Belmont University Massey School of Business

This past week, I had the pleasure of meeting at the entrepreneurship center at Belmont University's Massey Graduate School of Business and speaking to a packed room of business school students. The event location was the “Hatchery” which is actually more of an open work area/office rather than a formal conference room.  Once I arrived  my first thought was that this was a perfect location/setup for early stage entrepreneurs who have a need to collaborate, share creative thoughts, strategies.   

And for me, I must say I LOVED the location and the format. Not only was the location different from the typical business school classroom setup (with a PowerPoint, projector, etc.),  the format was truly more of a “meetup” and  not a formal speech/presentation. In fact, I showed exactly one slide (about my book) at the start of our discussion and never thought about another slide for the next hour. One thing I emphasized in my comments to the students was how you had to be able to “take a punch” to be a successful entrepreneur and after hearing the stories of ISI’s past (loss of startup funding, embezzlement, 80% sales team turnover etc.). I think they got the message loud and clear.   

I also talked a lot about how ISI has focused on creating a “farm system” of millennials and how important it is for a business to develop their young talent in order to have a sustainable future. I also noted that as entrepreneur, the #1 thing you should do (from day one) is to focus your time on “building quality relationships with not only your employees, but your customers, suppliers, partners etc. I have always believed that ISI’s relationships and reputation (honesty, integrity, ethics etc.) are the 2 key ingredients to our success almost 20 years later   

The last half of my visit was answering a wide variety of really great questions about  how ISI identifies potential employees, calculating early stage equity share (as a startup) as well as developing future new healthcare products, not “growing broke” (as a business) and the long term sustainability plans for the company. Very thought provoking and  I must say that some questions were easier to answer than others! As I left the campus that afternoon, I truly hope that my visit to the Belmont entrepreneurship center provided the students some encouragement and real value in their pursuit of the American dream.

Posted by Jay Myers at 5:25 PM