Peter Biro’s Story
The following post is from Ziyan Liu ’19, a Butler Venture Accelerator team member.
On February 26, the Blank Center invited Peter Biro, entrepreneur in residence of Babson, for Founder Friday. Peter is a serial entrepreneur and franchise owner of Five Guys Burgers and Fries, and Naked Pizza. Peter co-founded the business which currently operates in 12 locations in Middlesex County, MA. After the success with Five Guys, in 2010, Peter got involved with Naked Pizza, which was eventually sold back to the franchisor in 2012.
During his conversation with the audience, Peter shared many interesting stories to tell everyone how he started his entrepreneurial path, and what he learned throughout his experiences in the business world. Peter started his “storytelling” with his first business idea that he came up with when he was only 17 years old. His idea was to have a ride sharing business, similar to what is now Uber. Peter joked that he would be the founder of Uber if he had only continued his startup back then. After his first business, Peter got to really understand what entrepreneurship was, and was eagerly attracted to be an entrepreneur. As a serial entrepreneur, Peter insisted that being an entrepreneur requires an ability to have a certain mindset with different point of views. This will enable the entrepreneur to figure out how to make their venture stand out and succeed.
Peter shared several key takeaways he learned through his franchise experience:
- The early stages of a startup is the most important. Peter learned how to build a team and the importance of selling when building his ventures. Like many startups, Peter got to the point where he was in need of financing. He learned how to raise money and how to not be disappointed when turned down 17 out of 18 times.
- Finding collaborative partners is important. You and your partner might not be able to agree upon everything you discussed, but it is important to have a partner that shares similar values and has different skills. A good partner should be someone who does not need to hesitate to tell you “Hey, you are really not good at doing this, you should probably stop doing it before things get worse.”
- Mentors are a necessity for entrepreneurs. For Peter, his partner was also his mentor, so he was able to get the support and help he needed. In order to find suitable and helpful mentors, Peter shared, “You have to first think about who are some possible people that can potentially be your mentors, and then think about what things you want to get out of the relationship as a mentee. That way, it is easier for you to cultivate the relationship.”
Finding joy in making something from nothing is what makes being an entrepreneur exciting. Peter’s experience has furthered his passion in advising early stage startups. Peter closed by sharing that entrepreneurs need to take action. “Don’t worry if you don’t have a big business venture, or even if you don’t have the best business idea. What is important is to go through the process of being an entrepreneur at least once, and then you will fall in love with it.”
We hope to see you at the next Founder Friday this week at 11am at the Blank Center!