How to Build A Membership-Based Business

how to build a membership based business

Peter Mellen is the founder and CEO of Netcito, a network of peer advisory groups for entrepreneurs and innovators. He is a serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in online business and commercial real estate and is an entrepreneur in residence (EiR) at Georgetown University, where he also leads the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Alliance.

In this episode, Peter talked about how he built Netcito from an informal gathering of entrepreneurs to a membership business. He also shared insights on why a support group is important for entrepreneurs and how to find work-life alignment as a founder.

“Your work should be aligned with who you are and what you want to create in the world.”

– Peter Mellen

 


Netcito

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn


Reference

Soundwise

How to Start A Serious Business in College

how to start a serious business in college

David Patou is the founder and CEO of Campus Sherpa, a student-run company that offers personalized college tours by real college students.

David started Campus Sherpa during his freshman year at Georgetown University. In this episode, he talked about the personal inspirations he had for starting this business, how to build a minimal viable product (MVP), refining and validating the business model and how to get early traction for your startup.

“There is never a convenient time to launch the business. It always comes with the opportunity cost. Starting off small as a side project is a good way to test the waters.”

– David Patou

 


Campus Sherpa

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram


Reference

Soundwise

How to Build A Social Networking Platform

how to build a social networking platform

Ian Kaine MacGregor is the founder and CEO of Hitcher, a social media platform that allows users to build more targeted networks and have more control over their online privacy compared to the mainstream social networks.

During his time working in the design industry, Ian created tons of successful social media marketing campaigns for large enterprises. He had the idea to build a social media platform that was exclusive, and could eliminate unwanted social noise to create experiences with the people who really mattered in one’s life. In this episode, Ian talked about how he validated his idea, how he found collaborators for his project, how to deal with setbacks and acquire users, and why idea and passion do matter in this day and age when execution is emphasized over anything.

“(while execution is important) Ideas do matter. You have to trust your ideas.”

– Ian Kaine MacGregor

 


Hitcher

Twitter, Vimeo, Facebook


Reference

Soundwise

How to Juggle Multiple Businesses While Serving Your Community

Tien Wong
Tien Wong is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor and super connector in the DC entrepreneurial community. He currently serves as Chairman and CEO of Tech2000, an IT firm that provides advanced technology training and mobile device software to the federal government and Fortune 500 companies, Chairman of Lore Systems, an IT services firm specializing in managed datacenter hosting, cloud computing, IT networking, and Chairman and CEO of Opus8, a private investment and advisory firm. Tien is also the founder and host of Big Idea CONNECTpreneur Forum, a community that connects entrepreneurs and investors in the Mid-Atlantic region.

In this episode, Tien talked about how to effectively manage multiple projects at the same time, what are the most important considerations when evaluating your business ideas, and how to know that your product/service really solves a customer problem. He also shared other lessons learned through years of entrepreneurial experience and explained why “your network is your net worth” for an entrepreneur.

“Be self-aware. Know your limit. But you have to have the supreme confidence that you are going to win.”

– Tien Wong

 


Lore Systems

Tech2000

Opus8

Big Idea CONNECTpreneur

Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook


Reference

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

Soundwise

Building an E-commerce Platform Over Text Messaging

building an e commerce platform over text messaging

 

Kate Myers and Kelly O’Malley are co-founders of Shop Or Not, an e-commerce platform that runs on text messaging.

Both ladies worked in the entertainment industry. And they started the company with the desire to build a shopping platform that feels like an intimate relationship. Shop Or Not aspires to be your good friend who texts you the good stuff. In this episode, Kate and Kelly shared their journey on developing a minimal viable product (MVP) and their testing /learning process to find the unique offering of the biz. They also talked about when is the right time to start fundraising and provided insightful tips on how to navigate the startup world as female founders.

“Set your mind to the goal that you truly believe in, and don’t worry about what other people think of you.”

– Kate Myers

 


Shop Or Not

Twitter, Instagram, Facebook


Reference

Twilio

Soundwise

How to Succeed In the Real Estate Business

how to succeed in the real estate business
Donna Evers is the founder of Evers & Co. Real Estate and Twin Oaks Tavern Winery.

Donna was a very successful real estate agent, before she started her own brokerage firm with 7 sales agents. Today the company has over 100 agents and is the largest woman-owned-and-run independent residential real estate company in the DC area. Both driven and creative, Donna started another company, a winery, as her interest in wine grew into a second career.

In this episode, Donna shares insights on how to build trust with customers, what it takes to differentiate your company from the competitors, how to be more productive in both personal life and business, and how to manage multiple projects while staying organized and sane.

This is our last episode before Founders Nextdoor takes a summer break. I want to say thank you to all of our listeners for supporting this show and to my producer Xue for her hard work and dedication to making Founders Nextdoor a reality. I hope you’ve enjoyed this show so far, and we’ll see you in a few months.

“You need both inspiration and persistence.”

– Donna Evers

 


Evers & Co.

Twitter, Yelp, Facebook

Twin Oak Tavern Winery

Instagram, Yelp, Twitter, Facebook


Reference

Entrepreneurship Crash Courses by Soundwise

From Side Hustle to Thriving Business

from side hustle to thriving business
James Mccartney is the founding partner and CEO of Truvincio, a data security and privacy consulting firm whose mission is to make data security affordable for small businesses.

Before becoming an entrepreneur, James was a data security consultant at a large consulting firm. In this work, he noticed that most existing data security solutions do not serve small businesses, and that was where he spotted a market opportunity. Still, it was quite a journey to go from working on the project on the side to running it as a serious business. In this episode, James talked about how he assessed the market potential of his business idea, what small businesses can do to improve information security, and how to deal with setbacks and challenges on the entrepreneurship rollercoaster.

And if you’re looking to learn and grow as an entrepreneur, you should check out Soundwise. Soundwise aims to offer a wide selection of audio courses in business and personal development, so that you can learn to become a better version of yourself…on the go. Soundwise just released a series of crash courses on how to build a startup. They are sourced from some of the best entrepreneurship classes ever taught at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, taught by real founders who have built successful businesses over and over again. They cover the essential insights you need to start building your business. And the best part, they are free! Go check them out at mysoundwise.com/courses.

“Don’t be overly enamored by your product/service. It is all about what the customers get out of it.”

– James Mccartney

 


Truvincio

Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook


Reference

Entrepreneurship Crash Courses by Soundwise

Seeing What’s Next: Using Theories of Innovation to Predict Industry Change

How to Become A Serial Entrepreneur in Your 20s

how to become serial entrepreneur in your 20s
Akobir Azamovich is the co-founder and CEO of 4stay.com, an online marketplace for student housing.

Although Akobir is only in his twenties, he’s already started multiple companies. When Akobir immigrated to the US in high school, he quickly spotted a business opportunity matching foreign students like himself with American schools, and that eventually led to the creation of 4stay.com. He offered insights on how to start a tech company when you don’t know how to code, how to effectively pitch to potential strategic partners and investors, and how to quickly get customers for a marketplace at scale.

And if you’re looking to learn and grow as an entrepreneur, you should check out Soundwise. Soundwise aims to offer a wide selection of audio courses in business and personal development, so that you can learn to become a better version of yourself…on the go. Soundwise just released a series of crash courses on how to build a startup. They are sourced from some of the best entrepreneurship classes ever taught at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, taught by real founders who have built successful businesses over and over again. They cover the essential insights you need to start building your business. And the best part, they are free! Go check them out at mysoundwise.com/courses.

“Even with a start-up budget, if you find the right people, you can still build a star team with outsourcing.”

– Akobir Azamovich

 


4stay

Twitter, Instagram, Facebook


Reference

Entrepreneurship Crash Courses by Soundwise

Airbnb

Craigslist

How to Start A Two-Sided Marketplace

how to start a two-sided marketplace
Stephanie Cox is the founder and CEO of The Level Market, the world’s first online marketplace for humanitarian supply and disaster relief products.

In this episode, Stephanie talked about her journey of starting her platform with the aspiration to be “Amazon for Aid”. She offered insights on the unique challenges of a two-sided marketplace, how to build brand recognition, when to raise money, how to manage the emotional aspects of running a business and how to prioritize tasks.

And if you’re looking to learn and grow as an entrepreneur, you should check out Soundwise. Soundwise aims to offer a wide selection of audio courses in business and personal development, so that you can learn to become a better version of yourself…on the go. Soundwise just released a series of crash courses on how to build a startup. They are sourced from some of the best entrepreneurship classes ever taught at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, taught by real founders who have built successful businesses over and over again. They cover the essential insights you need to start building your business. And the best part, they are free! Go check them out at mysoundwise.com/courses.

“Innovate, stop finding excuses to do business as usual.”

– Stephanie Cox

 


The Level Market

Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn, Facebook


Reference

Entrepreneurship Crash Courses by Soundwise

Upwork

WebShine

How to Get Venture Capital Investors Interested in Your Startup

how to get venture capital interested in your company
Dan Mindus is the founder and a managing partner of NextGen Venture Partners, an early-stage venture capital firm. What’s unique about NextGen is that they are the first network-driven venture firm. The firm has a network of hundreds of “venture partners”, who are experienced founders, executives and investors, to help the firm get investment leads and evaluate investment opportunities.

In this episode, Dan talked about the company’s investment selection process. He also offered advices on how to get early stage venture capital funding for your startup, what you need to do to get yourself prepared before looking for funding, and how to effectively pitch investors.

And if you’re looking to learn and grow as an entrepreneur, you should check out Soundwise. Soundwise aims to offer a wide selection of audio courses in business and personal development, so that you can learn to become a better version of yourself…on the go. Soundwise just released a series of crash courses on how to build a startup. They are sourced from some of the best entrepreneurship classes ever taught at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, taught by real founders who have built successful businesses over and over again. They cover the essential insights you need to start building your business. And the best part, they are free! Go check them out at mysoundwise.com/courses.

“Be very clear about your level of development (when pitching to investors), or they essentially will assume the numbers are bad.”

– Dan Mindus

 


NextGen Venture Partners

Twitter, Crunchbase, AngelList, LinkedIn, Facebook


Reference

Entrepreneurship Crash Courses by Soundwise