Welcome back to the Audibility blog!
Last week Gilbert sat down with our co-founder, Brian Carter. As we mentioned Brian is the President and CEO of Audibility.
This week Brian sat down with Gilbert Resendez, our Vice President and COO. Brian's interview is below!
Tell our readers how you got involved with Audibility?
Brian and I met as undergraduates at University of Portland (UP). My senior year around Christmas break Brian messaged me on Facebook needing my help with a class project. He was in the middle of the Entrepreneur Scholars (affectionately called “E-Scholars”) program at UP. As a part of the E-Scholars program students have to develop a business model that’s viable. Brian wanted to build a model around raising awareness around hearing loss. Around this time I was looking for a project/business model to develop for my Venture Launch class in the entrepreneurship bachelor’s program. It worked out well for both of us.
So, you were in the undergraduate entrepreneurship program at University of Portland. How has that academic experience helped you in this venture?
It helped in so many ways. UP is big in teaching entrepreneurship students to approach what would ordinarily be perceived as “failure” as a learning lesson and how to pivot from those moments. It also approaches business though the lens of business models that can be manipulated and evolve as we learn more about our market and customer landscape as opposed to hard plans. This combined with the university’s emphasis on innovation and creativity really helped shape the way we approach business problems.
We’re young. Given that, many people our age may be thinking, I’ll finish college and go to graduate school or get a job and think about starting a business later. Why did you choose to launch a business now?
Your early 20s are a prime time to try your hand at starting a business. You have so much motivation and energy coming out of college or graduate school to do something like this. We’ll always be able to find jobs or go back to graduate school, but we won’t always have the time or energy to build out a business – especially once we’re settle down and have families.
In college you were involved on campus. One of the many activities you were involved did was serving as a Service Justice Coordinator through the university’s Moreau Center for Service and Leadership. How did your experience as an SJC help shape your word view and view on business?
As you know the SJC position is designed around getting your residence halls to do service and promoting Catholic Social Teaching in the residence halls and showing students how they can live out those values in their lives and hopefully their professions. For me, this meant trying to find ways for business to do good in the world; I think we’ve accomplished that with Audibility.
What advice would you give to people who want to start a business while in college or graduate school?
Do it! There’s no better time to start a business than while you’re in school. In school you have a built-in safety net. People want to help you while you’re a student. While people want to help you after school, and often do, they are way more willing to help while you’re in school. Additionally, more and more colleges are adding centers for entrepreneurship to their campuses – leverage those and the resources within them. They’re invaluable if you’re truly serious about wanting to start a business while in college.
Now, when you aren’t working on Audibility or busy with graduate school, what do you like to do for fun?
I’m a big foodie and huge craft beer enthusiast. Portland is a great city for that and exploring all the breweries with friends!
What’s your favorite movie or TV show?
I love a good crime procedural. I’m currently watching “American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson” on FX. I’m also really into “How to Get Away with Murder”, “Madam Secretary” and “American Crime” (not to be confused with “American Crime Story”). My all time favorite TV shows are probably “How I Met Your Mother”, “Scrubs” and“Mad Men”.
Would you say there’s a particular book that’s helped shaped your worldview particularly relating to business and entrepreneurship?
I think the last book I read that really made me think about the world was “Tattoos on the Heart” by Fr. Greg Boyle, SJ. Fr. Boyle is a Catholic priest with the Jesuit order who has devoted a lot of his life to serving the gang populations in Los Angeles. He reflects a lot on his work on the streets and of the work he does at Homeboy Industries, the nonprofit he started. While he doesn’t talk a lot about business, it got me thinking about how business can solve these larger world social problems.
If you could have coffee with a famous celebrity, who would it be and why?
John Krasinski hands down. Huge fan of his acting since “The Office” and I thought he did a great job in “13 Hours”.
Anything else you want to share with our readers?
Nope. I think if you’ve taken away anything from this informal interview it should be that if you have any inclination to start a business, especially while you’re young, do it. I mean, think it through, bounce the idea off people and find people in your network who can help you get started first. But do it! Even if you don’t ride out your business for the long haul, it’s still a great experience that will teach you so much about everything.
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