What if… There are More People Like us?

Matt Fiedler founder of Vinyl Me, Please studied Entrepreneurship + Music Business before graduating from Belmont University in 2011. Since launching VMP in 2012, the business has grown to serve over 200k+ customers in 40+ countries. In today’s episode, we talk about growth challenges, keeping your sense of self, consumer behavior, and more! 

SHOUTOUT of the week: Sam Walker (Music Business, 2014) is the co-founder of Walker Brothers Kombucha. Using a SCOBY inherited from their aunt, the brothers began to brew kombucha, eventually creating the light, refreshing, and probiotic-filled kombucha we enjoy today! DrinkWalkerBrothers.com 

What if… We Pursued Something We Love Doing?

Sarah Worley, founder of Biscuit Love, received her Master of Accountancy at Belmont University in 2015. Biscuit Love family-owned restaurant with the mission of providing breakfast for good. What started as a food truck in 2012 has quickly grown into 3 restaurants in the Nashville area with 2 more coming soon. In today’s episode, we talk about creating community through entrepreneurship, caring for your employees, navigating covid, and having faith! 

SHOUTOUT of the week: Savannah Taylor (Senior Entrepreneurship Major) started Clementine Floral Design to bring your event to life through her beautiful floral design.

What If… Food Could Transform Our Community’s Health?

Ryan Reisdorf (founder of Placemat) studied nursing at Belmont while launching his business with the mission of nourishing communities through feel-good food experiences. Placemat provides healthful, locally sourced food through 5 distribution channels. Over the past 5 years, Placemat has grown into a multi-million dollar business and has donated over 115k meals to people in need. In today’s episode, we talk about staying true to your “why”, how Ryan’s nursing education prepared him for life as an entrepreneur, and of course…food!

SHOUTOUT of the week: Ethan Akdamar and James Richard (Entrepreneurship ’20) started Bizi Vitamin Honey to create a cleaner way to get your vitamins. Infusing certified vitamins in raw USA honey, Vitamin Honey sticks make supporting your immune health convenient. www.GoBizi.co

What If… I Started a Business While in College?

Hannah Ashton, the founder of Dream Achieve, is a senior Entrepreneurship major at Belmont University. She’s created a goal-setting workbook and 6-month planner filled with pages to help you not only finish your to-do list, but create better habits, plan your routines, track your budget, and more! In today’s episode, we talk about starting a business while in college, developing time management skills, and just taking the leap to go for it!

SHOUTOUT of the week: Meredith Mazie (Music major, 2010) started ABEDNEGO Boutique in the heart of Nashville in 2015. ABEDNEGO specializes in women’s wear and home goods. It’s beautiful – go check it out! ABEDNEGOBoutique.com

What If… We Disrupt the World of Entertainment?

Jonathan Murrell (founder of The Escape Game) studied Entrepreneurship at Belmont before launching his business. In 8 years, the Escape Game has grown to 25 locations across the US with nearly 1,000 employees. And they aren’t stopping anytime soon! In today’s episode we talk about the entrepreneurial work ethic, valuing your people, and not being afraid to succeed. 

SHOUTOUT of the week: Matt Horvath (Video Production ’12) is the founder of Pack Films. They partner with businesses, brands, and agencies to tell stories through video. They produce amazing videos to inspire and help you connect with your audience. Visit PackFilms.TV to check them out!

What If… We Created Virtual Banking Without Borders?

We have a special episode this week and instead of an interview, we’ll be sharing a talk given to our Belmont students earlier this semester as part of our Moench Entrepreneurship Lecture Series.

Our speaker is Tori Samples, founder, and CTO of Leaf Global FinTech.

Leaf helps people safely store and transports assets across borders. Currently working in several countries in Africa, Leaf has plans to expand and serve the 2 billion people around the world who do not have access to financial services.

Tori Samples is a young entrepreneur with an incredible story. In today’s episode, she will share her story as a self-proclaimed “unlikely entrepreneur”, present her formal pitch, and share how Belmont’s Cone Center for Entrepreneurship is sponsoring 10 refugee artists through her NFT initiative

What If… We Started a Feel-Good Family Business?

Sam Walker (founder of Walker Brothers) studied Music Business before graduating from Belmont University in 2014. Walker Brothers was founded by Sam and Luke Walker, two brothers that loved craft beer, but didn’t love the way it made them feel. So, like all good entrepreneurs, the two headed to their garage to create a solution – a beverage that would taste just as nuanced and flavorful as the best craft beer, but be easier on the digestive system and more conducive to a healthy lifestyle overall. Using a SCOBY inherited from their aunt, the brothers began to brew kombucha, eventually creating the light, refreshing, and probiotic-filled kombucha you enjoy today. Their motto, A Family Culture, reflects these origins, as well as our commitment to treating our customers, employees, business partners, and the planet with care and respect. Cheers!

SHOUTOUT of the week: Steve Soderholm (Music Business ’12) started Ranger Station in 2015. Ranger Station is a luxury fragrance company specializing in candles, body care, and personal fragrances. They create clean, sustainable, and handmade products that are good for you and the environment. RangerStation.Co

2022 Entrepreneur Village Highlight

At the end of each academic year, the Cone Center for Entrepreneurship hosts an annual Entrepreneurship Village. Our outdoor marketplace event allows Belmont entrepreneurs to sell products, practice their pitches, and show-off their business ideas.

For our 2022 village, 40 Belmont entrepreneurs, consisting of current students and alumni, set up tents and booths to promote their ventures to over 1,000 guests.

This week’s bonus episode highlights some of our Belmont entrepreneurs from this year’s village. 

What If… Life Throws You Limes and You Make Frozen Limeade?

Keely Scott graduated from Belmont in 2004 with a Mass Communications degree. Her husband, Gabe Scott is a twenty-year veteran of the music industry. In 2020, they opened LadyBird Taco and have had an incredible journey of ups and downs ever since.

LadyBird Taco is a fast-casual restaurant in Nashville, TN specializing in breakfast and lunch tacos alongside a full barista service all day. With house-made tortillas, queso, and salsa, Ladybird has become an instant hit. But the past two years have brought a unique set of challenges and setbacks as Keely and Gabe navigated Covid and an unforeseen health scare.

In today’s episode, we’ll talk about the opening of the restaurant, what it’s like to be the spouse of an entrepreneur, and how their faith has given them the strength to persevere. 

SHOUTOUT of the week: Will Hobbs (Psychology ’12) started Kolacho in 2020. Kolacho is a local, family-owned, and operated pop-up serving the Nashville community some good ol’ Texas breakfast kolaches. A kolache is a type of pastry with origins in Czechoslovakia and modern roots in Texas. To taste your own, find Will Hobbs at Kolacho.com

What If… Entrepreneurs Could Change the World?

Isaac Ezell (Associate Director of Development at HOPE International) received his BBA in Business from Belmont in 2007. Isaac has been serving entrepreneurs around the world with HOPE International for the last 11 years. HOPE invests in the dreams of families in the world’s underserved communities by providing biblically-based training, savings services, and loans that restore dignity and break the cycle of poverty.

In today’s episode, we’ll talk about the power of entrepreneurship in developing communities, what redemptive entrepreneurship looks like, and how his time at Belmont equipped him to take on his leadership role at Hope.

SHOUTOUT of the week: Nicole Brandt Minyard (Religion and the Arts ’14) started Daybreak Arts in Nashville, TN. Daybreak Arts is a social enterprise nonprofit that creates artistic and economic opportunities for people experiencing homelessness by providing access to creative resources needed to achieve personal fulfillment and success. Daybreak Arts provides space and materials for the artist to work as well as a platform to sell their artwork, leading to economic stability. To learn more about the incredible work Nicole is doing in Nashville, visit DaybreakArts.org

What If… With Dr. Cornwall

For our final episode of the season, we interviewed Dr. Jeff Cornwall, founder of Belmont University’s Entrepreneurship Program. Jeff came to Belmont in 2003 and developed the Entrepreneurship Major as well as our Center for Entrepreneurship. Over the past 20 years, Jeff has taught hundreds of students, mentored countless young entrepreneurs, and has changed the entrepreneurial landscape in Nashville and abroad. In today’s episode we discuss the start of Belmont’s program, his academic career, and his thoughts on everything he’s learned over the years. 

SHOUTOUT of the Week: Matt (Business ’06) and Maggie Kuyper (Psychology ’07) are the founders of Harpeth Painting. Connecting character with craftsmanship, Harpeth Painting provides residential and commercial painting services with amazing quality. And a bonus, Maggie is Dr. Cornwall’s daughter! To learn more visit harpethpainting.com