100 Entrepreneurs Lessons Learned

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Donna Cole, Award-Winning Journalist, Photographer, Radio Show Host

November 20th, 2019

Donna Cole, Navy Veteran, has been interested in journalism and photography throughout her life, selling her first photograph to a national news service in her teens.  Researching the who, what, where, when and how of news events and communicating the stories comes naturally to her.  She's written for newspapers and online news media, and now hosts a radio show on WNAV in Annapolis MD.  As part of a multi-media specialist, she has become the social media expert among her peers.  She talks about how journalism allows her to focus on a variety of topics she is passionate about, such as wildlife, veterans, and children.  Learn how she chases down a story about the illegal poisoning of the American Bald Eagle, the high suicide rates among teens in a community, and how she used social media to increase awareness when 50 junior and high school students built a house in 15 days.    

HT Tran, Founder of DNW Ventures on Restaurant Franchising

October 3rd, 2019

HT Tran, Army Veteran, was wounded in Iraq, and at Walter Reed connected with 100 Entrepreneurs and Bob Nilsson.  He went on to co-found and build Anvil Builders and was the ENR Award of Excellence Winner in 2015.  Eventually, HT sold his shares in Anvil Builders, then a $60 million firm, and started DNW Ventures with a business partner.  Their first venture is opening 30 Mahana Fresh Franchises in San Antonio and Austin Texas over the next 10 years.  HT talks with 100 Entrepreneurs about his experience and about franchising.    

Lori Steenhoek, Founder of Capital Pixel, 3D Design, and Love Lori Michelle, Jewelry

May 9th, 2019

Lori Steenhoek, founder of Capital Pixel, a 3D Design firm, and Love Lori Michelle, a jewelry design firm, spoke with Amanda Weathersby, from 100 Entrepreneurs Foundation, about her businesses.  She studied architecture and became a 3D designer serving architectural and construction firms as well as individuals building new homes. She talks about building her business, including her referral network, pricing her work, and business development.  Last year she hired her first employee, and she talks about how she found the employee and what she was looking for - education vs. portfolio.  After years of rendering architectural drawings in a 3D world, Lori wanted another creative outlet, and started designing jewelry.  Her pieces are printed out of silver and gold on a 3D printer!

Michael Malone, Veteran, Founder and CEO of We2Link

March 6th, 2019

Michael Malone is a wounded veteran and the founder and CEO of We2Link, an application in development to help people with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) more easily manage their everyday and participate more fully socially.  TBI affects not just veterans, but civilians worldwide, due to accidents, surgeries, etc.  Michael is part of a study on TBI at Walter Reed, and has an extensive network with the people affected by it, including the people with TBI and their caregivers and family members.  His network also includes the doctors, therapists and researchers who study TBI.  

Michael is currently working with a software developer to develop the App's features and is raising money for his company.  He spoke with 100 Entrepreneurs about his mission, the market, and the process he's going through to build his product and company.

Franchise Consultant Faizun Kamal - All About Franchises!

October 5th, 2018

Faizun Kamal, a franchise consultant, shares with 100 Entrepreneurs details about franchises, becoming a franchisee, and why veterans make great franchisees.  Did you know that 1 out of 7 franchisees are veterans and that franchises are looking to recruit veteran franchisees because they are particularly well suited to making franchise businesses successful?  She also talks about VetFran, a program that offers discounted franchise fees to veterans interested in becoming a franchisee.  

Pamela Hess Talks 100 Entrepreneurs about Arcadia’s Veteran Farming Programs

August 22nd, 2018

Pamela Hess, the Executive Director of Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture, joined 100 Entrepreneurs to talk about the Arcadia farms, which were farmed by George Washington, after he retired from the military.  She also talked about their Veteran Farming Programs, including a full-time, one year program and a Reserves-like program, one weekend a month and 2 weeks during a year.  Veterans and their spouses learn all aspects of food production, farming strategies, finance, taking food to market and more.  Arcadia provides a mobile market to sell their healthy food in lower income neighborhoods in the DC area at lower prices. 

Pam describes the programs as well as how the participants have turned their experience into a career in farming.  The Veteran Farming Programs can help veterans to learn how to run large acreage farms, specialty farms, and backyard farms.  They even offer a portion of their farm to veterans who have attended the program to build a business.  Arcadia is now taking applications for the program.  Applications are available at http://arcadiafood.org.  

Jim O’Farrell, Veteran and Co-Founder of AMSG, a Government Contractor

March 26th, 2018

Jim O'Farrell, a veteran, graduated from the Naval Academy and went on to work with several large government contracting companies and consulting firms.  Eventually, he co-founded Advanced Management Strategies Group (AMSG).  He talks with 100 Entrepreneurs Foundation about his background, how he came to start his company, how he and his partner have grown the business, and the government contracting industry.  He also works with the Travis Manion Foundation to help teach middle and high school kids about character.  

Dennis Foutz, veteran, Travel Guru, and Franchisee

March 6th, 2018

Dennis Foutz, a veteran, business owner, Travel Guru, and franchisee spoke with 100 Entrepreneurs about his experience transitioning out of the military, after 20 plus years, and finding his next steps.  He started by looking at what he didn't want to do, then began to narrow his focus on what he wanted to do.  One of the positive experiences in the military was traveling.  So he became a franchisee of Cruise Planners, a company associated with American Exress, and created his own business, Travel Guru.  He talks about how he created and grew his business and his experience with a franchise.  Dennis says, from his experience, if you are break even in year one, and making money in year two, year three should see a significant increase in income from recurring customers and more relationships with potential customers.  

Justen Garrity, Founder of Veteran Compost

February 13th, 2018

Justen Garrity, veteran and founder of Veteran Compost talks about starting his business.  He had no experience with farming or compost, but decided to help reduce waste by turning 2/3rds of waste produced into a sellable product - organic compost.  He has built the company to picking up compostible materials from commercial and residential clients, turning it into highly desirable compost, and selling the end product to farms and residential gardeners.  

John Gallina and Dale Beatty, Founders of Purple Heart Homes

November 27th, 2017

John Gallina and Dale Beatty were both wounded in Iraq and when they came home, had the full support of their communities.  They realized that this was not the case for Vietnam veterans.  In the military, they learned to never leave anyone behind, and this included all veterans.  Together, they decided to provide housing solutions to veterans throughout the country.  They started their first project almost 10 years ago.  They have organized communities in 30 states to help them make homes accessible, secure, and comfortable for fellow veterans.  In 10 years, they have completed 100 projects, are working on 50 more and have 141 projects in the pipeline.   Throughout the process, they have learned how to build a nonprofit organization, which is ultimately a business with the help of mentors.