kevin pursued entrepreneurship to create "generational wealth."

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Bennett

Bennett talks about the difficulty of being an immigrant starting a business.

Bennett

President, BMaKK Group

Bennett talks about the difficulty of being an immigrant starting a business.

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Meg

Meg talks about bootstrapping early on, and the network she utilized at that time. hug virtual network of people working with her.

Meg

Founder, Maternova

Meg talks about bootstrapping early on, and hugging the virtual network of people working with her.

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Doug

After spending months trying to find funding, Doug had to switch gears.

Doug

Founder, Medletters

After spending months trying to find funding, Doug had to switch gears.

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Kamal

Building and retaining a solid team is one of the toughest parts of running a small business.

Kamal

Owner, Sublime Donuts

Building and retaining a solid team is one of the toughest parts of running a small business.

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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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Dave

Dave talks about using stories to see if people are interested in his venture.

Dave

Founder and CEO, TeachStreet

Dave talks about using stories to see if people are interested in his venture.

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Rajiv

Rajiv talks about not having a real plan and letting the idea pull you along.

Rajiv

Rajiv talks about not having a real plan and letting the idea pull you along.

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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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Startup Chicks

Extending the notion of teams beyond immediate co-founders and employees.

Startup Chicks

Extending the notion of teams beyond immediate co-founders and employees.

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Kevin

Kevin's team first came together around a shared longing to create social good.

Kevin

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

Kevin's team first came together around a shared longing to create social good; the particular idea came later.

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Kamal

Telling the story of being a young entrepreneur has been good for Kamal's business.

Kamal

Owner, Sublime Donuts

Telling the story of being a young entrepreneur has been good for Kamal's business.

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Hall

Hall talks about entrepreneurial tribes.

Hall

Director, Austin Entrepreneur Network

Hall talks about entrepreneurial tribes.

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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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Meg

Meg talks about the importance of community.

Meg

Founder, Maternova

Meg talks about the importance of community; mainly the importance of her investment community.

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Kevin

It took Kevin a while to learn that he didn't have to be an expert in everything.

Kevin

President & CEO, Johnson Media

It took Kevin a while to learn that he didn't have to be an expert in everything.

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Hall

Hall talks about drawing bigger circles around life sciences.

Hall

Founder, Austin Entrepreneur Network

Hall talks about drawing bigger circles around life sciences; state level rather than city level.

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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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Laura

Laura talks about cities not competing with each other.

Laura

Founder, OneForty

From Laura's perspective, Laura's shouldn't compete with each other. Instead they should be competing to have more startups overall.

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Mark

In his role as an investor, Mark places his bets on people, more than an idea.

Mark

Co-Founder and Vice-Chairman, Hayneedle

In his role as an investor, Mark places his bets on people, more than an idea.

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Lance

Lance thinks many first-time entrepreneurs have a naive approach to funding, so he helps them create a story that will help them get the resources they need.

Lance

Startup Catalyst, Atlanta Tech Development Center (ATDC)

Lance thinks many first-time entrepreneurs have a naive approach to funding, so he helps them create a story that will help them get the resources they need.

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Rajiv

Rajiv had a willingness to confront setbacks, and make decisions even if it was wrong.

Rajiv

Managing Partner, Shape Up the Nation

Rajiv had a willingness to confront setbacks, and make decisions even if it was wrong.

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Jimmy

Jimmy talks about a single person as a key connector and builder of the local entrepreneurial ecosystem; it only takes 1 person.

Jimmy

Chief Architect, Rockdex

Jimmy talks about a single person as a key connector and builder of the local entrepreneurial ecosystem; it only takes 1 person.

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Kevin

Kevin talks about mentors.

Kevin

President & CEO, Johnson Media

Kevin talks about mentors.

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Kerry

Kerry has a hard time explaining what he does to people.

Kerry

Franchise Owner, Punch Gym

Kerry has a hard time explaining what he does to people.

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Kerry

Kerry chose to franchise because it offered a little more of a support structure than starting something completely independent.

Kerry

Franchise Owner, Punch Gym

Kerry chose to franchise because it offered a little more of a support structure than starting something completely independent.

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Brian

Brian talks about the importance of micro-networks from accelerator programs.

Brian

Co-Founder, Gazehawk

Brian talks about the importance of micro-networks from accelerator programs.

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Sabrina

Sabrina talks about a business partner she did not get along with.

Sabrina

Grant Writer, 1221 Grant Services

Sabrina talks about a business partner she did not get along with.

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Bijoy

Bijoy talks about places finding their "core ethos."

Bijoy

Founder, Bootstrap Austin

Bijoy talks about places finding their "core ethos."

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Kamal

For Kamal, not trying is worse than trying and failing.

Kamal

Owner, Sublime Donuts

For Kamal, not trying is worse than trying and failing.

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Rajiv

Rajiv discusses how difficult it is to hire.

Rajiv

Managing Partner, Shape Up the Nation

Rajiv discusses how difficult it is to hire and how you can become jaded after a few bad hires.

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Dave

Dave saw problems in learning and used it as an opportunity to start his business.

Dave

Founder and CEO, TeachStreet

Dave saw problems in learning and used it as an opportunity to start his business.

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Bijoy

According to Bijoy, entrepreneurs create new business models; that is their role and ultimate goal.

Bijoy

Founder, Bootstrap Austin

According to Bijoy, entrepreneurs create new business models; that is their role and ultimate goal.

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Meg

Coming from the world of nonprofits and public health, entrepreneurship was off Meg's radar for a long time.

Meg

Founder, Maternova

Coming from the world of nonprofits and public health, entrepreneurship was off Meg's radar for a long time; she only recently came to entrepreneurship as a means to accomplish multiple goals.

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Mike

Mike believes a major challenge is to know when your founders and early employees are maxed out

Mike

Founder and Chairman, Front Seat

Mike believes a major challenge is to know when your founders and early employees are maxed out

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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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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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Lara

Lara talks about founding the company to solve their own career needs.

Lara

Co-Founder and CEO, Biznik

Lara talks about founding the company to solve their own career needs.

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Laura

Laura explains the lack of resources and capital available to underrepresented groups in areas of low socioeconomic status.

Laura

Venture Executive, EDCO Ventures

Laura explains the lack of resources and capital available to underrepresented groups in areas of low socioeconomic status.

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Startup Chicks

The differences between SBA type businesses and scalable startups.

Startup Chicks

The differences between SBA type businesses and scalable startups.

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Bijoy

Bijoy talks about bootstrapping enabling the ability to "go at your own pace."

Bijoy

Founder, Bootstrap Austin

Bijoy talks about bootstrapping enabling the ability to "go at your own pace."

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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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Doug

Doug feels that you shouldn't failures as failures, but as experiences to learn from.

Doug

Founder, Medletters

Doug feels that you shouldn't failures as failures, but as experiences to learn from.

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Brian

Brian and his business partner make a good team because they always communicate and always have a similar thought process.

Brian

Co-Founder, Gazehawk

Brian and his business partner make a good team because they always communicate and always have a similar thought process.

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Mike and Seth

Mike and Seth began by just hiring their friends.

Mike and Seth

CEO and CFO, CustomMade

Mike and Seth began by just hiring their friends but then faced the painful realization that they weren't the right fit and then had to subsequently fire them.

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Dave

Dave talks about how social capital sidesteps the limitations of place.

Dave

Founder and CEO, TeachStreet

Dave talks about how social capital sidesteps the limitations of place, and how Seattle is a robust area to meet people who want to "start something".

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Mike

Mike believes a business has to adapt and change relative with the market.

Mike

Mike believes a business has to adapt and change relative with the market.

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Kevin

Kevin believes the culture is really supportive of entrepreneurship.

Kevin

President & CEO, Johnson Media

Kevin believes the culture is really supportive of entrepreneurship.

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Meg

Meg describes herself and her venture differently depending on who she's talking to.

Meg

Founder, Maternova

Meg describes herself and her venture differently depending on who she's talking to.

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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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Laura

Laura compares starting a company to the beginning of a foot race.

Laura

Founder, OneForty

Laura compares starting a company to the beginning of a foot race.

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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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Matt

Matt's experiences have always followed a complex path.

Matt

Founder and CEO, Ecolect

Matt's experiences have always followed a complex path.

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Kevin

Kevin reflects on how his organization's not-for-profit status wasn't serving them well.

Kevin

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

Kevin reflects on how his organization's not-for-profit status wasn't serving them well.

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Laura

Laura talks about her strategy of de-risking.

Laura

Founder, OneForty

Laura talks about her strategy of de-risking.

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Kevin

Kevin discusses the conflict of for and not-for-profit status.

Kevin

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

Kevin discusses the conflict of for and not-for-profit status.

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Rajiv

Rajiv talks about pivots that happened as a result of testing things with clients.

Rajiv

Managing Partner, Shape Up the Nation

Rajiv talks about setbacks and pivots that happened as a result of testing things with clients.

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Laura

Laura describes the entrepreneurship culture in San Francisco.

Laura

Founder, OneForty

Laura describes the entrepreneurship culture in San Francisco, literally bumping into founders on the street and getting advice.

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Diane

Diane has a proven track record, so she feels even if she had a lousy idea, she could get investor support.

Diane

President & CEO, Communispace

Diane has a proven track record, so she feels even if she had a lousy idea, she could get investor support.

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Dave

Dave talks about the different generations of entrepreneurs reinvesting back into the local community.

Dave

Founder, TeachStreet

In this audio-only interview, Dave talks about the different generations of entrepreneurs reinvesting back into the local community.

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Matt

Matt used one of his ventures to support the other.

Matt

Founder and CEO, Ecolect

Matt used one of his ventures to support the other.

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Janice

Janice talks about people starting ventures out of necessity.

Janice

Director, Jackson County Small Business Incubator

Janice talks about people starting ventures out of necessity after the stock market crash.

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Michelle

Michelle had a realization that she didn't need to wait to start her business, and to jump into starting it.

Michelle

Founder, Fresh

Michelle had a realization that she didn't need to wait to start her business, and to jump into starting it.

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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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Jimmy

Jimmy had to put his second product through many versions to determine it was a success.

Jimmy

Chief Architect, Rockdex

Jimmy had to put his second product through many versions to determine it was a success.

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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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Brian

Brian discusses the importance of having an entrepreneurial culture.

Brian

Co-founder, Gazehawk

Brian discusses the importance of having an entrepreneurial culture.

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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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Brian

Brian talks about different types of investors.

Brian

Co-Founder, Gazehawk

Brian talks about different types of investors.

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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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Startup Chicks

Pivoting is an inevitable part of entrepreneurship and you need to be ready for it.

Startup Chicks

Pivoting is an inevitable part of entrepreneurship and you need to be ready for it.

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Michelle

Michelle talks about business planning resources, and how they don't cater to women entrepreneurs.

Michelle

Founder, Fresh

Michelle talks about business planning resources, and how they don't cater to women entrepreneurs.

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Pete

Pete lost an important contract, and was crushed. He then got more aggressive with his marketing and pitching.

Pete

Founder, Peak Performance Coaching

Pete lost an important contract, and was crushed. He then got more aggressive with his marketing and pitching. He reframed that failure as a learning opportunity.

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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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Laura

Laura compares the ecosystems between Austin and rural Texas.

Laura

Laura compares the ecosystems between Austin and rural Texas.

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Mark

Mark talks about feeling good about the team, so he jumped right into the venture.

Mark

Co-Founder and Vice-Chairman, Hayneedle

Mark talks about feeling good about the team, so he jumped right into the venture.

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Mike

Mike uses his business as a way to incubate and develop their own new ideas.

Mike

Founder and Chairman, Front Seat

Mike uses his business as a way to incubate and develop their own new ideas.

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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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Jacob and Susan

Jacob and Susan loaned each other money as a way to fund the venture and build trust.

Jacob and Susan

Founders, Office Nomads

Jacob and Susan loaned each other money as a way to fund the venture and build trust.

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Bijoy

Bijoy talks about the pressure of having money.

Bijoy

Founder, Bootstrap Austin

Bijoy talks about the pressure of having money.

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Janis

Janis talks about entrepreneurship for different ethnic groups.

Janis

Founder and Managing Partner, Paladin Partners

Janis talks about entrepreneurship for different ethnic groups.

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Kamal

Kamal always had the dream to create his own thing, saw a former doughnut shop for lease, and took the chance.

Kamal

Owner, Sublime Donuts

Kamal always had the dream to create his own thing, saw a former doughnut shop for lease, and took the chance.

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Pete

Pete had a serendipitous journey in starting his first venture.

Pete

Founder, Peak Performance Coaching

Pete had a serendipitous journey in starting his first venture.

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Mark

Mark feels that there are not the right mentors or resources that other developed entrepreneurial areas have.

Mark

Co-Founder and Vice-Chairman, Hayneedle

Mark feels that there are not the right mentors or resources that other developed entrepreneurial areas have.

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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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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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Sabrina

Sabrina has a husband that is a major support.

Sabrina

Grant Writer, 1221 Grant Services

Sabrina has a husband that is a major support.

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Kevin

Kevin stumbled into entrepreneurship after he had a great project.

Kevin

President & CEO, Johnson Media

Kevin stumbled into entrepreneurship after he had a great project.

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Mark

Mark doesn't believe that the support networks for entrepreneurship are developed in his area.

Mark

Co-Founder and Vice-Chairman, Hayneedle

Mark doesn't believe that the support networks for entrepreneurship are developed in his area.

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Mark

Mark talks about his "aha" moment for hammocks.com.

Mark

Co-Founder and Vice-Chairman, Hayneedle

Mark talks about his "aha" moment for hammocks.com.

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Bennett

Bennett can't believe he took the gamble to become an entrepreneur.

Bennett

President, BMaKK Group

Bennett can't believe he took the gamble to become an entrepreneur.

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Brian

Brian's definition of being a founder is someone who can easily switch between many roles.

Brian

Co-Founder, Gazehawk

Brian's definition of being a founder is someone who can easily switch between many roles.

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Mike

Mike created negative screens to test if things could work or not.

Mike

Founder and Chairman, Front Seat

Mike created negative screens to test if things could work or not, as a way to de-risk his strategy.

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Brian

Brian thinks Boston social networks keep to themselves, and it's harder to go out and meet startups.

Brian

Co-Founder, Gazehawk

Brian thinks Boston social networks keep to themselves, and it's harder to go out and meet startups.

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Lance

Lance talks about the hidden funding landscape in his area.

Lance

Startup Catalyst, Atlanta Tech Development Center (ATDC)

Lance talks about the hidden funding landscape in his area, and that you have to know the code words to get in.

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Pete

Pete talks about people reaching a point in their career where they want more control and autonomy, and how family business can be restrictive of that.

Pete

Founder, Peak Performance Coaching

Pete talks about people reaching a point in their career where they want more control and autonomy, and how family business can be restrictive of that.

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Laura

Laura is only aware of the entrepreneurship resources within her own community.

Laura

Founder, OneForty

Laura is only aware of the entrepreneurship resources within her own community.

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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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Brian

According to Brian, entrepreneurship is just what people do in the Bay Area.

Brian

Co-founder, Gazehawk

According to Brian, entrepreneurship is just what people do in the Bay Area.

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Jacob and Susan

Jacob and Susan had a good feeling for the business they wanted to start, but didn't always have the language to explain it.

Jacob and Susan

Founders, Office Nomads

Jacob and Susan had a good feeling for the business they wanted to start, but didn't always have the language to explain it.

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Sabrina

Sabrina wanted to create a more positive work environment for herself.

Sabrina

Grant Writer, 1221 Grant Services

Sabrina wanted to create a more positive work environment for herself.

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Alex

At his university, Alex said it was impossible to ignore the "Entrepreneurship Train."

Alex

Student, Babson College

At his university, Alex said it was impossible to ignore the "Entrepreneurship Train."

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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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Pete

Pete started coaching nights and weekends, developed some skills and gained confidence to go out fully on his own.

Pete

Founder, Peak Performance Coaching

Pete started coaching nights and weekends, developed some skills and gained confidence to go out fully on his own.

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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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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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Lara

Lara says that she could not have gotten where she is without the help of her network.

Lara

Co-Founder and CEO, Biznik

Lara says that she could not have gotten where she is without the help of her network.

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Janis

Janis talks about a young software engineer she is mentoring.

Janis

Founder and Managing Partner, Paladin Partners

Janis talks about a young software engineer she is mentoring.

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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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Mike

Mike identifies as a number of different roles, and feels that entrepreneurship is a way of looking at the world.

Mike

Founder and Chairman, Front Seat

Mike identifies as a number of different roles, and feels that entrepreneurship is a way of looking at the world.

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Rajiv

Rajiv initially believed he would have a pilot program, and didn't expect the level of growth through participation.

Rajiv

Managing Partner, Shape Up the Nation

Rajiv initially believed he would have a pilot program, and didn't expect the level of growth through participation.

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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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Michelle

Michelle talks about the fear of "the pitch."

Michelle

Founder, Fresh

Michelle talks about the fear of "the pitch."

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Diane

Diane talks about having the ability to adjust and adapt business models and ideas as you go.

Diane

President & CEO, Communispace

Diane talks about having the ability to adjust and adapt business models and ideas as you go.

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Pete

Pete had a working style that clashed with the culture of his family business.

Pete

Founder, Peak Performance Coaching

Pete had a working style that clashed with the culture of his family business.

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Doug

Doug had a hard time distinguishing between good and bad advice.

Doug

Founder, Medletters

Doug had a hard time distinguishing between good and bad advice, and ended up diverting from his original business model.

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Startup Chicks

Being part of a particular group can have a cascading effect on social networks and access to resources.

Startup Chicks

Being part of a particular group can have a cascading effect on social networks and access to resources.

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Laura

Laura had a great network of supporters when she started her venture.

Laura

Founder, OneForty

Laura had a great network of supporters when she started her venture.

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Kevin

Kevin talks about building an entrepreneurial community.

Kevin

Co-founder, Tech Ranch Austin

Kevin talks about building an entrepreneurial community.

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Startup Chicks

More similarities than differences across companies; many face the same basic set of issues and annoyances.

Startup Chicks

More similarities than differences across companies; many face the same basic set of issues and annoyances.

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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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Laura

Laura talks about rural areas having no role models to encourage new ventures.

Laura

Venture Executive, EDCO Ventures

Laura talks about rural areas having no role models to encourage new ventures.

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Tom

Tom talks about having start something he doesn't intend to finish.

Tom

Founder, Good Measure Meals

Tom talks about having start something he doesn't intend to finish.

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Eileen

Eileen talks about how to build the story of your venture and passion.

Eileen

Founder, President & CEO, Blurb

Eileen talks about how to build the story of your venture and passion.

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Tina

An incubator opened up a lot of networking doors for Tina.

Tina

President and CEO, PetsMD

An incubator opened up a lot of networking doors for Tina.

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Tom

Tom gives his definition of social entrepreneurship.

Tom

Founder, Good Measure Meals

Tom gives his definition of social entrepreneurship.

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Matt

Matt talks about roadmaps not being accurate for him, and how the business climate is always shifting.

Matt

Founder and CEO, Ecolect

Matt talks about roadmaps not being accurate for him, and how the business climate is always shifting.

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Bill

Bill talks about entrepreneurship as a means for success.

Bill

Executive Director, Hope CDA

Bill talks about entrepreneurship as a means for success.

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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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Mike

After leaving Microsoft, Mike had to build a new business network from scratch.

Mike

Founder and Chairman, Front Seat

After leaving Microsoft, Mike had to build a new business network from scratch.

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Rich

Rich admits that he used to focus too much on ideas.

Rich

Co-Founder, BigStove

Rich admits that he used to focus too much on ideas, whereas now he focuses on the team and execution; go out there and do it.

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Mark

As an investor, Mark wants to provide "smart" capital.

Mark

Co-Founder and Vice-Chairman, Hayneedle

As an investor, Mark wants to provide "smart" capital.

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Startup Chicks

Talking about startups.

Startup Chicks

Talking about startups.

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Michelle

When Michelle was 15, she knew she wanted to start a business because of her parents.

Michelle

Founder, Fresh

When Michelle was 15, she knew she wanted to start a business because of her parents.

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Mark

Mark talks about entrepreneurs not having access to the "right" capital.

Mark

Co-Founder and Vice-Chairman, Hayneedle

Mark talks about entrepreneurs not having access to the "right" capital.

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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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Bijoy

Bijoy compares bootstrapping versus traditional funding models.

Bijoy

Founder, Bootstrap Austin

Bijoy compares bootstrapping versus traditional funding models.

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Lara

Lara describes her definition of entrepreneur.

Lara

Co-Founder and CEO, Biznik

Lara describes her definition of entrepreneur.

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Rich

Rich had the idea for a while, but was pushed by other entrepreneurs to start his venture.

Rich

Co-founder, BigStove

Rich had the idea for a while, but was pushed by other entrepreneurs to start his venture.

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Michael

Michael talks about knowledge and experience being more important than capital.

Michael

Founder & CEO, Hoot.me LLC

Michael talks about knowledge and experience being more important than capital at his stage in venture creation.

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Rich

Rich talks about trying to find an entrepreneurial community to join.

Rich

Co-founder, BigStove

Rich talks about trying to find an entrepreneurial community to join.

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Jimmy

Even though the Midwest doesn't have as strong an entrepreneurial climate as other areas, he doesn't see it as a hindrance in the internet age.

Jimmy

Chief Architect, Rockdex

Even though the Midwest doesn't have as strong an entrepreneurial climate as other areas, he doesn't see it as a hindrance in the internet age.

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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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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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Mark

Mark explains that because there aren't a lot of visible entrepreneurs, people don't understand it.

Mark

Co-Founder and Vice-Chairman, Hayneedle

Mark explains that because there aren't a lot of visible entrepreneurs, people don't understand it.

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Kamal

Kamal started his business because he wanted to do something he could put his name on.

Kamal

Owner, Sublime Donuts

Kamal started his business because he wanted to do something he could put his name on.

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Janice

Janice believes that there is a very collaborative environment for supporting small business in her area

Janice

Director, Jackson County Small Business Incubator

Janice believes that there is a very collaborative environment for supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs in her area.

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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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Rajiv

Learning by doing, and putting something out there is a strategy Rajiv deployed in his business.

Rajiv

Managing Partner, Shape Up the Nation

Learning by doing, and putting something out there is a strategy Rajiv deployed in his business.

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Jimmy

Jimmy believes it is important to get a product out to market quickly, and test in iterations.

Jimmy

Chief Architect, Rockdex

Jimmy believes it is important to get a product out to market quickly, and test in iterations.

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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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Mark

Mark talks about the challenges of transitioning a company.

Mark

Co-Founder and Vice-Chairman, Hayneedle

Mark talks about the challenges of transitioning a company.

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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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Mike

Mike sees his business as a lab to explore a portfolio of opportunities.

Mike

Founder and Chairman, Front Seat

Mike sees his business as a lab to explore a portfolio of opportunities.

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Jacob and Susan

Jacob and Susan talk about their approach to growth.

Jacob and Susan

Founders, Office Nomads

Jacob and Susan talk about their bootstrapped approach to growth.

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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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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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Doug

Doug revisited starting his second business after having to settle other things in his life.

Doug

Founder, Medletters

Doug revisited starting his second business after having to settle other things in his life.

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Eileen

From the very beginning Eileen was a building a team – the so-called kitchen cabinet – and leveraging her social networks to develop the business model.

Eileen

Founder, President & CEO, Blurb

From the very beginning Eileen was a building a team – the so-called kitchen cabinet – and leveraging her social networks to develop the business model.

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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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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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Dave

Dave learns informally all the time.

Dave

Founder, TeachStreet

Dave learns informally all the time.

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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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Bennett

Bennett thinks good business is finding solution to a problem, and that 80% of time spent thinking is of new opportunities.

Bennett

President, BMaKK Group

Bennett thinks good business is finding solution to a problem, and that 80% of time spent thinking is of new opportunities.

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Meg

Meg talks about her choice of going for-profit in the funding environment

Meg

Founder, Maternova

Meg talks about her choice of going for-profit in the funding environment, and how it affects the perception of her business to potential investors.

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Bennett

Bennett almost lost a contract because a new client didn't "know him." However, his banker stepped in and saved the relationship.

Bennett

President, BMaKK Group

Bennett almost lost a contract because a new client didn't "know him." However, his banker stepped in and vouched for him and saved the contract.

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Rich

Rich had to change his initial business model because of legal and regulation hurdles.

Rich

Co-founder, BigStove

Rich had to change his initial business model because of legal and regulation hurdles.

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Mark

Mark's current successful venture came from a lot of previous failures.

Mark

Co-Founder and Vice-Chairman, Hayneedle

Mark's current successful venture came from a lot of previous failures.

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Jimmy

Winning a local competition that came with a relatively small investment was enough to really get Jimmy's second company off the ground.

Jimmy

Chief Architect, Rockdex

Winning a local competition that came with a relatively small investment was enough to really get Jimmy's second company off the ground.

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Lara

Lara compares the startup vs. small business community.

Lara

Co-Founder and CEO, Biznik

Lara compares the startup vs. small business community.

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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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Rich

Rich learned that you have to keep your story simple, especially when pitching to different audiences.

Rich

Co-founder, BigStove

Rich learned that you have to keep your story simple, especially when pitching to different audiences.

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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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Mike and Seth

Mike and Seth wanted to start a venture but couldn't come up with a good idea, so they bought a business instead.

Mike and Seth

CEO and CFO, CustomMade

Mike and Seth wanted to start a venture but couldn't come up with a good idea, so they bought a business instead.

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Pete

As a result of leaving the family business, Peter lost family and friends, and gained a "life is short" attitude.

Pete

Founder, Peak Performance Coaching

As a result of leaving the family business, Peter lost family and friends, and gained a "life is short" attitude. This inspired him to move-on and start his own business.

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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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Owen

Owen talks about the importance of physical proximity in an entrepreneurial environment.

Owen

Co-Founder, Betaspring

Owen talks about the importance of physical proximity in an entrepreneurial environment.

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Matt

Matt talks about the time when his business partner left to focus on another venture.

Matt

Founder and CEO, Ecolect

Matt talks about the time when his business partner left to focus on another venture.

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Rich

Even after starting his first venture, Rich still doesn't feel 100% like an entrepreneur.

Rich

Co-founder, BigStove

Even after starting his first venture, Rich still doesn't feel 100% like an entrepreneur.

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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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Tina and Carla

Carla and Tina talk about some of the barriers women entrepreneurs face in starting a business.

Tina and Carla

Sharp Skirts Austin

Carla and Tina talk about some of the barriers women entrepreneurs face in starting a business.

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Brian

Brian talks about the value of Y-Combinator.

Brian

Co-Founder, Gazehawk

Brian talks about the value of Y-Combinator.

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Mike and Seth

Mike and Seth talk about the importance of leadership, and how it is an "amplification of your voice."

Mike and Seth

CEO and CFO, CustomMade

Mike and Seth talk about the importance of leadership, and how it is an "amplification of your voice."

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Lance

To get funding, Lance believes many people have to go to certain areas nationally to have a chance.

Lance

Startup Catalyst, Atlanta Tech Development Center (ATDC)

To get funding, Lance believes many people have to go to certain areas nationally to have a chance.

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Mike and Seth

Mike and Seth talk about entrepreneurs having the ability to make quick, tactical decisions every day.

Mike and Seth

CEO and CFO, CustomMade

Mike and Seth talk about entrepreneurs having the ability to make quick, tactical decisions every day.

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Sabrina

Sabrina feels it is important to have champions in your life.

Sabrina

Grant Writer, 1221 Grant Services

Sabrina feels it is important to have champions in your life.

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Bennett

Bennett describes the start of his business.

Bennett

President, BMaKK Group

Bennett describes the start of his business.

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Laura

Laura couldn't quit her idea, or convince anyone else to do it for her.

Laura

Founder, OneForty

Laura couldn't quit her idea, or convince anyone else to do it for her.

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Laura

Laura talks about gathering vs. building resources.

Laura

Founder, OneForty

Laura talks about gathering vs. building resources.

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Tom

Tom believes Social Entrepreneurship has an identity crisis.

Tom

Founder, Good Measure Meals

Tom believes Social Entrepreneurship has an identity crisis.

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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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Eileen

Eileen wanted to start a business about passion and changing the world.

Eileen

Founder, President & CEO, Blurb

Eileen wanted to start a business about passion and changing the world.

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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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Doug

Doug talks about having to transition to a mindset of being a serial entrepreneur.

Doug

Founder, Medletters

Doug talks about having to transition to a mindset of being a serial entrepreneur, and looking for the next best idea.

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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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Brian

Brian talks about trying to fit into various communities in his area.

Brian

Co-founder, Gazehawk

Brian talks about trying to fit into various communities in his area.

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Sabrina

Sabrina talks about the difficulty of being an outsider and being an African-American woman in business.

Sabrina

Grant Writer, 1221 Grant Services

Sabrina talks about the difficulty of being an outsider and being an African-American woman in business.

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Matt

Matt constantly adapted his business model.

Matt

Founder and CEO, Ecolect

Matt constantly adapted his business model.

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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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Rich

Rich feels he can't get to where he wants to be alone.

Rich

Founder, BigStove

Rich feels he can't get to where he wants to be alone.

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RISE Week Expo, Austin

You need people who know what they're doing.

RISE Week Expo, Austin

You need people who know what they're doing.

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Diane

Diane talks about not having role models to follow when she decided to start her venture.

Diane

President & CEO, Communispace

Diane talks about not having role models to follow when she decided to start her venture.

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Doug

Doug feels he "crept" into entrepreneurship.

Doug

Founder, Medletters

Doug feels he "crept" into entrepreneurship.

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