Greg Gomer’s Story
The following post is from Ziyan Liu ’19, a Butler Venture Accelerator team member.
We were honored to have Greg Gomer as our first speaker for Founder Fridays. Greg graduated from Babson in 2007 and after spending some time at Fidelity, Greg decided to start his own venture. In 2009, Greg became part of the founding team of the Streetwise Media, a digital media and events company which was acquired by American City Business Journals in November of 2012. Now Greg is the cofounder of VENTUREAPP, an on demand support platform for startups. During the event, Greg told many interesting stories about himself as an entrepreneur. He also shared some lessons he learned through his experiences.
Working in a big company after graduation isn’t as bad as what we think it would be.
Many Babson students want to become entrepreneurs after graduation. However, things are not always going smoothly as what you expect them to be and plans may change. Some people might not have good ideas to start their businesses, some might not have enough capital resources, and some might just stop because they cannot find cofounders or enough support from people around them. From his own experience, Greg shared that it is not bad to work for big companies – you can get a chance learn what it’s like to routinely working with many people and getting suited up every day. You can taste the different experiences in big companies and learn from those experience to apply to your own venture.
It is important to build a relationship with your cofounders!
Entrepreneurs often struggle with finding or building relationships with their cofounders. Greg told us that his cofounder is one of his best friends in high school. Because they had such a good relationship, they are able to chat all the time and set expectations of their relationship when they work together. Greg also said that a cofounder does not have to be your close friend, it could just be someone whom you get along with. However, you have to put in effort to create close relationship with your cofounder, since your cofounder will be the one whom you are going to chat, do things, and confront problems with. As long as you hold each other accountable, trust each other, and are willing to get through highs and lows with each other, the relationship between you and your cofounder will be close and stable.
It is all about passion and determination.
Being the boss is not cool at all. During the event, Greg told us some difficulties he and his team has experienced when Streetwise Media was just started. There were highs, and lows, of being part of the founding team. Many people think that being the founder is fun because you have flexible time and you can make your own schedule. It is actually not the reality. The truth is, when you are the boss, you don’t get to make your schedules at all because you are working 24/7. Greg thinks that entrepreneurship is all about passion and determination – you cannot make it happen without these two elements, especially when you have to hear countless “No’s” from your investors and customers. Being able to persevere challenges is what helps determine whether you can be a successful entrepreneur.
It is great if you can hire the right person.
For start-up companies, the recruiting process is extremely crucial. What Greg thinks what is most important for hiring employees is that employers have to find the right people. The right person for start-ups are those who are passionate about what the company is doing, and are in the venture for the right reasons. They need to be willing to build up the business even though it means extremely hard work.
After hearing all the questions attendees had, it was quite clear that Greg inspired us all.
We hope to see you at the next Founder Friday this week at 11am at the Blank Center!