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What can your story be in the United States?



I find myself surrounded by entrepreneurial people, and my experiences range from meeting a taxi driver of a new cab company to the fathers of the iPod. Americans are said to be great entrepreneurs, and Europeans are coming over to the US to look at their experiences. I want to explore what makes Americans more entrepreneurial than Europeans; and a combination of being a regular resident for nearly a year and my role of a researcher allows me to grasp different angles of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial mindsets. The spirit of doing, a lot of energy and enthusiasm charges growth and development that I encounter every day. Below I share three mini-stories that I find characteristic of a trend.

Start small

When arriving in Ann Arbor by Michigan Flier from Detroit, I had to call for a cab to get to the hotel; I called one from the list named Across Town. Having reached the destination, the driver gave me his business card in case I needed any service in the future, mentioning that to plan his work it would be good if I called in advance, because they were two friends who had just started their business with only two cars. There are numerous taxi service providers, however, their service of bringing kids to schools and kindergartens in the morning and providing late evening services clearly secure a niche for taxi service Across Town have established.   



Ann Arbor Cooks

Pursue your dream

In the same spirit of doing and not being afraid of a career change is the story of Natalie Marble whom I met when visiting Ann Arbor Cooks. In 2001 Natalie left a career in international finance to follow her life-long culinary dreams. Now she is a chef and owner of Ann Arbor Cooks. Having participated in the hands-on culinary class, I have experienced Natalie’s passion for teaching, the scope of activity including cooking classes, team-building events, private events, etc. When I looked at their calendar, I could hardly identify a free spot, because all dates were booked three to four months ahead. Natalie has created a place where people want to be on different occasions, and one can feel that as soon as you enter the school.



Taking a cooking class

You never learn unless you try

Tony Fadell’s story that I heard when attending the M-Cubed Symposium provides a number of lessons of how to become a successful entrepreneur. I find the title of his presentation very strong, i.e. “Stem Education” where he refers to his grandfather and the importance of hands-on practical skills, starting early, learning by doing and being curious.  Next, during his studies at the University of Michigan he started two companies and learned to build and fail. After graduation he wanted to work out all to perfection, however, he learnt that you should pick a day when the product was ready.

Anthony Michael Fadell is "one of the fathers of the iPod"; in 2010 he founded Nest Labs, and in January 2014 Google acquired Nest for for $3.2B.


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