What To Do When Your Entrepreneurial Idea Didn’t Work Out First

Thomas Schneider

Thomas Schneider is the founder of Rooftop Roots, a non-profit organization that designs, builds, and maintains vegetable gardens and native landscapes in the DC area.

When Thomas first started the organization, his idea was to build vegetable gardens on rooftops of buildings in DC. But after experimenting for a while, the idea didn’t prove to be very practical economically. Thomas had to try something else while still pursuing his passion of sustainability and urban agriculture. In this episode, he talked about how he pivoted his organization and business model and what he learned along the way.

“It’s taken a long time to build the body of business knowledge. But I’m stubborn and I hate to give up on things…And I consider myself very lucky to be able to do what I do.”

– Thomas Schneider

 


Rooftop Roots

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram


Reference

Soundwise

Powering the Gig Economy with Mobile Technology

powering the gig economy with mobile technology

Jeff Tennery is the founder and CEO of Moonlighting, an online marketplace connecting freelancers with potential employers.

Armed with decades of experience in mobile technology and media, Jeff was inspired to build a mobile platform enabling people to work on things they truly love, while enjoying career independence.

In this episode, Jeff talked about his idea validation process and the initial challenges he encountered, how to broaden awareness for a marketplace like Moonlighting, and some lessons he learnt in the process of building his company.

“Running a startup is like running a sprinted marathon, you have to hustle all the way.”

– Jeff Tennery

 


Moonlighting

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram


Reference

Soundwise

How to Change A Traditional Industry with New Technology

Goodshuffle

Erik Dreyer is the co-founder of Goodshuffle, an online event rental marketplace specializing in party and event supply rentals.

Goodshuffle was originally launched as a peer–to-peer rental marketplace, but Erik and his co-founder Andrew Garcia quickly pivoted the business to focus on the event rental segment, when they discovered that this industry was very fragmented and could be made more productive with both online ordering plus business software for rental company owners.

In this episode, Erik talked about how he started and pivoted the business, his experience of quitting a day job and focusing fully on entrepreneurship, and what he learned along the way.

“Having a killer startup advisory team will help your business achieve that extra mile with fewer hurdles.”

– Erik Dreyer

 


GoodShuffle

Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram


Reference

Soundwise

How to Turn Your Passion into A Thriving Business

Meredith Sheperd

Meredith Sheperd is the founder of Love & Carrots, a DC-based sustainable urban farming company specializing in custom vegetable garden installation and maintenance.

When Meredith decided to move back to the city after wrapping up a farm management job, she found very limited urban agricultural job openings in the DC area. Passionate about farming and environmental sustainability, she started her own service helping city residents turn their backyards into vegetable gardens. Love & Carrots was born in 2011.

In this episode, Meredith talked about how she started the business from nothing, developed a loyal customer base relying almost entirely on grassroot community outreach, and the ups and downs along the way.

“Running this business has given me confidence and realigned my life with my purpose.”

– Meredith Sheperd

 


Love & Carrots

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram


Reference

Soundwise

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

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