Chris Guillebeau has visited every country around the world and learned so many things from seeing all kinds of different cultures. Chris’s first book, The Art of Non-Conformity, was translated into more than twenty languages. His second book, The $100 Startup, was a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, selling more than 500,000 copies worldwide. Guillebeau started writing because he wanted to create a platform and share what he has learned along the way from his travelling. He founded The Art of Non-Conformity and started sharing and building the community and trying to reach the right people and making connections with them.
Tom Bilyeu is the host of Inside Quest and Co-founder and President of Quest Nutrition, guiding the company’s culture of passion and transformation. Bilyeu was personally driven to revolutionize the health and fitness industry in order to help his loved ones and others like them transform their relationship with food. This new focus on something deeply personal and passion-based led him and his two partners to found Quest Nutrition. Quest Nutrition is most known for their popular line of protein bars. By the end of their third year, Quest was named as the 2nd fastest growing private company in America. Bilyeu realized that Quest’s success could only be attributed to the true transformation of the mind that he and his co-founders achieved by finally following their passion. Hoping to share this revelation with the world and to help others follow their own true passions, Bilyeu created Inside Quest.
Michael Epstein started his first business while still in college, but when he was an IT director in a management consulting firm, he was laid off and decided to go 100% with being an entrepreneur. eDimensional was launched and hit $1M is sales within its first year. eDimensional grew as a leading manufacturer and online retailer of consumer electronics. Epstein used similar methods when he launched a second business venture based around flight simulation, FS Pilot Shop, and received similar results. After a successful exit from eDimensional, Epstein is now a successful business consultant on the hunt for his next idea.
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.