During this season of political debate with questions swirling about whether the US will re-elect the ‘we need an all-serving, ever growing government, wary of business perspective’ held by President Barrack Obama or the ‘government which governs least governs best, business friendly, anti-regulation perspective’ held by former private equity professional Mitt Romney, there will be a great debate over the role private equity plays in capitalism. Questions such as whether the private equity industry is positive, negative or somewhere in between for most Americans and what should government’s role be if any in private equity.
I have had the pleasure to meet many great business leaders and prolific investors over my career as an entrepreneur. One of the most influential and successful in both of these categories is Harry George of Tucson, Arizona.
For the past several years, Harry has been Arizona’s most active venture capitalist investing and serving on the corporate boards of several leading firms in the areas of technology and life sciences. I am very proud that Harry is both an investor and board member for Post.Bid.Ship., Inc., an Arizona-based start-up I co-founded with Jarret Hamstreet where we are attempting to automate the commercial trucking industry (an industry that represents over 5% of the US’s GDP).
In January, Micky Thompson with Post.Bid.Ship., Inc. and Jim Goulka with Arizona Technology Investors Forum (ATIF) were invited to appear on Points of View with Ray Torres.
Micky and Jim were invited by host Ray Torres to discuss ATIF’s recent investment into Post.Bid.Ship. and their views on entrepreneurship, angel investors and venture capital. You can watch the interview now below.
Watching the 2012 Republican Primary has me thinking about the role of government and it reminded me of a debate I participated in during one of my MBA classes.
During my Fall Semester of 2008, I was in the midst of my Management of Finance course at The University of Arizona Eller MBA and the US was facing one of its largest financial meltdowns since the Depression. The US government stepped in with billions in bailout money to save several banks, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the GM and Chrysler automobile companies. Several US federal officials and politicians proposed that the top executives for these companies should have their salaries and bonuses limited to $500,000.
My father and I had a conversation several years ago that we both share a fondness for “looking forward to”. We both enjoy greatly “looking forward to” a special event that is happening in the future and that “looking forward to” the event was a major part of the excitement.
Garrison Keillor is coming to Tucson, Arizona this week and my wife 6 months ago bought me and her tickets (mostly for me and her wanting to see me happy). Why 6 months in advance? I seriously doubt there was a run on the tickets. Maybe she knows that “looking forward to” is part of the fun for me.
The 2010 year saw the end of my time at The University of Arizona where I completed my MBA in Entrepreneurship. I was delighted to end the 2010 year being featured on the cover of The University of Arizona’s Eller Progress Magazine.
2011 started off on the same theme of media where I saw my life highlighted on The University of Arizona’s homepage. I felt very fortunate and blessed to have just those 2 media events happen. For a country boy from Tennessee to be on a cover of a top 20 research university magazine and then be highlighted on their website homepage for my entrepreneurial life was almost unbelievable. I would have never imagined that that media exposure would maintain itself through 2011.
I am a moderate to heavy traveler and flying has become a regular travel method for me. My 6-year-old daughter is even a world-class traveler. When she was 4, she flew 14 times in less than one year and even earned a free flight from Southwest for being a frequent flier. People always comment how good a traveler she is which makes a daddy proud.
When the question comes up about who is doing the most for Entrepreneurship in America, you will often hear the Kauffman Foundation mentioned. I am a huge fan of the Kaufman Foundation and this latest video from them solidifies why.
Watch the video below called “The Three Things Entrepreneurs Do for Our Economy” by Carl Schramm, President and CEO, Kauffman Foundation. It speaks volumes!
Every year, I plan an excursion for my birthday and this year was no different. My company, Post.Bid.Ship., had recently purchased Salesforce.com (SFDC) to provide our sales team a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system and it just so happened that SFDC had also scheduled their customer convention in San Francisco the same week as my birthday this year. When I shared with our awesome SFDC account manager the coincidence, she hooked me up with a heavily discounted ticket for my birthday and I was able to connect two very vital things: 1. learn more about a software application our company is deploying and 2. spend time in arguably the tech capital of the world: San Francisco.
Over the past 3 years, I have been blessed to do the following things…
– work with the Desert Angels, one of the nation’s largest angel investor groups located in Tucson, Arizona, redesigning their website, deploying the web-based deal management system Angelsoft and helping to perform investment due diligence
– volunteer as a business advisor for the Arizona Center for Innovation Business Incubator
– study venture capital at the University of California Berkeley
Next week, Post.Bid.Ship. will be officially debuting our first ever commercially produced web video. My team and I at Post.Bid.Ship. are very proud of this video and would like to give you my loyal readers an early debut as thank you for following us on this journey. Enjoy!
I was contacted last week by The University of Arizona and informed that I would be highlighted on their homepage. As you can imagine, I was very proud of such an honor.
To read the article that The University of Arizona wrote about my entrepreneural life and how I used The University of Arizona to improve my business skills, click here. (To see a larger version of the homepage, click here.)
The Arizona Daily Star featured TruckItNow (now known as Post.Bid.Ship.) along with a quote from my business partner Jarret Hamstreet. It isn’t the Wall Street Journal but it is a pretty good start!
This month, we are featuring our first guest writer. Jarret Hamstreet, the co-founder of Post.Bid.Ship., and I were invited to share with the graduates of The University of Arizona McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship our experience transitioning from graduate school to entrepreneurship. After receiving the invitation to speak, Jarret started writing down the most important lessons he learned while raising capital for Post.Bid.Ship. Thanks Jarret for sharing your knowledge with McGuire graduates and mickythompson.com.
My Post.Bid.Ship. co-founder Jarret Hamstreet and I recently appeared on Arizona Illustrated where we shared our insight on the state of entrepreneurship in Arizona. Press the play button on the video below to watch our interview and see Post.Bid.Ship.’s TV debut.
Great news! My team and I learned today that the Arizona Commerce Authority awarded our start-up TruckItNow, Inc. a grant under the Arizona Innovation Challenge program. TruckItNow will receive up to $139,000 under the terms of the grant to commercialize our flagship product, Post.Bid.Ship.℠
This past week, Post.Bid.Ship. (formerly TruckItNow) held our first official tradeshow as a company. Coincidence has it that Dr. Randy Accetta of the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship at The University of Arizona the previous week invited us to share with his students our insight into how to best prepare for a tradeshow.
Last month, I was invited by The University of Arizona’s Professor Amar Gupta to speak to students of his Outsourcing of Professional Activities class and share with them my experiences with professional outsourcing and off-shoring.
Earlier this fall, I delivered a presentation on my experiences as an entrepreneur to The University of Arizona’s Entrepreneurship Student Association. The club president, Brittany Hultstrom, and ESA members were so appreciative. I hope my bits of wisdom on the subject of entrepreneurship helps to better equip and motivate these young students to have the courage one day to launch their own ventures.
It started when a friend from Tennessee asked me to join him for the Alabama/Arkansas game in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The same day, Jarret’s old room-mate, Pete Mittelholzer, asked if he could help him ship some personal items from Tucson to his new home in Austin, Texas. When you combine this with my wife’s desire for some items in a storage unit we left in Tennessee, it became obvious: a road trip was in my future.
Recently, I received one of the greatest honors of my life: I was selected for the cover and feature article of the Fall 2010 edition of Eller Progress Magazine, a magazine produced by The University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management.
The feature article details my life’s journey from growing up on a farm in Spring Hill, Tennessee, starting and growing three technology companies and then studying at one of the world’s top MBA and Entrepreneurship programs: The University of Arizona’s Eller MBA and McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship.
I hope you enjoy the article. Click here to read the article.
For the last 10 years, I have been an advisor in the technology industry helping companies implement technology that helps improve their business metrics. Many of my clients can repeat my most common question: What business metric are you seeking to improve?
Simple question right? Not always.
Earlier this year, my team at TruckItNow as part of The University of Arizona McGuire Entrepreneurship Program entered and competed in the 2010 UofA Innovation Day competition. We competed along with 30+ teams for “Best TradeShow Business Pitch,” “Best TradeShow Booth” and “Best Tradeshow Investor Presentation.” My team TruckItNow swept two of the three awards including “Best TradeShow Business Pitch” and “Best Tradeshow Investor Presentation.”
Jarret has challenged me to place myself into the shoes of a truck driver for a week and drive 3,600 miles cross country and back in less than 7 days. Should I accept Jarret’s challenge and do the TruckItNow Cannonball Run?
Last month, I recommended my blog readers emulate a company called Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes for promoting their corporate message to their customers (click here to read my post if you missed it). This month, I share with you an example of how ‘NOT’ to communicate with your customers.