by John Burns (MBA ’06)
On May 23, 2012, the New York chapter of GEMA hosted a panel discussion about the entrepreneurial process, and how to build a successful media business from the ground up. Approximately 170 GEMA members and other Georgetown Alumni gathered at the Hatchery in New York City for an informative and enjoyable evening.
The five panelists were:
- Jonathan Carson (C’95) CEO, Digital, The Nielsen Company
- Michael Cascone (C’96) President & COO, Forbes Travel Guide / Startle.com
- Catherine Cook (C’11) Co-Founder, myYearbook.com
- Dan Leahy (C’08), President, Savored
- Ellie Wheeler (C’04), Senior Associate, Greycroft Partners.The panel was moderated By Neal Shenoy (F’97) Founding Partner, MEDIA and CEO, Speakaboos.
The panelists each began briefly by sharing their professional story with the audience, and then the group began to discuss the process of becoming an entrepreneur, and what was unique and surprising about their individual paths.
The discussion then shifted to a more detailed dive into what is required of an entrepreneur over major stages of creating and building a media business in today’s world. Specifically, the group discussed: Developing a business from the idea stage, executing against a business plan, team building, evaluating various financing / capital options, and finally, planning for an exit. In addition to discussing each of these topics from a high level point of view, they also provided numerous personal tangible examples to all of the prospective entrepreneurs in attendance. For example, each panelist gave their own unique opinion where and how to find the best employees as your business grows.
The panel discussion concluded with each panelist providing the attendees with examples of one or two of their own personal favorite resources (book, website, etc ) about either media, business, or in one case, life. Additionally as a follow up to the event, each panelist agreed to participate as part of the GEMA Breakfast Series in the future, providing the attendees and other GEMA members another opportunity to gain value from the experiences of these successful Hoyas. A reception followed the panel presentation and audience.
Many thanks to law firm Edwards Wildman and their Partner Dominique Shelton (L ’91), the Hatchery, The Georgetown Entrepreneurial Initiative and Wines of Portugal for their support in making this event possible. Also thanks to Luke’s Lobster and its founder and president Luke Holden (B ’07) for the great food at the reception!