If You Could Choose One Entrepreneur to Join Your Startup Who Would it Be?

by / ⠀Entrepreneurship / September 23, 2013


Over the past several months, I’ve been asking entrepreneurs through Under30CEO’s interview series and interviews for the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO), “If you could pick one entrepreneur in the world to join your team at (company), who would it be and why?”  The results included a variety of interesting entrepreneurs and achievers including a Shark from ABC’s Shark Tank, a dead industrial genius, multi-billionaires, a fictional movie character, young entrepreneurial go-getters, and even a couple of retired professional athletes.

In a July 30th post, 10 Nerds Who Are Rich as Hell, super successful nerds were featured along with their accomplishments and worth.  In the comment section, Murray McKercher asked the question, “And which nerd would you invite into your startup?”  That question inspired me to compile a post of all of the answers I’ve received from young entrepreneurs and seek out additional thoughts on who entrepreneurs would want on their team.

Entrepreneurs’ Picks for the 1 Entrepreneur They Would Want on Their Team:

Brent Beshore – Founder & CEO of adventur.es: Aaron Levie from Box.  Intelligent, funny, intellectually honest, and one of the best Twitter philosophers.

Chuck Gordon – Co-Founder & CEO of Sparefoot:  Elon Musk. He seems to be the awesomest entrepreneur.  He would be a huge asset to any team.

Cory Levy – Co-Founder & COO of One: Ray Kurzweil or Jeff Hawkins.

Craig Cordina – Co-Founder & CEO of Cordina Cocktails: Mark Cuban. I know he’s a little arrogant and cocky, but having him on your side would be fun.  He understands branding, and would be a cool one to have on our side.

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David Blake – Co-Founder & CEO of Degreed: Well-known: Mark Zuckerberg. Lesser-known: Jon Bischke.

David Tisch – Investor, Co-Founder of TechStars NYC, BoxGroup: Michael Jordan or Wayne Gretzky. “They just win.”

Derek Weber – Founder of goBRANDgo!: Brad Feld. I love the perspective he brings to all the things he does.  He’s just got a great perspective on life and business.

Elizabeth Presson – Working Remote.ly:  Jack Dorsey represents the ultimate entrepreneur to me, and it’s all because of his CEO as Chief Editor talk. I’ve never felt more inspired to get the things that didn’t matter off of my to-do list and focus on the important things– to edit. Whenever I’m feeling like there’s too much going on to focus, I watch that video and re-analyze. Now, it seems like everyone is talking about the ROI of extreme focus, but the first to reach me with that message was Jack.

Erin Walter – Co-Founder & CEO of nuphorIQ: Jack Stack, Ari Weinzweig, and Paul Spiegelman.  “Any of those three would be a perfect addition.”

Hannah Davis – Founder & CEO of BANGS Shoes: Steve Jobs.  He was the master of simplifying a task at hand.

Jeffry Harrison – Co-Founder of RoverTown: Richard Branson. “Has a great vision and likes to have fun.”

Kathryn Minshew – Founder and CEO of The Muse: The women of the Gilt Groupe, Tyra Banks, and “who wouldn’t want to sit down with Steve Jobs?” That’s a hard question for me to answer because there are so many people I think I could learn a lot from.”

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Kelsey Meyer – Co-Founder & President of Influence & Co.: Hands down Tony Hsieh. What he’s done with the Vegas Downtown Project is unbelievable to me and I would just love to pick his brain.

Lili Balfour – Founder & CEO of Atelier Advisors: Richard Branson.  Atelier uses the phrase ‘rethink investment banking,’ and is trying to bring a new vision to finance and investment banking – similar to how Branson’s Virgin Airlines has been able to revolutionize the airline industry.

Mickey Hernandez – Co-Founder & CEO of Imagoo: Kevin Systrom.  He revolutionized the world with Instagram, and I feel that he would be the biggest asset to our app.

Nik Bonaddio – Founder & CEO of NumberFire: Mark Cuban for a variety of reasons.  He’s a Pittsburgh guy, sports guy, and a monster – his track record speaks for itself.  “Mark Cuban if you’re listening, please email me at Nik@Numberfire.com.”

Ryan Rundle – Co-Founder of NEON Concierge: Alec Baldwin…from Glengarry Glen Ross.  We’re knee deep in sales right now and his no-nonsense approach pumps the team up.  “Coffee is for closers.”

Sachin Kamdar – Co-Founder & CEO of Parse.ly: Henry Ford, He was able to bring what was a pie in the sky product (cars), and come up with a working execution and changed how people lived.

Stacey Ferreira – Co-Founder of mySocialCloud: Elon Musk. He’s successfully gone into three of the toughest industries (Energy, Space and Transportation), and created innovative and useful solutions to problems in each of them. I’d love to be able to learn from him and see how he thinks about things.

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Tim Huntley – An Entrepreneurial Life:  Jeff Bezos at Amazon.  He continues to take chances, even today. Interesting to see what he does next.

Tom Walter – Co-Founder & CEO of Tasty Catering: Jack Stack.  Humble leader who gives uncommon common wisdom.

Trevor Owens – Founder & CEO of Lean Startup Machine: “Abraham Lincoln because he’s the best President of the United States and he’s also a wrestler.”

Zoe Damacela – Founder & CEO of Zoe Damacela Apparel: Steve Mariotti. “He has been an incredible role model and impact since I was a teenager.”

Who would you pick?

What entrepreneur (past or present) would you choose to work with on your startup and why?

Image Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on Under30CEO.com, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.


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