As soon as John was done with school, he started working at his father’s mechanic shop and threw himself into learning everything there was to learn about the business. Years later, he purchased the shop from his father and transitioned the business to cater towards exotic cars. During this time, he also built a lucrative business selling cars on the side. Finally, using his resources with the mechanic shop and selling cars, he decided to start an exotic car rental business called Broadway SuperCars. Today, John is running three separate and successful businesses that are all rapidly expanding.
Michael Luscher has two decades of sports marketing, licensing, sponsorship and media sales experience at the NFL, Major League Baseball and most recently, leading a sports technology start-up to profitability. He is a third-generation “garmento” whose founding and leadership of POINT 3 has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, Men’s Fitness and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Luscher took a problem, discovered a solution and began his journey into creating a performance apparel brand – POINT 3 Basketball. Like many entrepreneurs, trial and error led him to innovate the industry with DRYV Technologies.
Chris Stoikos is the archetypal “mover and shaker” with several entrepreneurial credits to his name. His true genius lies in the ability to creatively market and commercialize products, and build and maintain teams of experts to run businesses independently. Stoikos started off like any other consumer dealing with over-priced mediocre products that simply were not up to par with his needs. Having an unruly beard but not wanting to use beard oils with chemicals and preservatives allowed him to innovate the market by coming up with an affordable and higher quality product than anything he could find on the market. A subscription model combined with creative and “outside the box” advertising resulted in tremendous growth and success. Featured in multiple magazines, “Obsessed with making things work better, it’s what makes him tick,” according to Inc.
Joshua Spodek decided to major in Physics after nearly giving up his love of science and math due to bullying through high school. After earning his PhD, he felt as if the more education one received, the less career options became available. He realized the corporate lifestyle and working under someone else wasn’t for him. His first business venture was a Zoetrope-based idea for advertising in subways that started with him and a friend working out of his friend’s grandfathers garage. This success gave him an independence and freedom to realize that he could make anything happen. With five Ivy League degrees under his belt, Spodek wanted to continue creating businesses but didn’t want to be constrained by my own lack of knowledge and experiences so he went back and received his MBA. Spodek’s awareness and self-awareness changed and he soon began speaking, writing and teaching. Among many other accomplishments, Spodek’s work has earned him high-profile recognition from the likes of Esquire Magazine’s Genius Issue, where he was named “Best and Brightest,” and NBC, which praised him as an “Astrophysicist turned new media whiz.” Both Forbes and ABC News have also acknowledged his accomplishments, praising his work as a rocket scientist.
Dave Baggett was one of the creators and programmers of the iconic video game character, Crash Bandicoot. Having computer science degrees from UMD, College Park and MIT, he contributed to the game using his coding abilities. After the success of that game by Naughty Dog, he went on to co-found ITA Software, a search provider for air travel. Dave eventually grew the company to 500 employees, and in 2011 ITA Software was acquired by Google for $700M. Today, Dave is active in his new startup called Inky, which is a secure email encryption platform.
Ryan Blair found himself without a father figure at the young age of six when his veteran and engineer father left the family. Constantly searching for guidance and acceptance, he got eventually wound up in a gang. Finding valuable mentors helped him get on the right track, and Ryan started his first business called 24/7 Tech at 21-years-old. Throughout the years, he has been involved in numerous companies, most notably becoming CEO of ViSalus and bringing their revenue from $39 million to over $1 billion. Ryan also found a passion for teaching and writing and has authored NY Times best-seller “Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain” and “Rock Bottom to Rock Star.”
Kevin Harrington is best known for being one of the originals sharks on the hit TV show, Shark Tank, but he has been a wildly successful entrepreneur for more than 40 years launching over 20 businesses, each growing to over $100M in revenue. Kevin has also launched over 500 products generating over $5 billion in sales globally with names such as Tony Little and George Foreman. Currently, he runs a private consulting firm working with companies to increase their distribution, analyze retailing opportunities, source manufacturing, celebrity connections, increase stock value, and effectively market on social media.