Dr. Michael Goldsby Interview – Pivot 2016 Conference

Pivot 2016 conference

Dr. Michael Goldsby, Chief Entrepreneurial Officer at Ball State University, will be joining us for an interview.

He will be discussing:

  • His time as a professor and how it has helped others
  • The three “go-to” lessons any entrepreneur should know
  • The success of the Launch Indiana and Launch Fishers programs
  • An exclusive preview of his “Driving Big Innovation” speech at the Pivot 2016 conference

We are confident you will like what the two Launch programs have in store for the future of Indiana. The same goes for his speech at the Pivot Indiana sessions, held Wednesday, November 16th, at Launch Fishers.

If you are an emerging entrepreneur, or just want to refine your skills, you cannot miss Dr. Goldsby’s lectures. Let’s begin.

Interview with Dr. Michael Goldsby

1. What made you want to become a Professor of Management at the University of Southern Indiana?

I grew up in Southern Indiana, so the opportunity to come back to Indiana and start my career there appealed to me.

2. What made you switch to teaching at Ball State University, Indiana?

At the time, I was building up a pretty good record for a young professor, so I was being recruited by seven universities to come work for them.

Ball State appealed to me because of the opportunity to work for Dr. Don Kuratko in the Entrepreneurship Program.

I always like to say that I feel like I have two doctorates: One in Strategic Management and Ethics from Virginia Tech, and another in entrepreneurship from Don Kuratko.

He continues to mentor me in my career, which is a huge honor for me.

3. Tell us a bit about your 15-year tenure as Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship.

I started out as an Assistant Professor, and in true entrepreneurial fashion I kept working hard and embracing the opportunities that came my way. Ball State has been very good to me.

As Chief Entrepreneurship Officer, Executive Director of the John H. Schnatter Institute for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise, the Stoops Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship, and a Professor of Management, I can work on a variety of projects across campus and around the state related to entrepreneurship and productivity.

My favorite part of the job is still related to scholarships, though, and I think it’s important to continue to build a body of knowledge that helps me be more useful to all my constituencies.

In my heart, I’m a teacher and scholar, so I like to see all these domains as just different forms of a classroom.

pivot 2016 conference

4. What is the most important things you can tell a person about management/entrepreneurship?

I think the three “go-to” ideas for an entrepreneur are:

  1. Do your homework and ground your ideas in reality. Be humble enough to change when the facts are different than what you expected.
  2. From that reality, approach your market from new angles your competition might be overlooking. How can you address customer problems your competition is maybe missing?
  3. Be maniacal about managing your time, money, energy, and other resources. Channel everything you have to fulfill your mission. Always ask yourself: “Is what I’m about to do going to help me get to where I want to be in 3 to 5 years?” If not, get back on track.

5. Under your leadership, the Schnatter Institute has created the Launch Indiana program to “send a team of people to solve a town’s business problems.” You’ve already worked with Crawfordsville and Washington.

How much success would you say the program has had?

I think the program is off to a great start. The program has helped communities re-frame what problems they’re facing in a way that can take actionable and affordable steps to solve them.

Also, community members are recognizing their leadership potential and are stepping up as change agents to help their cities stay relevant and healthy.

In the future, we’ll be bringing these communities together to share best practices for common problems around the state.

I’m very happy with this activity and look forward to expanding our presence in it in the near future. Our goal is to reach 20 cities over the next year.

6. The Launch Fishers program “matches students to companies in Fishers, Indiana, to help them gain real-world experience.”

How have the students fared in this program?

I’ve talked with the companies, students, and professors and all seem happy with the experience.

Companies received additional ideas on how to reach their next milestones, the professors get to teach in a place outside the traditional classroom, and the students gain confidence that they have a new skill set that will help them pursue any opportunity that comes their way.

Additionally, some of the students attained jobs with the companies they assisted in the class. That’s a great outcome because it keeps our entrepreneurial talent in the state.

7. Did any of your own students find their way into the program? What progress did they make?

I no longer teach undergraduates. However, I still teach an online MBA program in entrepreneurship. I have students from all over the world from a variety of backgrounds in the class, so it’s fun to work with their ideas.

Many of the students actually launch their businesses. One company that comes to mind is Firefly Home Healthcare founded by Larson Manifold. He’s up to 150 healthcare workers working for him in three states now – after only three years after taking my classes.

He worked on the idea in my classes, so it’s satisfying to think of 150 people providing for their families and helping address the needs of senior citizens from my class projects.

Of course, Larson and his wife did all the hard work in making it possible, but it shows the potential entrepreneurship classes have for impacting society. It’s a safe place to learn and think about ideas before investing your resources into a business.

8. Seeing as the Pivot 2016 conference takes place at Launch Fishers, do you expect to have the same success?

Yes, I think your audience will see that Launch Fishers is a unique place. I think it’s a national model for how to stimulate and support innovative ideas and develop tomorrow entrepreneurial leaders.

John Wechsler and Mayor Fadness are a great team, and we’re lucky to have Launch Fisher’s model in the middle of the state where others can emulate it. I’m honored to be associated with it.

Every time I’m there I enjoy the energy and excitement taking place. I think your audience will feel the same way.

9. Tell us a bit about your “Driving Big Innovation” speech.

I want my audience to see that big innovation doesn’t always require a big investment upfront. A big investment can come later from finding a unique angle on a customer problem your competitors are overlooking.

Creative equity coupled with sweat equity can lead to bigger financial equity later down the line.

10. A final question – you are an accomplished professor with multiple publications in media outlets such as ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN and the Associated Press. Where do you see yourself going from there?

I’m entrepreneurial and always open to whatever opportunities come my way. But for me, it’s not about money. Although, that’s always nice because it can fund whatever I’m curious about.

It’s more about life satisfaction and enjoying what I’m doing. With that in mind, I’ve figured out that my personal mission statement is “To have interesting conversations with interesting people wherever that may be.”

Ideas, people, experiences, and philosophies that give me new ways of looking at the world interest me. Things that stretch me and challenge my body and mind keep me going.

With that in mind, I’ll seize any opportunities that fit that description – travel, scholarship, talks like this, jobs, races, whatever.

Thank you for your time, Dr. Goldsby.

Conclusion and Pivot 2016 Conference

The professor will be holding his “Driving Big Innovation” talk at the Pivot 2016 conference.

Others lined up for the event are:

  • Lessons from an 85-Year-Old Startup” by Michael Thomas & Gary Thomas of LEAP Managed IT
  • Beer School: Beer Tasting and Business Insights” by Brian Graham, Founder, Four Day Ray Brewing – actual beer tasting included!
  • Tamika Catchings, 4 Time Olympic Gold Medalists and WNBA MVP

Sessions will include topics such as sales, entrepreneurship, technology, innovation, and much more! You can find the full schedule of the conference at this link.

It will be held on 11/06/2016, at Launch Fishers, 12175 Visionary Way, Fishers, IN 46038.

If you need more information about the event, feel free to email us at info@leapmanagedit.com. Or, give us a call at (765) 741-9446.

Get the exclusive “early-bird” tickets at almost half the price – limited time only. See you at the conference!

Patrycja Thomas

Author: Patrycja Thomas

Fortune 500 sales and marketing veteran dedicated to helping small businesses change the world with technology.